children are given time to develop

The 4 phases of our projects

Phase 1: Kikatiti Happy Watoto Home

our children’s home and pre-school for 3-6 year olds in Kikatiti
Kikatiti Happy Watoto Home, our first children’s home, was built in 2001 with the financial assistance of the friends and acquaintances of the Ter Braak family, who set up the foundation. In 2009 we added a small pre-school and a second house. Since then we have welcomed 56 children aged between 3 and 6 to Kikatiti, most of whom are orphans or children from troubled families who are unable to provide them with a safe home.

In addition to Montessori pre-school education, the children learn English over time, in a playful fashion. In order to prepare them for the move to English-language education at our primary school in Ngorika, they spend their last year at Kikatiti in the pre-primary class.

We welcome 12 new pre-schoolers every year. Many of these children come from deprived backgrounds and have had traumatic experiences. They require a great deal of extra care and attention from our team of Tanzanian staff (1 matron/patron per 6 children) and our manager Martha Jonathan. 
Kikatiti from the airKikatiti from the air
our 'drive'our 'drive'
front of Kikatiti Happy Watoto Homefront of Kikatiti Happy Watoto Home
back of the houseback of the house
veranda and dormitory of the youngestveranda and dormitory of the youngest
nursery school buildingnursery school building
kitchen buildingkitchen building
interior kitcheninterior kitchen
kitchen in usekitchen in use
vegetable gardenvegetable garden
vegatable gardenvegatable garden
dining area and playroom dining area and playroom
dining area and playroom dining area and playroom
dining area and playroom dining area and playroom
Nolarip, manager at KikatitiNolarip, manager at Kikatiti
creativity hourcreativity hour
creativity hourcreativity hour
creativity hourcreativity hour
nursing hournursing hour
nursing hournursing hour
study hourstudy hour
during festive openingduring festive opening
during festive openingduring festive opening
during festive openingduring festive opening

Phase 2: Ngorika Home and School

our primary school and home for 7-13 year olds in Ngorika
Ngorika Home and School, our primary school and home for older children opened in 2011. The house has space for 104 children, made up of the annual intake from Kikatiti. A team of 12 matrons and patrons, managed by Nolarip Ngungat, is responsible for the children’s education, helping them with homework and providing extra-curricular activities. The construction costs and annual operating expenses are financed by Förderverein Good Hope Centre, a German charity organization that we have been working with in Ngorika since 2009.

The primary school, which we financed ourselves, was set up so that it could also accommodate neighbourhood children from poorer families who are unable to pay for their children’s education. Although families contribute on an ability-to-pay basis, sometimes paying in kind, the lion’s share of the school fees are sponsored by our foundation.

We provide English-language primary education to a total of 280 children. We have seven classes and one pre-primary class, which the pre-schoolers from Kikatiti attend daily to prepare for the transition to primary school. We made a conscious choice to provide English-language education because we felt that it would substantially increase the children’s job opportunities once they have finished school. In addition to the required school curriculum, attention is also given to sports and creative subjects so that the children can fully develop themselves. Whereas average class sizes in Tanzania are between 60 and 80 children, our classes have a maximum of 35 to 40 children..

A team of 14 academically trained teachers led by Jonas Michael ensures that our classes meet the high standards we have set for ourselves. Although our track record is still short, we ended in the top-10 of best-performing primary school in the national examinations of 2013. That is precisely what we were aiming for to be able to attract fully paying students as per Janaury 2014. This way we have a better representation of the Tanzania society in our class rooms, but it also creates a broader financial base for our school.
air photo of Ngorika
entrance gate Ngorika
entrance gate Ngorika
our motto
slogan of our founder
community hall
wall painting community hall
relax area under the sun
day's schedule
Academic teacher Farhad
PC room
'little' boys room
class room
pre-primary class
pre-primary class
pre-primary class
study hour
study hour
level 2
first school day Ngorika
first school day Ngorika
first school day Ngorika
opening day Ngorika
opening day Ngorika
opening day Ngorika

Phase 3: External secondary education

secondary school for 13-17 year olds
Once they have completed primary school in Ngorika and have passed their national entrance exams, the boys and girls who are going on to secondary school (level O) are placed in external boarding schools. Since 2013 we have been close contact with Tengeru Boys,  Henry Gogarty Memorial Girls  in Arusha, Edmund Rice, Unambwe and Enaboishu Secondary School in Arusha (all private schools) and a few good performing government schools.

Children who are less academically inclined can follow vocational training at these schools, and get acquainted with different professions and skills. Although we originally envisaged setting up a secondary school of our own, the plan was not feasible, and by outsourcing secondary education we are able to offer the children a greater range of choices.

We continue to offer guidance to the children in the children’s home after primary school; they remain in our care and our social workers closely monitor their development. Because the cost of secondary education for neighbourhood children is very expensive, only the most promising students can be kept on, largely with help of individual sponsoring.
Tengeru Boys School
Tengeru Boys School
Tengeru Boys School
sleeping room
sleeping room
vocational Center
wood and welding crafts
end product
garage technique
garage technique
Henry Gogarty Memorial Girls School
Henry Gogarty Memorial Girls School
computer lessons in conjunction with Viafrica

Phase 4: Vocational guidance

last stage for students aged up to ± 18
After completing four years secondary education (Ordinary-level) students can, depending on their capacities and interests, enrol in 1 or 2-year vocational training programmes. These are external programmes but our foundation pays for students’ housing and tuition. The focus here is on helping the students (± 16 years of age) to develop the skills they need to build an independent life for themselves. Starting in 2018 we have annual intake of eight to twelve pupils who will eventually require placement. For this we have established partnerships with local institutions and charities who can help us with this.

Our final responsibility at the end of this last phase is to help the students find a job. We make every effort to find appropriate work, or to help the young people set up their own business We work together with organizations that facilitate work placement and with parties who are willing to provide micro-credit to support young entrepreneurs.

Students who are academically gifted will proceed on our cost for another two year on Advanced-level. After this we will try to arrange an university scholarship for them. Whilst these students are not yet independent, they no longer receive financial support from our foundation once they are at university.
last support: own toolkit
Academy for Wild Life
Academy for Wilf Life
our first graduate
reunion of old Kikatiti children

Number of children helped

With the help of our donors and sponsors we have already been able to help 2.436 children to get a head start.
Your support can help us to continue expanding our activities.

2000  Official opening of our foundation
2001 Construction of the home in Kikatiti (phase I)
2002     Number of orphans increases from 15 to 40
2003 Support for two day care centres
Cooperation with Joyce Sagala’s Arumeru Women’s Support Group
2005 Registration of the NGO in Tanzania
2006 Expansion of the board
2007 Support for 30 Maasai primary schools
2008 Support for the Imbaseni water project
2009 Review of strategy and cooperation with Good Hope
2010 Start construction on Ngorika house and school (phase II)
2011 Inauguration of Ngorika primary school
2012 Start of vegetable gardens and sport fields
2013 Projects transition to African management
2014 Cooperation with secondary schools (phase III)
2015 Name change into Happy Watoto, Tanzanian homes & schools
2016 Next generation, two-headed new leadership, 
2017 CBF certification
2018 new head of Ngorika school
2019 strong female NGO board in place

News from Tanzania

Summer update

The holiday season has arrived! Time to provide you with an update on the ins and outs of Happy Watoto. In this newsletter you can read more about the latest developments at Happy Watoto;...
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In Memoriam

Jan Priester November 5th, 2021 - April 6th, 2021 Jan Priester was treasurer of the Happy Watoto foundation in the period 2006-2015. We remember him as being very energetic and enthusiastic. Together...
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