Thriving in Tanzania: Oliva’s story

Oliva, a twenty-two-year-old woman living in Tanzania with her farmer husband, two young sons and an adopted niece and nephew, didn’t have the opportunity to go to school growing up - and was embarrassed that she couldn’t read, write or count.


Around 25 percent of Tanzanian girls and women over 15 years cannot read or write, with many families unable to afford school fees or uniforms. Now, as an adult, Oliva runs a kiosk and works as a farm labourer - but her business was losing money because she couldn’t add up. 


Then Oliva enrolled in Caritas Australia-supported literacy and numeracy classes. She also set up a classroom at home to teach her neighbours, for free, because they were too shy to attend larger classes. 

Oliva (right) teaches adults from her community inside her home in Tanzania. Photo credit: August Lucky

Oliva has now graduated, as have some of her students. Attendance at her classes is growing, her kiosk is thriving and she can help her children with their homework. She aims to become a pastor and run for leadership in the next local election.  

Oliva aspires to “Be More’ and wants to help her community to achieve its vision of a better life for all.  

“I am proud to be a teacher who helps others to achieve their dream,” Oliva says. 

Your support this Lent is lifesaving for people experiencing poverty. Please help more people like Oliva to access the education they need to transform their lives.

Along with your generous support, this program is supported by the Australian government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).