A typical dictionary definition would say that education is the process of acquiring general knowledge, developing reasoning and judgment, and skills for a profession. Besides a typical definition you will find in a dictionary, Soma International believes that liberation, prosperity, and hope are also what defines education.
Why do we add those words to our definition? Simple, Tanzania is a developing country. Here, it is not all about how education is defined in a dictionary, but also the feeling of what education can give us.
Education is a tool for liberation. A person who is educated can never stop learning and questioning the world around them. It gives a person more knowledge to think outside of their daily activities or to enhance what is taught by their elders. Education gives us the tools to recognize exactly what our own community needs in order to grow, develop, and be free. As our brave founder, Mohamed M, likes to say, “Today, many people in Africa are striving for economic liberation and the only way is through learning, adapting, and innovating. None of these can be achieved outside education. Most founding leaders of African countries were exposed to education and went on to liberate their countries from colonial rule.”
Prosperity means to grow as an individual, to become a better provider, leader, and to be inspired and to aspire. Being a provider means to become a provider for oneself, and also to our future generations. How many times has oneself learned how to do something that is tedious? Then, great minds and thinkers research pieces of literature that taught them how to cut that time in half. Inventors can create new inventions and ideas to share them with the world. That is a contribution of prosperity to education.
Education gives individuals hope, to learn and apply to community growth. With hope comes action to create a thriving community and a better lifestyle. Our way of feeling optimistic about what education is and what it provides, touches base with our values for Soma International. Here, our top values are authenticity, community, creativity, growth, knowledge, and leadership.
Without education, the meaning of education, and the feeling of what education gives us, we do not have the liberation to outgrow ourselves. We do not have the tools for a better lifestyle. We do not have a thriving community. We want our learning centers to help inspire and keep inspiring kids and adults to never stop thinking of what they can do to flourish.
“Maarifa hayana mipaka” – Knowledge is boundless
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Writer: M. Cecilia Silva Montoya
Editor: Mackenzie Hyde