As demand for AfricAid’s Kisa Project grows, we are gradually expanding the program to new Partner Schools. AfricAid recently signed MOUs with four schools in Kilimanjaro Region – Ashira Girls, Mwika, Mawenzi and Zakaria Secondary Schools – bringing our number of Partner Schools in the Region to eight and our total number of Partner Schools to 17. Kilimanjaro Region is known as an educational hub in Tanzania and girls from all over the country move there to study. We expect to continue to expand our reach in the Region over the coming years.
One of the important undertakings given by AfricAid in each MOU is the provision of a computer lab, normally consisting of ten desktop PCs, which will be accessible to the entire school body. This is a significant contribution seeing that most schools in Tanzania don’t have functioning computer labs for students. This leaves students at a distinct disadvantage, and, from the perspective of Kisa, also means that AfricAid Kisa Mentors are unable to teach several units of the Kisa Curriculum. AfricAid also agrees to maintain the labs it installs.
We are currently in the process of sourcing PCs for those schools that can provide a secure room and an electricity supply. And we’re very fortunate to again be receiving support from Computers4Africa, who supply very reasonably priced second-hand PCs. These machines are donated by people in industrialized countries and refurbished by C4A before being shipped to Africa.
At this time, we’re extremely grateful to all our Global Giving donors for your support. It is enabling us to provide each of our Partner Schools with a functioning lab that benefits hundreds of students. Your donation really does make a huge difference in the lives of secondary school students, many of whom will be using a computer for the first time. We hope to bring you photos of the new labs in our next report.
In 2013, 29 secondary school girls from Moringe Sokoine and Orkeeswa Secondary Schools joined the Kisa Project. Unsure about what the next two years of leadership and life-skills training held, but keen to learn, they embraced the opportunity. In May this year, 27 of those girls came together for the last time for the Leadership Immersion Final Meeting and Kisa Graduation Day.
Leadership Immersion is a Kisa practicum that allows Scholars to both hone their leadership skills, and ‘pay it forward’ by sharing some of what they have learnt with younger girls. They do this by teaching a number of lessons from the Kisa Curriculum to 15-20 girls in their home community, while also acting as a mentor to those same girls. At the end of the practicum Scholars meet with AfricAid staff to debrief, provide feedback, and celebrate the completion of their final Kisa milestone. Participants discuss interesting moments, new skills gained, and challenges they faced. Each Scholar also receives a Certificate of Completion of Kisa.
Among the key skills Scholars say they gained from the experience were: teaching skills; lesson preparation; and public speaking skills. Many Scholars also commented on how their confidence grew, and their communication skills improved. As part of recognizing Scholars’ achievements, prizes were awarded to those Scholars who had excelled at meeting the Leadership Immersion requirements. This includes demonstrating commitment and responsibility, and being pro-active in communicating with their Kisa Mentor.
On behalf of those graduating, Kisa Scholar Mary addressed those in attendance saying ‘I feel I lack words that can express how I feel being part of Kisa. AfricAid is the reason for who I am today. I thank everyone on behalf of other Kisa Scholars who are here.’
These girls will now join the Kisa Alumni Network, and Mentors at Moringe and Orkeeswa have a new group of 28 Year 1 Scholars, and 36 Scholars who have progressed to Year 2 of the program, to train, mentor, support and encourage.
The Kisa Project is delivering some amazing results, and we are truly grateful for the support we get from our Global Giving donors. Thank you for being part of the change!
Kisa Alumna Aikande studied at Makumira Secondary School, a semi-rural school located about 20km from Arusha City. She joined AfricAid’s Kisa Project in 2013 and says ‘I really enjoyed being part of Kisa … the Mentors helped us to recognize our inner potential and inspired us on how to succeed. I learned how to set goals and to never let anything draw me back’.
Now studying Finance and Accounting at Mzumbe University in Morogoro, Aikande is a great example of the kind of difference the Kisa Project, including the University Scholarship Program can make. She says she is really enjoying university and is extremely grateful for the support from AfricAid. She says that after finishing her degree she will take the Certified Public Accountant examinations in the hope of becoming an Auditor, but she also wants to involve herself in community work ‘that will touch and help other people’.
Aikande is just one of the amazing young women who benefit each year from AfricAid’s University Scholarship Program. Scholarships generally cover the cost of tuition only, with students raising the rest themselves, through friends and family. Your donation through Global Giving to the University Scholarship Program not only touches the lives of individual girls in Tanzania, it will ultimately help change the status of women in Tanzanian society.