How did the idea for SCHULBANK come about?
We probably asked ourselves the same questions as many others with the intention of helping. Which projects support the development of societies and which even prevent it? With what attitude does one offer one’s support and resources so that genuine solidarity can develop with mutual respect?
Helping people to help themselves has always been practiced. But putting the educational level of society at the center of projects from elementary school onward is something we’ve only seen in the last ten to fifteen years. Only after Alexander and Frank Kösters visited the Episcopal partner parish of Münster, Iringa, to discuss the possible construction of a school with the church, it became clear how stereotypical the ideas of cooperation with Western donors have become in the meantime. It quickly became clear that infrastructure projects in the education sector could not be a sensible path for us and our understanding of sustainability in development support for a variety of reasons.
A three-month trip through Tanzania then not only brought us closer to the people, but also made it clear where the real educational problems lie. That they are not missing school buildings can be guessed. And the quality of education in Tanzania can often be found in private schools.
If you summarize the most important findings after a long and intensive research, you come directly to the concept of SCHULBANK:
Educational orientation (sustainability in its purest form)
– No infrastructure projects with high investment commitment and risk
+ Solidarity-based aid with a call for social responsibility
+ Minimize dependencies on partners
+ Use and promotion of existing educational facilities with quality
+ Creating equal opportunities and focusing resources (AIDS orphans).
= Scholarship program for orphans at quality educational institutions with the help of equal funding from home and abroad.
When and by whom was SCHULBANK founded?
15.07.2013 is the foundation day of SCHULBANK e.V. On this day, family members and friends of the Kösters family raised their fingers for the scholarship program.
Minutes of the founding meeting_Schulbank_eV
How often do you work in Iringa?
We try to visit our office in Iringa as well as the partner schools and our scholarship holders once a year.
We at SCHULBANK are probably like you.
We, too, were looking for answers to very central questions: What can we do at all to really help our fellow Africans? Who do we trust with our money and how much really ends up with people in the end? Which projects support developments and which prevent them?
Since 2013, we have been listening to Tanzanians and trying to understand their way of life and challenges. Equal opportunities for qualified education is the answer to many of our questions. With our scholarship program for orphans, we have found a niche for ourselves that could not be more sustainable.
All young people have the same opportunity for quality education in Tanzania.
We accompany and support motivated young people on their educational path until they start their careers. Schulbank sees itself as a network of schools, relatives and educational sponsors that lives up to its social responsibility towards the poorest in society.
SCHULBANK sees itself and organizes itself as a network of like-minded people who support successful education within the scope of their role. In addition to our employees, these include the educational sponsors, the schools and their teachers, relatives of the scholarship holders, orphanages, churches, social welfare offices, and many more. We call this solidarity help.
With this structure, we are flexible to cooperate with other development projects and to act as an “educational module” in e.g. To be involved in street children projects. We, the active people at SCHULBANK, are part of the network . We bring supporters and educational institutions to the table.
We focus on one topic. On our competencies, what we can do. We reflect on our work and constantly improve.
We are aware of our responsibility towards our scholarship holders and sponsors and develop the network carefully and only within the scope of our possibilities.
The approach of solidary help follows from the network idea. Promote and challenge. We demand the participation of those who bear responsibility for children in Tanzania: the state, schools, parents, religious communities. At the same time, we do not interfere in terms of content. Topics and methodology must be in Tanzanian hands.
SCHOOLBANK is a small group of 8 volunteers and 2 employees (Tanzania). The majority of the German team lives in Münsterland. Our Tanzanian colleagues live and work in the beautiful small town of Iringa in southern Tanzania.
SCHULBANK e.V. is registered as a non-profit association in Germany as well as in Tanzania.
At SCHULBANK, we have placed great emphasis on a high level of transparency in all areas of our work since our founding. Every inquiry about the use of funds can be answered and substantiated immediately for every scholarship and education sponsor.
Our budget does not yet allow for the cost of expensive seals of approval, such as one from DIZ, for example. However, we have joined Transparency International’s Transparent Civil Society initiative and have been publishing our annual reports since 2019.