Less than 1% of girls in Tanzania complete secondary school. Limited family resources, excessive domestic duties, early marriage and long, unsafe travel distances all mean that girls are the last family members chosen for schooling and the first to drop out. Rural Misungwi District on the southern shores of Lake Victoria is one of the poorest in the region around Mwanza, the country’s second-largest city, and ranks second to last academically. Milembe School will be the first government campus dedicated to girls in the District. As volunteers with the American NGO Africa Schoolhouse, Scattergood Design researched girls secondary schools throughout the region and prepared a master plan for a campus to accommodate 410 girls in six class levels.
Clustered dormitory units, an academic quadrangle and multi-purpose dining hall create a secure, empowering learning and living environment for girls and staff. Distinctive forms connect to the landscape and local culture, creating a strong sense of community. Rainwater catchment, composting latrines and solar-powered lighting, as well as local materials and construction teams, will ensure that the campus becomes a model for god quality, inexpensive and sustainable secondary schools.