obsm is MORE THAN STATistics.
The O'Brien School for the Maasai is more than just a school. It's an organization that believes education can change the world, that economic opportunity can shift harmful gender norms, that leaders can come from the most rural and difficult environments.
Steadfast in those beliefs, we invest deeply into the holistic development of our students and staff. The ripple effect is evident throughout the entire community, making it hard to estimate our total reach. That is why we rarely hide behind nor do we promote our impact numbers as much as we illustrate our impact through personal stories.
We hope you enjoy learning about both, however. If you're moved, as we are every day, consider making a financial contribution.
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of primary schools in the Kilimanjaro Region.
OBSM has a
ratio of students to teachers, much better than others in the district.
The O'Brien School implements programs based on the needs of Sanya Station village. That being said, we have aligned with the United Nation's 17 goals for sustainable development, the SDGs, and we're already making strides.
What are the SDGs?
On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit — officially came into force. Over the next fifteen years, with these new Goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.
The SDGs, also known as Global Goals, build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and aim to go further to end all forms of poverty. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and addresses a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.
To learn more and view sources for each of the following segments, click here.
While enrollment in primary school in developing countries has reached 91%, 57 million children remain out of school.
Quality education provides children with essential cognitive and language skills and fosters emotional development, significantly increasing their chances of future success. Education also has the potential to break the cycle of poverty, foster tolerance and peaceful societies, reduces inequalities, and empowers people to live sustainable lives, especially women and girls.
By the end of their primary school education at the O'Brien School, our students know how to read and write in both Swahili and English and understand and use basic concepts in mathematics. We prepare all students, both boys and girls, well for secondary school and lifelong learning.
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
Strides have been made to increase life expectancy; improving access to clean water and sanitation; and reducing malaria, tuberculosis, polio and the spread of HIV/AIDS.
However, more than six million children still die before their fifth birthday each year. Only half of women in developing countries receive the health care they need.
At OBSM, we prioritize the health of our students, staff, and villagers. We develop partnerships, including one with International Service Learning, and link villagers to health facilities or organizations for additional care and support. We have a stocked clinic and incorporate health education into our curriculum.
Our clean cookstove project makes huge impact on burns and respiratory health. Finally, we provide special safe-birthing kits for pregnant women in the village.
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
23 million primary school-age children in Africa attend classes hungry across the developing world.
Our students do not. Because many students come from impoverished households, we provide nutritious hot breakfast and lunch every day. Due to drought, we often have to import food, but we also encourage and buy from local markets in Tanzania.
Our meals are also supplemented with fruits and vegetables from our garden. In addition, we introduce a diverse variety of highly nutritious vegetables to our students and villagers and train them on sustainable agricultural techniques, contributing to more nutritious diets, enhanced livelihoods for the farming community, and more resilient and sustainable agricultural systems in the village.
Due to poverty and poor infrastructure, children and adults die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene.
Water scarcity, poor water quality and inadequate sanitation negatively impact food security, livelihood choices and educational opportunities for poor families across the world. Drought also afflicts some of the world’s poorest countries, including Tanzania, worsening hunger and malnutrition.
At OBSM, we have built water systems to ensure clean water is accessible at the O'Brien School.
We also ensure access to proper, clean, and safe latrines for both male and female staff and students. This is incredibly important for safety and educational outcomes. Girls in many developing countries miss out on school when they are menstruating. We ensure girls are safe and comfortable at all times.
Ensure access to water and sanitation for all.
About half the world’s population still lives on $2 a day. Furthermore, having a job doesn’t always guarantee the ability to escape from poverty.
Although we cannot completely offset the lack of decent work opportunities in our village, our school employs 20 full-time staff members from Sanya Station, many of whom are women. We also only employ local Tanzanians as teaching staff. We pay fair wages and provide many benefits, including paid time off and performance-based bonuses.
We also have started many women's economic empowerment initiatives, including a village kiosk, hair salon, and maize grinding business. Our Upendo jewelry line sustains livelihoods of some of the most vulnerable, including widows and young mothers. Finally, we have plans to open a B&B, to be run by female graduates and villagers.
Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Unfortunately, women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world. However, gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but it's a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
OBSM provides women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in school decision-making processes, such as the O'Brien School for the Maasai School Committee. These intentional aspects of our programming sets the proper example for future generations, benefits the society and humanity at large, and contributes to poverty reduction in the village.
We also remain abreast of trends and norms in Sanya Station village through informants, and we incorporate findings into our programming, organizational policies and procedures, and youth-based rights clubs. We also ensure our staff and student populations promote gender equality.
End poverty in all its forms everywhere
One in five people in developing regions still live on less than $1.25 a day, and there are millions more who make little more than this daily amount. In addition, many people are at high risk of slipping back into poverty.
Poverty is more than the lack of income and resources to ensure a sustainable livelihood. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. Finally, economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality.
Our programs cut across many of poverty's manifestations. And while we do not directly affect the global population, we make many strides in reducing poverty in our village and reducing our students' risk of impoverished futures.
stoves and ten SDGs
Clean cookstoves and the corresponding women's economic empowerment program directly and indirectly impacts each of these SDGs. They transform the way our village cooks, improves livelihoods, and protects the environment.
Learn more about our clean cookstove project and its impact on our our special projects blog here.