Oldenderiti Primary School

Background of School

Oldenderiti Primary School is a government-run school that teaches over 500 children from ages 5 to 15, Oldenderiti Primary school is located within the Olokii village in Arusha-Tanzania, There are 7-8 teachers, a head master and a school chairman. The children are taught basic subjects such as math, history, science, social studies, gym, English and Swahili. All classes are taught in their mother tongue Swahili. Oldenderiti Primary School has been providing children with an education since 2,000 when it was founded. School runs from September to August with holidays in December and June.

Oldenderiti Primary School is provided with a small amount of funds annually from the government that barely covers what is needed for a school year, let alone provides opportunity to upgrade the deteriorating conditions of the school. It has never had electricity run through the building, there is little water left in a dirty old well for the children to drink, the washroom holes are overflowing and the school walls/floors/roofs are crumbling. In the recent months the government has provided the school with seven windows and one door (including glass) for the teacher’s office, leaving the rest of the school still needing windows and doors. School supplies are also scarce as every five children share a book and every three children share a pencil to do their work.

Overview of Village

Olokii village has a population of approximately 3000-5000 people, and there are mainly miners and farmers who live here. The primary languages are Maasai and Swahili. It is approximately 60 minutes away from Arusha town. As Olokii villager's income is based solely on farming and livestock keeping, it is found to be one of the poorest villages in Tanzania. Frequent drought conditions dry up farms, so many farmers are forced to seek other means of generating some type of income to buy food.

Water and electricity is either scarce or unaffordable for the people who live here. The village water source is a river that flows from Mt. Meru but because of the dry weather conditions in Tanzania the river is running dry. This river also runs near the Tanzanite mines so it collects bacteria and other harmful chemicals before it reaches the people. It is very far for some people, ranging from 1.5 to 2 km travel for some. This river water is very harmful for people to drink, especially since the majority of people do not understand the importance of boiling water or they are too poor to buy fuel. There are a high percentage of people contracting stomach infections, typhoid, fevers, malaria, worms and other parasites and because the clinic is far and cost money many people are unable to seek medical treatment.


http://www.theolokiiproject.org/  is working together with other local NGO’s in Arusha to help the children at Oldenderiti Primary School receive proper education in a school that is safe to be in. We are looking for people with big hearts who want to make a difference in these children’s lives. You can do that by donating to one of the projects, fundraising to help us raise the funds, or volunteering your time in Olokii village. Below you can see the types of projects you can participate in.

Water Project

The top priority at Oldenderiti Primary School right now apart from school supplies is providing the children with safe drinking water. The school does not have the funds to purchase fuel to boil the water for the children so they are forced to drink this river water. Dirty water leads to a cycle of disease, missed school days, and high drop-out rates – especially for girls.

The solution for this problem is to dig a new well at the school that is at least 150 ft below ground, so that they can access clean water running from Lake Victoria. This well would be able to provide clean water for not only the children at Oldenderiti Primary School, but the entire Olokii village!

The first step of this project is to hire professional contractors for $1,300 to complete a well assessment survey. This will determine the best place to build the well, how deep they need to dig and the cost. It is estimated that the well, storage tank and supplies will cost approximately $15,000 to $20,000 USD to complete. Once the well is installed, step two of this project will be to educate villagers on taking ownership of the well, and how to use the water safely.

Repairing the School Project

The current condition of the school is deteriorating rapidly and is on the verge of being deemed unsafe and unsanitary for children. The roof and ceilings are falling apart, the cement floors are either broken or full of gravel, the majority of windows do not have glass and doors have broken off the hinges, and the school toilets are broken and overflowing with waste. The school walls, ceilings and floors need to be repaired and they need new washrooms for the boys and girls. Costs for this project have not yet been determined.

Electricity Project

The third priority is to wire the school with electricity so that they can have lights, computers for teaching the children about technology, and a printer to print the tests, etc. needed to run the classes effectively. Currently only the head master’s office has been wired for electricity but they have never had enough money to run the power. Costs for this project have not yet been determined.

They are looking for donations to build a proper well for drinking water, wire the school with electricity, purchase a few computers to teach the children technology, and to build new washrooms for the boys and girls. They are also looking for volunteers to spend time at the school to teach English, computers and various sports, and contractors to improve the school infrastructure and build the washrooms, etc. If interested in donations and/or volunteering please contact us through info@theolokiiproject.org 


If the projects of Olokii village have peaked your interest but you do not have the funds to help, you can do what so many people around the world do – raise the money through your network of friends. There are a number of options you can use to fundraise, including holding events, getting your school/work involved, etc. For more information on how you can participate in fundraising contact us.


We are looking for volunteers to assist at the school or help with one of the projects listed above. Volunteers at the school can assist teachers with class work, marking, etc., teach English and/or computers and even teach the children how to play various sports. They recently received a few football and netballs from visitors so they are anxious to learn how to play the games!

When you volunteer at Oldenderiti Primary School you will stay with a host family that will provide you with a bed and bedding, European toilet and shower, running water and electricity, and three meals per day. They will make sure you are comfortable during your time in Olokii village, and it will provide you with an opportunity to learn about the culture and way of life in olokii village.

Contact Us

For more information about becoming a donor, holding fundraising events, or volunteering at Oldenderiti Primary School, you can contact the volunteer coordinator at info@theolokiiprojectorg and ccd edwardlaizer@yahoo.com . If you are interested in volunteering at Olokii village you may receive a detailed volunteer manual to answer all of your questions.