Maweni Primary School, near Tanga, Tanzania, is part of a group of Tanzanian primary schools that have formal and longstanding links with UK primary schools in the Malvern area. Each link involves teacher exchanges in June and October each year. Hanley Swan Primary School has had a link with Maweni Primary School for the last 10 years and this link has been a source of great friendship between the two schools. In October 2018, John Ellis and Adrian Pratley visited Maweni Primary School along with other UK primary school teachers involved in links with their Tanzanian primary schools. Hanley is now part of a triangle of strong fellowship between Maweni Primary School and Hanley Swan Primary School.
Mr Joseph Wallace, Head teacher of Maweni Primary School, and Mrs Neema Chilimo, teacher at Maweni Primary School, made their first visit to both Hanley Castle High School and Hanley Swan Primary School in June 2019. This was generously funded by the British Council cluster grant for the Collaborating Classrooms project.
Hanley is fundraising to build a new classroom at Maweni Primary School and building work will soon start on the foundations and walls of the classroom. Class sizes at Maweni are a staggering 105 students per class and the new classroom will allow Wallace to have two small classes of 50 students each. The total cost of the new build classroom is £10,000. During their visit, Wallace and Neema taught Swahili to our year 7 and 8 language classes. A 100 letters of welcome and friendship were written by a year 7 class and delivered to students at Maweni Primary School. A British Council UK Tanzania Conference on Connecting Classrooms was held at Hanley, with British Council trainer, Alyson Meredith, and British Council advisor, Ephraim Kapungu, from British Council Dar es Salaam office spoken eloquently and passionately about the effects of climate change on Tanzania.
In October 2019, Rebecca Dunn will visit Maweni Primary School and see at first hand the great difficulties the school faces, but also the happiness and joy that is abundance at the school.