As we celebrate two years of Same Learning Center, we want to introduce you to a few of the students. Read Mtawa Mkirinki’s incredible story below:


Mtawa Mkirindi was orphaned at the age of eight. When he was in Class 2, he moved to live with his aunt, but life was tough as he was not given any time to rest. Mtawa attended school infrequently due to family difficulties and failed tests and exams because he missed so many lessons.

Mtawa was always late and always tired. “Many times, I just wanted to stop school because I used to fail. I loved school so much but I had no one to help me,” he said.

The desire to get an education drove him to sell vegetables around Same Town. He did so with the hope of earning enough money for a school uniform and his family’s needs. (Students must have a uniform in order to attend school in Tanzania.)

Unfortunately, his efforts proved futile. Mtawa worked five hours each day after school, but he only earned an equivalent of $1.50 for one week’s work. Mtawa worked very hard to save the little he made to buy a school uniform, hoping he would someday have an opportunity to go back to school. Later, Mtawa moved to his grandmother’s house with a hope of a better life, but his grandmother died shortly afterward. This left him homeless.

It was then that a teacher noticed both his poor circumstances and determination. She connected him to the Same Learning Center. Mtawa joined the Same Learning Center and his life has changed for the better. 

“I never knew I would reach Class 6,” he says. “I promise my sponsors that I will work very hard and pass my exams.”

Mtawa’s life has changed dramatically. He attends school and gets extra support from the wonderful staff at the Same Learning Center. “I can’t just struggle from the time my parents died up to now for nothing!” he says. “I would like to become an accountant or an engineer. I am so thankful to Empower Tanzania because without them I wouldn’t have made it this far. They gave me school uniform, shoes, basic hygiene materials, and they paid for me to eat lunch at my school!”

Check back on the blog for more inspiring stories like Mtawa’s. Please consider donating to our work HERE so we can reach more students like Mtawa.