M.O.O. Orphanage & School, Zanzibar

Teaser Photo The east African island of Zanzibar is increasingly popular amongst tourists for its unique selling points and the untainted beauty of its landscapes. However, the tourists are rarely aware of the local population's issues - poverty, poor quality of education, disease, lacking social infrastructure. To enable more children to gain access to education and thus a better future, the Child & Family Foundation is realising the construction of an orphanage with a school attached.

Project Description

Zanzibar, heaven on Earth?

This wonderful island's facade is deceptive because the majority of tourists never see Zanzibar's real issues.  They probably aren't as visible here as they are in other parts of Africa. The main problem is the impoverishment of the vast majority of the population. Many locals are self-sufficient but have no means of accessing medical care, let alone organising education for their children. Sadly, the disadvantaged children go on to suffer the same fate as their parents. Extreme poverty means that educational and medical infrastructure are lacking.

Poverty and its consequences

The average income in Zanzibar is 250 US Dollars a year.  Over half the population is living below the poverty line. The child mortality rate lies at 54 deaths per 1000 live births. It is estimated that approximately 12 % of children suffer from acute malnourishment.

The dark side of the tourist industry

Due to the significant growth of the tourist industry, prices have risen sharply with it. The local population can often no longer afford essential basic nutrition. Plots of land and property are sold on to large, foreign companies. The islanders do not and did not have enough spare cash to buy the plots and establish themselves in the tourism industry. Families are reliant on their children’s earnings to support the family coffers due to the precarious financial situation.

Street children without a future

The number of orphaned children is constantly on the rise. Tragic family events (violence, drugs) are mostly to blame for children being orphaned whether fully or partially. Orphans grow up without the comfort of social or financial support networks. They often do not receive an education which means that their future prospects look anything other than bright. Street children and children who suffer from chronic starvation often work to survive and to feed their family, such as when it falls to the oldest child to run the household. They find work as domestic staff, street sellers, agricultural labourers or even as prostitutes.

The goal: A better future for orphans

What these children really need is a home, loving care and security.  A loving home and a good education make it possible for the children to have a better future. Education helps them to escape poverty.  Which is why it is the Child & Family Foundation's goal to promote the children's professional and social competencies so that they have a self-sufficient future ahead of them as adults and are able to handle life's challenges independently.

A new home and access to education

Some children are lucky enough to have found a home in the 'M.O.O Montessory Orphanns Organisation', which was founded by Suzana Maziku, who is local to the island.
60 children and teenagers, aged between 0 and 18 years of age, live here at the moment. To guarentee the children a basic education, a school has been attached to the orphanage. The school and accommodation adjacent fulfil their purposes, however this could not be described as an adequate learning and living environment.  Not only this, neither the orphanage nor the classrooms are big enough.

Construction of an orphanage with a school attached

Zanzibar is a place close to Sanna Soini's heart and the tourist paradise is not the only reason: she has been trying to support the M.O.O. Montessory Orphans Organisation as well as she can for many years now. It was thanks to her that the Child & Family Foundation became aware of the project.  She donated a considerable sum to our foundation in order to be able to set up the project professionally.

The orphanage was built from scratch together with the attached school as the old building in Bububu is not only too small but also not well-situated. The new orphanage with school attached is situated 30 minutes away from the previous location - the orphans will not only have enough space here but also an appealing learning environment and the families from the local area also have access to an educational establishment. 

The new construction has ensured that the necessary prerequisites have been fulfilled and the orphans can be provided with a proper home and a solid basis for a successful future.

Project Goals

The construction of the orphanage with school attached means that the orphans can be provided with a loving home and access to education. At the same time, the regional population now has access to education.

Project Title

Construction of an orphanage with a school attached in Zanzibar

Project Location

Zanzibar, Tanzania

Project Period

Start: August 2018
End: 2020


60 orphans and 60 other children from the region
M.O.O. Montessori Orphans Organisation