About Amka Afrika School



Amka Afrika School was launched in January, 2010, in a church in Babati, Tanzania. During the next year Simon Msangi, the founder, purchased land and started construction of the first 2 classrooms. One student's father made the bricks and another parent constructed the building. By January, 2011, the teachers and students moved into the very basic classrooms. There were blackboards and chalk and wooden benches. The windows and doors were just openings in the brick walls. The kitchen was an open shed and they used a pit toilet. Water was hauled in everyday for cooking.

In March, 2011, Simon brought a group of Americans he was leading on safari to visit his school. One of the travelers, retired teacher Ann McConachie, returned to the school for a one day visit but stayed for a week. While working in Amka's classrooms, she realized that she wanted to be part of creating a better future for Amka's students.


After returning to her home in Illinois, Ann joined with Linda Meadors and Sherrie Wenzel to establish the Amka Afrika School Foundation. Friends and family began collecting supplies. Vern Wegerer contacted Jordan Catholic School in Rock Island. They donated an entire school full of desks, chairs, tables, file cabinets and more.During the summer of 2011, Ann's garage was filled with books, toys, games, and school supplies for Amka. In August, a container was donated by Carrie McConachie, filled with all the furniture and supplies and sent on it's way to Babati, Tanzania.

Six months later, the container arrived and life changed overnight for the teachers and students of Amka. Where there had been no supplies, now there were art and science supplies, math manipulatives, hundreds of books, maps and a globe, musical instruments, games, playground equipment and the students' favorite...LEGOS!


One of the goals we've worked very hard to achieve was to become registered by the Tanzanian Ministry of Education. Private schools must meet many government requirements and pass an inspection before this happens. Simon Msangi worked tirelessly to meet the government standards, and the Amka Afrika School Foundation funded most of the required construction projects. On November 15, 2013, we received notification that Amka Afrika School is registered and has an official number. This allows us to operate legally, have a school bank account, give government tests, receive government help with practice tests and textbooks, and comply with government mandates. Now, we must paint the new bus yellow, build a dormitory, and add more classrooms. Local parents responded by enrolling 35 new students, and applications for jobs are flowing in from well-qualified teachers.


"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn." -Benjamin Franklin

The mission of Amka Afrika School Foundation is to involve the students and teachers of Amka School in an outstanding educational experience. Our goal is to prepare students for success on government exams, in secondary school, in careers and as responsible citizens. Operating with sensitivity to the cultural differences between Americans and Tanzanians, the foundation provides support for:

  • Learning: Tuition grants for students, teacher training, curriculum development, classroom materials such as textbooks, supplies and furnishings
  • Capital improvements: 2011-2012 water tank, toilets, plastering classrooms; 2013 electricity, running water, additional classrooms, school bus; 2014 painting, dormitory, multi-purpose/dining hall, kitchen expansion, chicken coop, vegetable garden
  • Volunteers: Mission programs bring volunteers who model using proper English, support teachers as they learn modern teaching techniques, and work on the many projects going on at the school site.