Safe School Accommodation

Rural communities strongly desire dormitories to keep girls safe. There are few secondary schools in rural areas. Girls walk very long distances, or rent a room near the school. They are especially vulnerable to sexual harassment when they are from poor families and struggling to afford food and rent. 

Since 2011 Lyra has built six dormitories. Communities contribute construction materials and labour, and continue to provide food for the girls, enabling those who live far from school to safely attend and study. 

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Lyra’s goal is to construct at least one new dormitory a year in schools which have identified this as an urgent need.

"I am so happy because I am getting an education. It helps me understand many things for my life later on. I want to study so that I can come back to help the school, just as our school was helped with the dormitory construction."

"In meetings, mothers were standing up saying– we really need a dormitory. Girls were getting pregnant, being threatened with rape... It’s very dangerous for our children. If possible, we want all the girls to stay in the dormitory." – Chair of Parents Committee, Lulanzi Secondary School

Educated girls opt for smaller families, and their children are more likely to be in school. That’s why keeping girls in secondary school is so vital, so that children in the next generation have a better future.

"We ran 16kms to school and back, crossing mountains and rivers. Four girls in my class got pregnant because of unsafe accommodation, and that was the end of their education. Living in the Lyra dormitory changed my life. I was the first girl from my school to pass Form IV exams. I am now at University studying to be a teacher, thanks to Lyra. My Mum is so proud of me!" –Zainabu

Tanzania’s population is expected to double by 2035 and school enrollment is not keeping up. Grade one registration has dropped annually from a high of 98% in 2007 to 85% in 2015.

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"Since we stayed in the dormitory our school performance has improved, because now we have more time to study instead of cooking, searching for firewood and a lot of other work. We started a vegetable garden with cabbages, spinach and cow peas. Since we stayed in the dormitory no student has got pregnant because here there is no interaction with street men to tempt us."

"I love being in the dormitory because it’s a safe and peaceful place for a girl. We have lots of time to study, and we can also learn using RACHEL."