Our Story

Precious Project has evolved over several phases. Phase one (2010-2012) focused on laying the foundation for quality care of orphans of HIV and an early education and feeding program for village children. The second phase (2013-2014) saw the expansion of these programs to serve more vulnerable children. In Precious Project's third phase (2014) we empowered many residents of the village of Nshupu by eliminating disparities in education, gender inequality, and economic development. Subsequent phases focus on going beyond traditional schools and projects by preparing the students for excellence with superior education. Select a phase below or scroll down for significant highlights.

Building a Foundation

Where to start when there is so much need? Our focus was on the core necessities of the children: Food, shelter and basic education for nine orphans and basic education for the underprivileged children in the area.

2010

Precious Home Founded

Precious Children’s Home is founded by William Modest in the village of Nshupu to provide a safe, nurturing, and healthy environment for orphans and abandoned children. William, a school teacher, who lost his own mother to AIDS, along with his wife Sarah, provide care for nine children ages 3-8 years who together live in a sparsely furnished cement block house.

2012

Early Childhood Education

William and Sarah, along with the onsite support of Gil Williams, a retired American school principal, and his wife Susie Rheault, a licensed psychologist, develop an early childhood education program to help underprivileged village children. These children would otherwise have no access to school due to costs. Thirty village children enroll in the school's first year.

2012

Breakfast Club Established

Upon discovering undernourished students attending school, the Precious Breakfast Club program is started. A protein-rich porridge recipe is offered daily to all Precious students so they’re well prepared each day for learning. For many students, this is their only significant meal of the day.

2012

Children’s Home Renovated

The Precious Children’s Home undergoes a total renovation to ensure the health and welfare of its residential children. Boys and girls facilities are built, a 1600 gallon water collection and storage tank is installed, and a chicken coop built. Bunk beds are added as well as netting to protect from malaria-bearing mosquitoes. The house is freshly painted and a sturdy security fence is installed.

Expanding our Footprint

Once the basics were taken care of, we decided to expand into new areas, including sustainable farming. We also decided to make a permanent mark on the community by building a beautiful Children’s Home.

2013

Kindergarten Class Added

Precious adds an afternoon Kindergarten class providing free education and meals to 63 village girls and boys. The children are taught reading, writing, counting, simple arithmetic, basic English and Swahili, the official language of Tanzania. Sponsors and visitors from the US and UK, contribute support, with Gil and Susie providing oversight while living in the village for nearly half the year.

2013

Land Purchased

Recognizing the cramped rental site housing the Home and School cannot support the growing needs, Precious Project purchases two acres of land for a permanent home and school, and commits to provide jobs and infuse money into the local economy using only village labor to build the new home and school.

2014

Agriculture Development

Permaculture best practices are implemented as a stimulus to develop and teach community members more self-reliance and sustainability in food sourcing. Within its first year, Precious Projects sustainable farming methods produce food for the Children’s Home with less land, water, and other costs, while minimizing environmental impact. A biogas system is installed to anaerobically produce methane gas from animal manure.

2014

New Children’s Home Built

The new Precious Children’s Home is built on schedule and increases its capacity to care for and educate six more residential children. All the children receive educational scholarships and sponsorships up to the age of 18 years. The Home becomes a showcase orphanage in the Tanzanian district of Arumeru in delivering the highest quality facilities, care, and education for its children.

Extending our Reach

Having a gorgeous Children’s Home in a poor village is a sharp contrast, so we decided to give something back to the community so everybody would feel the benefit. The women’s empowerment project and the community center provides the basics for getting the village of Nshupu involved and our Primary School becomes the centerpiece.

2014

Women Empowerment

Precious Home serves as a community center for a women’s group named “Mwnamke Unaweza’, meaning ‘a woman can’ in Swahili. Conceived by women who carried heavy loads of water and bricks on their heads for the building of the new Children’s Home, the women meet weekly receiving assistance in basic skills to build and fund micro-enterprises formed by its group members.

2015

First Grade Added

Precious Project adds a first-grade class, expanding its school to educate 83 village children from ages 4 to 7 years. Students are taught to converse and read in English, uncommon in most Tanzanian primary schools, though a prerequisite to passing the national exam for secondary school acceptance. Also atypical of most Tanzanian schools, Precious Projects enrollment ensures at least 50% are girls.

2015

Primary School Built

The new Precious English Medium Primary School is built and the best teachers in the region are hired, The school opened its doors to students in Jan. 2016, the start of the academic year in Tanzania. The two-story building with nine classrooms educated 180 students, from pre-K to 7th grade in its first year. It is the first non-profit school in the area to serve underprivileged primary school age children.

2016

Community Center Built

With the amazing generosity of a single donor, Precious Project builds a school dining hall and community center. The center serves as a dining hall for the students during the school day. After hours, the center provides a meeting place for women's groups, and parents meetings. Occasionally, there are special community meetings, such as a vaccination clinic.

Preparing the Next Generation

Precious Project started small but with a great vision. However, continuing with the old method of learning by repetition was not going to prepare the students for the realities of the new economy.

2016

Digital Learning Launched

Committed to providing students access to the best in education, Precious deploys a digital learning management system (LMS) at the Precious English Medium Primary School. It delivers an online learning experience with world-class educational content without requiring Internet. Using WiFi-enabled tablets, students log on to the LMS to access interactive lessons and quizzes on a range of subjects including Math, Science, and English.

