On this spring break trip to Kitongo, on the south shores of Lake Victoria, students will partner with Mainsprings: The Janada L. Batchelor Foundation for Children, to learn about sustainable development. Mainsprings, which has the stated mission to end extreme rural poverty in Tanzania, focuses on education, refuge for young girls, and sustainable agriculture. Education is available for not only the 40 girls living at the campus, but it is also offered to regional students, who are taught in smaller class sizes than nearby government schools. DA students will learn from farmer educators about ecological agriculture on the multi-faceted on-site farm, with rows of perennial trees (e.g., banana, papaya, avocado) interspersed with short rows of annual plants (e.g., kale, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, onions, sweet potatoes, corn). Through immersion in the daily operations of Mainsprings (e.g., working in the dining hall, on the farm and with reading buddies) and attending seminars and working with Tanzanian students on projects, students will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of non-profit organizations.
Through these experiences, students will return to Deerfield with an increased understanding of environmental sustainability and educational approaches to effect lasting change. As a part of the trip, students will experience the Serengeti National park, learning about conservation, social justice, and regional approaches to land protection.