Mshangano Secondary School is located seven kilometeres from Songea in Southern Tanzania. The average household income in Mshangano is approximately £250/year, well below the poverty line. The school was founded by the local community, but struggled due to lack of finance and poor academic performance, and was forced to close. The community approached COCO's partners Hoja Project for support and the school was reopened. It has now improved from being outside the top 100 schools in the region, to being inside the top 10!
Last year COCO refurbished the buildings, thanks to a donation from Ward Hadaway, saving the school from forced closure by the government. The next steps for Mshangano are to install rainwater harvesting on the school buildings to provide a permanent source of water and to establish a Gender Empowerment Centre to support girls across the region.