2015 Update from Tanzania

Thank you so much for supporting our recent program expansion to include girls in Tanzania! Through our partnership with Project Wezesha (www.projectwezesha.org), we are now supporting a group of young women in secondary school in western Tanzania.

The girls were honored to be selected in the summer of 2013 and were so excited when they received the items they needed to embark on their new school year. For some of them, that included mattresses! That’s right – a few of our girls did so well on their secondary entrance exams that they were selected by the government to attend boarding schools in various regions of the country. For the girls who stayed nearby, they were given other required (and perhaps unexpected) items – such as buckets, brushes, and hoes. Yes, that’s right – part of the civic engagement of being a student is taking care of your school grounds. (See the pictures of the girls with their swag.)

After the first 6 months, the girls had a varied set of reports to share with us. Some reports were a bit disheartening, as can be the case when we check in. Studies are challenging because books are scarce. Subject matter is difficult to learn because classes are taught in English (and they speak Swahili). But, through interviews with the girls this past summer, we did hear from them that they know, without question, that education is the ‘way forward’. They recounted the value of education to help them make their society better. They noted the importance of education to help their family with health related situations. They shared their ideas about how with education, they can do more to improve their lives. They also expressed that they are very happy and grateful to be going to school every day.

In December, Board Member Rai Farrelly visited the students in Tanzania. They were all smiles and giggles. Since November they have been receiving after school tutoring support in groups, receiving supplemental instruction in certain subjects to add to what they’re learning in school. For the girls, this has been instrumental for increased understanding of difficult subjects, such as chemistry, biology, and English. Their teachers are recent graduates from Project Wezesha’s scholarship program.

Thank you so much for your support! Because of you, these girls are in school as members of an academic community – trying (hard as it may be) to reach their educational goals and make their lives better!