How we work
The Michael Matthews Foundation ("MMF") is funding and supporting projects that offer solutions to the barriers rural Tanzanian girls face in accessing and completing their secondary education. Rural girls in Tanzania face many obstacles. The starkest is the long distances many girls must walk to and from school each day and the risks of exploitation this poses.
The local community felt that if hostels were built at the secondary schools for girls to stay in, this problem could be significantly reduced. So far MMF has funded the building of 5 hostels and primary school buildings since 2013 and over 3,000 girls have been kept safe and learning with no reported pregnancies.
For many of the rural girls, providing a safe environment to stay is not enough. Many come from ultra-poor families and cannot afford the basics to attend school. For these girls, MMF has provided sponsorship to 600 girls to ensure that they are not forced to drop out of school.
For rural students to truly succeed, the quality of education has to also be addressed. Working with local partners, MMF has provided digital tech with off-line learning content pre-installed to rural secondary schools. In these partner schools we have seen a significant increase in tech skills amongst students as well as, crucially, an increase in academic performance. MMF are excited to be currently funding a new solar-powered computer lab at Lulanzi secondary school equipping a new generation of students with the digital skills they need for the 21st century.
Youth Entrepreneurship Programme
Youth Entrepreneurship Programme (known locally as Imarika Kijana ‘Strong Youth’) provides training in the management, financing and successful incubation of new or existing business.
Imarika Kijana is about changing the mindset of youth to see the opportunities in their communities. MMF fund this innovative pilot which has now reached over 2,000 youth, lifting the rural young out of poverty and giving them an opportunity to reimagine their future. The pioneering next stage to this bespoke programme which will offer intensive training to youths with promising micro businesses. 255 are currently taking part in phase 2: Business Boost.
Michael Matthews lost his life whilst descending from Everest in 1999. Mike would have been very proud of the achievements of the foundation established in his name - supporting thousands of children from remote areas to access education, thereby offering them the benefits of a better start in life.
"Mike would have encouraged what now is being achieved by MMF - educating thousands of children from remote areas who now benefit from a better start in life"