2010-2021: A Decade of Impact

KIWOCE (Kilimahewa Women’s and Orphan’s Center for Education), also referred to as Kilimahewa, began as a group of mamas from a subsistence farming community, who came together to find a way for their children – unable to attend formal schools – to keep learning. These women and their children gathered each day under a tree on the property of their leader, (Mama) Grace Lyimo.

From under the tree, instruction moved into a small two-room turquoise building on the property where volunteers (local and foreign) taught the children English and math.  In 2010, KIWOCE’s future changed radically when three of these volunteers joined forces to make it a focal point of their newly-created 501-c3 non-profit, EdPowerment.

Beginning with a major Water Project and basic school supplies, EdPowerment's support enabled  KIWOCE/Kilimahewa to become a vibrant Open School and educational outreach to the many left behind by the formal system.  For 11 years, EdPowerment closely partnered with Kilimahewa's teaching staff to activate critical thinking, nurture positive behaviors and build the foundations through which vulnerable students could achieve futures no longer limited by their backgrounds.

As of 2021, the school's property owner changed the Open School to a private, formal school, the Kilimahewa Modern Secondary School. This change resulted in the completion of EdPowerment's role at KIWOCE. However, our investment in KIWOCE's infrastructure and teaching tools continue to serve the School's students.  The following outlines EdPowerment's programs and investment that impacted thousands of lives over our 11 year partnership, 2010 - 2021.

Secondary School Equivalency Program569
Computer/IT Skills Courses:213
THRIVE Post Secondary/High School Skills Course:107
Teen Clubs1,010
Pre-Form 1 Course:1,032
Community Outreach276
Summer Enrichment Camps602
Outreach Seminars for Secondary Students1596

Secondary School Equivalency Program


Computer/IT Skills Courses:


THRIVE Post Secondary/High School Skills Course:


Teen Clubs


Pre-Form 1 Course:


Community Outreach


Summer Enrichment Camps


Outreach Seminars for Secondary Students




A group of people sitting around in chairs.
A classroom full of students sitting at desks.
A white house with a large roof and a balcony.

The Kilimahewa Water Project

Blessed by a quick and successful bore hole drilling in 2011, the Kilimahewa Water Project, providing water for two 20,000 liter tanks, anchored development of the Center.  In 2016, solar refurbishment was undertaken to provide a more economical delivery system.

A woman in traditional clothing is smiling for the camera.
A truck is driving down the road with a pile of dirt.
A man is using a hose to fill up a hole.
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The Hostel Project:

In January 2019, KIWOCE opened doors to a lovely second-floor girls’ hostel above one of its classroom buildings. In the past, distance and security concerns prevented many young women from attending the Center. A generous grant from the T&J Meyer Family Foundation and targeted support from EdPowerment accomplished this life-changing project. 

Other Key Projects

  • Clean, energy efficient and well-equipped classrooms with Internet Access. Desks, tables and chairs have been provided over 10 years to accommodate KIWOCE’s growing student enrollment.
  • Furnishings and reading materials for a Community Library including texts, review books, novels, newspapers and other reading materials in English and Kiswahili. The goal: to support and open learning for ALL.
  • A spacious kitchen and silo to prepare meals in an environmentally safe way and allow for optimum bulk purchases of beans and maize.
  • Three beautiful outdoor “study huts” with built-in seating for extended classes and informal tutoring and socializing
  • An environmentally clean incinerator, especially needed for waste from the Girls Hostel completed in 2019
  • A recreational field (to be reconstructed in 2021 because of other construction now in progress at the Center)
  • Outside handwashing stations for hygiene, funded during the COVID break.

Funded by EdPowerment, KIWOCE's teaching and administrative staff collaborated with our educators to employ active classroom teaching strategies, online educational tools and websites, and individualized attention that achieved student success in each of the following for 10 years:

    • A Secondary School Equivalency Course (Tanzanian's QT/Private Candidate Program)
    • IT, Computer Training and Short Courses (powered by a 2015 Rotary Global Grant secured by EdPowerment)
    • A Saturday Boys & Girls Club that provided sports, games, life skills and entrepreneural coaching by local leaders.
    • Agricultural Projects including an animal coop funded by an EdPowerment donor.
    • Pre-Form One and Five Courses
    • THRIVE Skills Program for Form 4 and 6 graduates.
    • The summer Kilimahewa Enrichment one-week camp open to all community teens,  staffed by KIWOCE and EdPowerment volunteers.

Through EdPowerment, KIWOCE was supported by the following organizations: