Silverleaf Academy, Arusha, Tanzania

Silverleaf Academy is Tanzania’s first chain of affordable pre-primary and primary schools, educating children aged 4-14 years from low income families.

In Tanzania, low income families usually end up sending their children to government schools. Whilst the education in these is affordable, they suffer from low teacher to pupil rations (1:135), the curriculum that is taught is not designed to encourage curiosity and learning, and a large number of teachers in these schools are high school dropouts who do not receive proper and ongoing training.


Over the last 2.5 years since inception, Silverleaf have spent time in developing the education element of their model – looking at the curriculum, incorporating technology and other innovative learning methods, investing in teacher training, and establishing a relationship between parents/guardians and the school. Silverleaf Academy aims to address this, offering low income families access to good quality schooling that is affordable; they offer the option of making quarterly payments with the fees including a feeding programme, uniform and books.


The initial capital for Silverleaf came from its founders; they were subsequently awarded a 3-year grant from the Department for International Development. This is due to come to an end over the next 6 months, and the leadership team are working with impact investors on securing future funding and looking to scale their model in Tanzania. By January 2019, they hope to have 4 running schools, with the aim of running further 4 in 2020, and growing to 10 schools per year thereafter. They are currently trialling three models of school acquisition: where they take over an existing, low performing school on a lease model, with the aim of turning it over into one that is run based on Silverleaf’s model and culture; where they lease land and buildings, furnish these and establish them as Silverleaf schools; and where they undertake a full school asset purchase.


For more information, visit their website.

 Volunteer, Thomas with children at Silverleaf Academy