We are delighted to be able to report on the ongoing success of AfricAid’s Kisa Project, which with your support, provides life-changing training and mentoring for secondary school girls in Tanzania.
The most important event on the Kisa calendar is undoubtedly Career Day. Career Day brings together current Kisa Scholars, inspirational Tanzanian women leaders and a wide range of career professionals for a full-day career and leadership forum. The aim is to create a networking opportunity for scholars, give them access to individuals already well-established in careers that are of interest to them, allow them to hear from passionate and successful Tanzanian female role models, and to allow them to share their challenges and successes with their peers.
Career Day 2014, held in October, was a huge success! 430 enthusiastic current Kisa Scholars attended the event, along with a further 70-odd special and invited guests. Upon arrival, each girl was given a t-shirt (which are very highly valued by Scholars), a notebook, and a pen. Each of the three guest speakers was warmly welcomed, and their key messages about resilience, strength, courage and determination in the face of adversity were taken on board by scholars, who tell us that the day both inspired and motivated them to follow their dreams. Scholars later participated in small group sessions led by career professionals. They also had a lot of fun catching up with each other, and very enthusiastically enjoyed the performance of well-known Tanzanian entertainer and female activist Nakaaya Sumari. Quite a few girls took to the stage with her, perhaps indicating the success of the confidence-building component of Kisa!
When you support the Kisa Project, you allow us to hold incredibly beneficial special events like Career Day. We have seen the great benefits the event brings to scholars, and we thank all our donors very much for helping us to hold the event in 2014.
Eliakunda graduated from Enaboishu Secondary School in Northern Tanzania in 2013. She had been one of the most dedicated of our Kisa Program students, demonstrating creativity, commitment, and great aptitude. It was, therefore, not a difficult decision to make when she applied to AfricAid’s University Scholarship Fund for support to allow her to accept the place she had been offered at St Augustine University of Tanzania.
Eliakunda is the first in her family to go to university. She comes from a farming area on the lower slopes of Mt Meru in Northern Tanzania and her family are subsistence farmers, who often struggle to make ends meet. This was especially true after Eliakunda’s father passed away when she was a child. Her mother worked very hard, and with some additional outside help, was able to send her youngest daughter to secondary school. Supporting her to go to university, however, was going to prove too much of a stretch, even though this bright young woman had worked so hard to gain a place in the Bachelor of Arts (Sociology) program.
This is where the AfricAid Scholarship Fund can really make a difference to an individual’s future. Each year we accept applications from young women like Eliakunda for a partial scholarship. The amount awarded to each successful applicant is normally about $500 per year of study – the family raises the rest. The scholarship is paid directly to the university to partially cover the cost of tuition.
What is a relatively small amount of money has had a large impact on the course of a young woman’s life – a young woman who we have no doubt will be a great role model and inspiration to other young women who struggle for a brighter future. And the only reason AfricAid is able to do this is because of donors like you. We have only reached about 10% of our target so far, but we hope to reach it so that we can say ‘yes’ to more young women like Eliakunda. Thank you so much for helping us get there.
In 2010, AfricAid began a school lunch program for students attending a rural Tanzanian primary school, Losinoni. The children walk several miles a day to attend Losinoni Primary School where they find a daily hot lunch waiting for them through the AfricAid sponsored Losinoni lunch program. Sometimes this is the only nutritious meal they get that day. As you know, a hungry tummy can be very distracting and can cause a child to fall behind in class.
In 2013, AfricAid served 125,000 lunches to 559 students. Lunches consist of cooked maize and beans to keep children’s stomachs full so they can focus while in class. In 2004, only 23% of children from Losinoni moved on to secondary school. This percentage has increased to 85% in 2012 with the help of AfricAid’s lunch program.
The AfricAid Losinoni lunch program is supported in part by the jewelry the children’s mothers make that AfricAid sells in the US.