2016

Clean Water Supplied

Precious invests in a catchment system to harvest rainwater to provide its residential children and students direct access to clean drinking water. This solution addressed a number of challenges including students spending as much as two hours per day collecting and carrying heavy loads of water, leaving less time for school work. It eliminated the risks of water-borne illnesses from the village’s water sources.

2016

Barter Program Commended

Tanzanian Ministry of Education recognizes Precious English Medium Primary School as the only school in the nation to offer poor families the chance to barter food for education. Under the program, families (mostly subsistence farmers) can exchange agricultural commodities to pay for their child's school expenses while supporting the school's feeding and child nutrition project.

2017

Introducing Robotics

Upon a successful first year launch of the first tablet and server-based primary education program in Tanzania, Precious Project expands its digital curriculum. Additions include software and robotics programming to inspire students to pursue STEM and participate in the digital economy. Faculty also receive intensive training in leveraging the educational technology to boost students’ knowledge and skills.

Achieving Excellence

Today, after only a few years, Precious English Medium Primary School ranks as one of the most successful private primary schools in Tanzania. Our students consistently score the highest in national exams and we have become even more self-sustainable with solar and a new vegetable garden. We have added new dormitories, a music program, and a STEAM program.

2018

Music Comes Alive

Recognizing music as a valuable component of primary education, Precious English Medium School adds music education to its curriculum. Under the new music program, Precious students are provided opportunities to learn keyboarding, drumming, singing, and African dance. The program regularly brings the students together to celebrate their cultural heritage.

2018

Powered by Solar

Solar energy replaces the existing dirty and unreliable electricity source. The campus, including the Home, School, Dormitories, and Community Center, now saves an estimated $2,000 annually in electricity costs while becoming more self-sustainable.

2018

Student Housing Built

New dormitories house fourth and seventh graders so they can prepare for Tanzania’s National Exams. The National Exams determine if students need to repeat fourth grade or if seventh grade students will be admitted to secondary school. During the six months leading up to the exams, the dormitories afford Precious’ students to receive an extra sixteen hours a week in tutoring.

2018

Precious School Ranked #1

Precious English Medium School scores first in the ward on the Tanzanian National Exam. All of its fourth graders, the first class at the school to take the exam, pass with flying colors. Their scores ranked the Precious School at the top of the ward and fourth in the district out of three hundred schools that participated. The exam covers Mathematics, English, Science, Social Studies, and Swahili.

2018

First Graduates 1st in District

The first-ever graduating class from Precious English Medium Primary School celebrates its achievement of scoring first in the district on Tanzania’s National Exam. Passing the so-called ‘Primary School Leaving Exam’ (PLSE) provides each of its students access to public secondary education. Hundreds of thousands of children in Tanzania are pushed out of school annually because they fail the test.

2018

Precious STEAMS Ahead

The school expands its educational program in an effort to enthuse its students in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM). STEAM disciplines are brought to life in and outside of the classroom to enhance both teaching and learning.

2019

Building and Coding Robots

Using their iPads, students build robots consisting of more than 500 different components. The iPad app allows them to maneuver the robots in three-dimensions, and guides the students through the robot-building process and later how to program them to perform various tasks. The robots are de-assembled and re-assembled for classroom reuse.

2019

Sight for Sore Eyes

Students with vision difficulties often experience challenges with learning, which can severely reduce their future opportunities. Our visiting Optometrist, Dr. David Finkelstein, donates his time to examine our Primary School students' eyes and provides the vision- impaired students with much needed eye glasses.

2019

Farmland for Sustainability

With the goal of building a secondary school so Precious and other village students can continue their education, Precious purchases additional land. The land is farmed for crops to provide additional food for the Precious Home and School, and source of income to support both.

2019

New Technology Center

Precious develops a Technology Lab to provide an environment for teachers and students to leverage various technologies as part of student learning and create technology-based projects. Besides storing tech equipment like iPads used in classes, laptops and desktops allow students to learn Windows applications such as Word and PowerPoint, and conduct research.

2020

Promoting Student Creativity

Precious School offers its students traditional art classes and expands its Digital Arts program to promote student creativity and artistic development. Under the Digital Arts program, students build storyboards, make movies, develop photographs, design textiles, and create free form art with a digital pencil and iPad. Students also learn art techniques to understand use of materials.

2020

Expanding the Music Program

Building on Precious School’s initial music education program established in 2017, Precious expands its musical instrument lesson offerings. The School adds electric guitars, electronic keyboards, and western drums. Visiting US musician, Jim Logan, and Uganda musician Godrey offers advanced classes to the most promising music students.

2020

Virtual Classes during Covid-19

As Covid-19 spreads around the world, Tanzania mandates all schools to be closed. With the uncertainty of the impact on its students, Precious initiates remote classes over Zoom. The initial sessions focus on learning about viruses, and then expands to studies in human anatomy, East Africa geography, economics, and ICT. These virtual classes become part of the educational offerings for 6th and 7th grade students when the school reopens.

2020

1st Secondary Student Graduates

Two children from Precious Orphans Children’s Home graduate from secondary school. This marks a significant milestone for Precious as both children came from environments where the odds were against them. One child was born in a Maasai tribe where over 90% of girls never enroll in high school. Today, she aspires to be a cardiac surgeon.