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07.2019 - 

Client: Sports Development Aid Tanzania, Mayanga Secondary School
Location: Mtwara, Tanzania

Duration: July 2019 - ongoing

Mayanga Secondary School is one of Sports Development Aid’s ‘Empowered Girls Speak Out’ schools. Many of the girls walk over 8km to school from the neighbouring villages, which causes them to be late for lessons, experience sexual harassment, or miss school altogether. At exam time girls sleep on the classroom floor, which is uncomfortable and overcrowded and they don’t have any facilities. While teachers take some girls into their own houses, this is not a sustainable solution and most miss o. In 2015 no girls graduated from the school.

In 2017, SDA and Mayanga Secondary organised a school stay for the examination period and girls began to graduate (in 2017 26 girls and in 2018 10 girls graduated). This showed that accommodating girls at the school will not only protect them from harassment and abuse but will also improve their academic performance. Since August 2019, SDA has been collaborating with a team of design professionals and the girls at Mayanga to design an innovative and affordable dormitory building, which costs the same as a standard government dormitory while also providing communal spaces, passive design features and a matron room.

Resource efficiency and reduced build cost are central to the dormitory design while offering the girls at Mayanga an inspiring and futureproof living environment. The two-storey design reduces the building footprint from a traditional dormitory by 43%, minimising the area of expensive foundation and roof elements while enabling services to be stacked. Double aspect rooms offer natural ventilation and provide a cooler indoor climate, allowing the girls to study indoors during the day and encouraging the use of bednets at night. Custom-designed bunks provide personal storage and privacy. A matron room enables a member of staff to sleep on site and the communal area on each level offers a safe space for the girls to unwind and socialise in the evenings.


We are currently seeking financial backing to make the dormitory a reality! The money will be used to provide a dormitory building of the highest standard to accomodate 80 girls and a matron. We have a Tanzanian contractor on board ready to begin construction in 2020 and a local team willing to oversee the project.


Mayanga Dormitory is a collaboration between: Otis Sloan Brittain (Architect), Hannah Wood (Architect), Katharina Manecke (Architect), Adrian Stranzenbach (Structural Engineer), Florian Seigel (Architect) Joyce Said (Architectural Assistant)

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