Clemens is leveraging the power of sports and Physical Education to transform the education system in Tanzania and by so doing empowering children to develop their own potential as changemakers in the society.
The New Idea
Jambo Bukoba trains primary teachers to provide school children with “life skills training through sports.” By offering this training and implementing uniquely designed games that build the children’s self-esteem, creativity, teamwork among other skills, Jambo Bukoba Tanzania has been able to demonstrate that sports and Physical Education can be an effective tool for solving education problems such as school drop-out, quality of learning, parental and community participation in education, gender inequality with regards to education access and even boosting teacher motivation.
Lack of proper training for physical education teachers is an endemic problem within the education system in Tanzania and beyond. For a teacher to qualify for teaching “Pysical Education” in Tanzania, all they are required to have is the equivalent of a high-school diploma and a pass in Biology. Clemens is pushing to change that by working with Teacher Training Colleges to have the Jambo Bokoba training program officially certified and endorsed as new training standard for training Physical Education teachers. Ultimately, Clemens plans to introduce his sports education program into secondary schools and to have the model replicated in other countries across East Africa.
Also unique is their integrated approach of linking education interventions to health and gender interventions in particular HIV/AIDs and gender equality. Globally, Tanzania is one of the countries with the highest rates of all HIV/AIDs infections among young people with girls being affected more than boys. General lack of awareness is to blame for this state of affairs, particularly in rural areas. Clemens believes that schools are the best spaces to deliver health education to young people.
He also contends that failure to incorporate gender in addressing developmental issues does more harm than good which explains Jambo Bukoba’s focus on girl-child empowerment as a core part of their strategy.
Jambo Bukoba aims to empower young people through sports so that they can become agents of change in the pursuit of education and better health as well as the development of their communities and country. To achieve this, the organization has developed a strategy that works at 3 levels: individual (girls, school children, teachers), institutional (schools, teacher training colleges, government ministries) and community (immediate school neighbourhood, Kagera region, Tanzania). Consequently, their operational strategy follows the three levels with specific targets and outcomes expected for each.
At the individual level, Jambo Bukoba has developed a professionally designed training program for the teachers so that they can provide “LIFE SKILLS THROUGH SPORTS” to school children. The program is delivered through specialized training workshops for teachers, professional manuals and sport materials. Clemens developed the program in partnership with the German Sports University which also sponsored a year-long baseline study in Kagera region.
In this model, teachers function more as multipliers of the program’s impact rather than simply delivering the training. Their own training model ensures that they also benefit directly from the games which are designed to boost physical, emotional and social wellbeing. They then deliver the same benefits to children in their own schools who are similarly empowered to become changemakers.
At the institutional level, Jambo Bukoba works with schools to integrate sports and physical education into the regular school timetable while also ensuring that teachers receive the support they need to implement the Life Skills Through Sports program. Additionally all schools in each district participate in a district level competition called Bonanza where the finalists win a “school project,” such as new classrooms or toilets. This model emphasizes shared responsibility in which school children play a critical role, through their participation in the games, in mobilizing resources for their own education.
In this way, Jambo Bukoba demonstrates the philosophy of “catch them young” by targeting primary school age children between the ages of 6-13 years with the aim of instigating behaviour change in a fun and sportive way.
The Bonanzas are open to the public and are usually organized as a platform for creating health awareness on topics such as personal hygiene (the importance of hand washing), public sanitation (the importance of clean toilets), healthy eating habits (to fight diseases and malnutrition) as well as HIV/AIDs.
The community (parents) also contributes up to 25% of the total cost of school projects which incentivizes them to participate in the education of their children. Parents are also encouraged to participate in school meetings so that they can add their voice to the general administration of the school.
Finally, Jambo Bukoba works with the government particularly through the Ministry of Education to ensure that the model is adopted across all public schools. The Ministry provides support for teachers, for example in allowing them to attend Jambo Bukoba training workshops without losing their salaries. Since the ministry is often under-funded, the partnership with Jambo Bukoba enables them to reach their targets thus creating a win-win situation. Working with the government also ensures that the organization continues to influence government policy in areas such as teacher training and Physical Education.
Ultimately, Clemens hopes to have teacher training colleges adopt the Life Skills Through Sports program as a standard for training Physical Education teachers across the country.
Clemens is half Tanzanian, half German, having been born to a Tanzanian father and a German mother. He grew up partly in Tanzania and partly in Germany before settling in Munich. He currently works as the CSR manager for one of Germany’s biggest banks and is in charge of the sports marketing department, a role that has enabled him to understand the power of sports through his interactions with Europen sports community and in particular Bayern Munich Football Club.
The exposure to different education systems in Tanzania and Germany stuck to him as an important social justice problem, one that he would later come to solve through Jambo Bukoba. After finishing high school Clemens opted to do community service in a hospital rather than join the army. He later joined the banking industry where he introduced the concept of sports sponsorship and brought in over 2bn Euro in savings and more than 50,000 new customers.
The death of his father brought Clemens back to Tanzania where his passion for education and community service was reignited leading him to start Jambo Bukoba while still working full time at the bank. Mid last year (2014) Clemens decided to leave the bank and focus 100% on growing Jambo Bukoba whose model has now been tested and proven to work in Kagera region of Tanzania. His goal is to spread the innovation across the country and lay the ground work for cross-boundary adoption.