Submitted by Barrick Gold Corporation
November 19, 2007 - A six-year partnership between Barrick Gold Corporation and CARE International Tanzania has raised academic standards and improved the quality of education for thousands of children and youth living near the company's Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania.
In 2001, Barrick invested US$2 million to fund a long-term education program in the remote Kahama District, a region that was ranked as one of the poorest academic performers in Tanzania. Since then, primary school enrolment has increased by 75 per cent to over 7,000 children in 2007. According to a CARE evaluation of the program, significantly more children are now making the transition to high school, where enrolment has more than doubled, from approximately 800 students in 2001 to 1,885 today. This year, over 89 per cent of the students who completed primary school passed their final exams, up from just 16 per cent prior to implementation of the program.
"This has been one of CARE’s most successful programs in the country," said Nick Southern, Country Director, CARE International. "Thanks to Barrick's long-term investment in this region, we are able to support children from entry level through to high school. This is creating a strong foundation of learning that is a powerful tool against poverty in this region."
Historically, the region has suffered from a critical shortage of classrooms, inadequately trained teachers and a lack of basic learning materials. Overall quality of education in village primary schools was assessed as poor, compounded by low enrolment figures. Only three per cent of students were selected to make the transition to secondary school. According to a CARE evaluation of the project, today the transition rate to high school has reached 100 per cent at a number of area schools.
"We commend CARE International for the tremendous success of this education program in Kahama District," said Greg Wilkins, Barrick President and CEO. "This investment in learning has allowed Barrick to bring lasting benefits to local families and be part of a great success story."
CARE adopted a grassroots approach, working in collaboration with the Kahama District Education Department and in consultation with the Ministry of Education, community leaders and Barrick's community relations officers. Barrick built the first secondary school in Bugarama Ward and contributed to the construction of eight new primary schools, complete with teachers' houses and proper sanitary facilities. As a result, the total number of classrooms in the region increased from 28 to 93. Professional training was provided to motivate and support teachers. New text books, desks and other learning resources were donated by the company to address critical shortages.
Overall, CARE has documented a steady rise in academic standards and performance. At the primary level, Bugarama primary school was ranked 16 out of 11,000 schools nationwide. In addition, donations from Bulyanhulu mine employees and contractors have made it possible for 150 orphaned and economically disadvantaged youth to attend high school.
Barrick announced the results of the company's partnership with CARE in the inaugural edition of Beyond Borders, a new publication that highlights Barrick's programs and initiatives related to the environment, sustainable development, education and health. To request a copy of Beyond Borders, please send an e-mail to email@example.com or view the publication on-line at www.barrick.com/corporateresponsibility.
Barrick contributes to education and skills training programs at many of its operations around the world as part of the company's commitment to corporate social responsibility. In 2006, Barrick invested $3.1 million on scholarships for both employees' children and children living in these communities.
Barrick's vision is to be the world's best gold company by finding, acquiring, developing and producing quality reserves in a safe, profitable and socially responsible manner.
Barrick is the gold industry leader. Based in Toronto, the company operates mines and advanced exploration and development projects on four continents. Shares are traded on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol ABX.
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