Watoto Wanaweza After School Support Programme (ASSP)


“Watoto Wanaweza is Swahili for “Children Can…”, so called because we believe that with the right support and encouragement, many poor and vulnerable children can achieve at school and ultimately transform their lives.” Shika

Imagine going home at the end of your school day to a cramped one-roomed hut with no electricity to try and do your homework. There is no food in the cupboard and no one there to help you with your homework.

In 2009, we established the Watoto Wanaweza After School Support Programme (ASSP). It’s a holistic after school support initiative that provides educational support and counselling. The programme is located at Unity primary school. Here children can stay after school to get a meal, help with their homework, play games and talk about their problems.

International volunteers from a diverse range of countries and age groups compliment the programme by offering a wide variety of skills and experience.  Some volunteers provide general support to the after school programme and others establish focused workshops to teach and foster specific talents.

Situated in the deprived area of Ngarenaro, Arusha, the programme provides vital support to 85 vulnerable children.

Who attends the centre?

Children participating in the programme typically fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Living in extreme poverty
  • Likely to be orphaned by one or both parents
  • Subject to neglect and abuse
  • Living with HIV/AIDS
  • From a Maasai or pastoral tribe

“I love the programme because it helps me to read and write well and I am finally doing well in passing my examinations” Mary aged 9

Working with local schools

Shika found that local schools do not have the resources to work specifically with struggling pupils, or their families, to address the needs of underperforming pupils. Staff at Shika work with schools, the parents/guardians of the children, and the children themselves, to identify problem areas and tailor individual packages of support to each child.  Every package is designed to ensure each child has the best possible chance to regularly attend and graduate from primary school with adequate literacy, numeracy  and life skills.

How does the Programme help?

By providing children with the support structure lacking at home, we enable children to love, show compassion to others, and to gain a sense of self worth. It equips them with the support they need to make the most of their schooling, and the tools needed to fulfil their life potential.

Counselling services at the WWC


How is the Programme Funded?

It is only through the support and generosity of donors and individuals that fund raise on our behalf, that we are able to raise sufficient funds to keep the programme operational.

“I love the programme as there are people that care about me and I like to speak with the counsellor” Adelaqueen, aged 10