What is The Panje Project?
The Panje Project (TPP) was established in 2011 to support the educational development of youth in the local Nungwi Village in Zanzibar. The work began after discovering many of the locals were overlooked for work in the nearby hotels and restaurants. The need for labor in the area has risen due to the rise in tourism however many businesses find it difficult to hire local labor due to low educational levels. A high number of locals are poorly educated and lack basic English language skills, leading to majority of hotels importing labor from mainland Tanzania and nearby countries.
Nungwi has become a popular destination for many tourists, attracting an abundance of expertise and skills to the area which could be harvested to empower the local community. TPP aims to utilize tourism as a tool to educate the community by encouraging volunteers who are travelling through Zanzibar to get involved and teach. The Panje Project will begin to deal with these issues by supporting the youth of the village with additional Mathematics and English lessons outside of their school studies. The aim is to further develop their language skills and general education to give them the opportunity to get involved with tourism in the area and a better chance at decent jobs in the future.
We provide volunteer opportunities for people worldwide to live and work abroad in Zanzibar.
Why is TPP needed in Nungwi?
Situated on the northernmost tip of Unguja (main island of Zanzibar), Nungwi is a large traditional fishing village with an abundance of cultural heritage. It is the dhow-building centre as well as becoming one of the major tourist destinations on the Island.
Once in the village, one cannot help but notice how traditional and modern heavily rub against each other. You will see local fishermen going on with their daily routine on the waterfront alongside another world of beachside establishments, internet cafes and a collection of guesthouses.
It is visible that the tourism industry in Zanzibar is steadily growing noted by the increase of hotels/guesthouses over recent years, mainly in the Northern area of the island. In fact, Nungwi village is considered by some visitors as “the place to be”, with beautiful beaches and one of the very few places where one can swim without waiting for the tides to come in.
With the increase of hotels/guesthouses, the need for skilled and non-skilled labor has risen. Many businesses find it difficult to hire local labor due to low educational levels. A high number of locals are poorly educated leading to majority of hotels importing labor from mainland Tanzania and nearby countries.
The lack of English speaking locals has also proven to be a setback for both hoteliers and the Nungwi community. With the high influx of tourists from all over the world, there is now a high demand for multi-lingual labor, which is certainly lacking in the village.
There is a need to address this situation, to improve the educational levels in the community and to empower the locals.
How do we do it?
At the time of writing we are in the process of launching The Panje Project.
The support of the local community will be imperative to the success of the launch of this project. They have offered use of the community hall free of charge where the lessons will take place. The local community will also provide volunteers with a rich cultural experience in exchange for helping them including teaching volunteers Swahili; language, cooking and local crafts. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to go fishing with the local fishermen and get involved in dhow building.
The Panje Project will aim to facilitate friendships between visiting tourists and the local community, providing an opportunity for travelers to contribute to the cause. We are hoping to raise awareness of The Panje Project globally and looking for the support of volunteers who can get involved with our work.
The project will initially begin with teaching extra Math’s and English classes outside of the school timetable to youth aged 10 – 16 from the local village. Improving the levels of education of these children and empowering them for the future.
How are we funded?
We are a very small organization with low running costs. Most of the work on the project has been carried out by volunteers who have donated their time and resources allowing us to keep our costs low. We will be looking to employ one paid member of staff to manage the coordination of volunteers and day to day running of the project. Some of the Administration fee from volunteers will go towards these wages.
We have received some donations from the public which will be used to buy teaching materials.
Our volunteers are self funded, paying for their own flights, accommodation etc.