Summer is ending and school is starting for many here in America and that means starting new classes, meeting new peers and also new teachers. Some of us learn who are teachers will be days before classes start or many weeks before. The relationships we develop with our teachers are truly unique. Everyone finds some teachers that truly inspire them and they make us want to work hard, think in new ways, and truly apply ourselves to our studies.
Teachers ask questions and encourage us to think creatively. They help us grow and prosper and prepare us to become successful individuals for life. In Tanzania, much of the teaching is based on rote memorization and standardized tests. In some schools this is still the case. Creativity is not taught nor encouraged.
At AfricAid, we believe that increasing the availabily and accessibility of education also includes making sure that what is available and accessible is quality. Having effective teachers makes for effective learning. The TIA program strives to reach teachers in Tanzania and spread this way of teaching and thinking. Hopefully, the children in Tanzania can find and connect with a teacher the way we so fondly remember that one teacher, or mwalimu, we once had!
The founder of AfricAid, Ashley Shuyler, recently visited Tanzania and came back with some great insight for AfricAid's work and its future, particularly the future of Tanzanian girls aspiring to gain more education.
Upon her return she shared her impressions and thoughts...
"The most inspiring moment of the trip for me was visiting the remote home of Prisca Lesakire, a young Maasai woman who was one of AfricAid’s first 10 scholarship recipients. She was the first girl in her village to go to high school, and she has now become the first woman teacher from her community. As a result of her education, Prisca is not only teaching math and science classes to hundreds of students, but she is serving as a powerful role model in her home community. As she has built a permanent home for her parents and sent her own two daughters to school, her entire village has seen just how valuable educating girls can be. Her father even allows her to eat together with the men, a sign of the deep respect Prisca has earned. The ripple effects of Prisca’s education are evident.
During my time with Prisca, I could see that AfricAid’s mission is more critical now than it ever has been before. The challenges that young women face in Tanzania are extraordinary – by the time they are teenagers, they are struggling in the face of having to live on $2 per day or less, of arranged marriages, the spread of HIV/AIDS – all with little hope for a brighter future. Indeed, 95% of girls don’t even have the chance to go to high school in Tanzania, leaving them little opportunity to have a voice in their future."
Sponsorship’s for these girls is life changing and your support is pivotal for this dramatic change in their lives. It is amazing how some things we take for granted, education, when for others it is such a privilege. Prisca is one of many that AfricAid has had the opportunity to help and as the next class of scholars enters our program we only hope to share these life-changing possibilities with more young Tanzanian women.
AfricAid's Life Changing Training is offering a world of opportunities to Tanzanian girls. Here is just one such situation:
Margaret Melkiori is an example of one of our Kisa Scholars. She is an extraordinary young Tanzanian woman who became orphaned at the age of 5, after her parents died from AIDS. She has had to face and overcome many challenges, and her education has only been made possible through the support, training, and mentorship she is receiving as a Kisa Scholar. Based on her impressive leadership and academic skills, Margaret was chosen last year to attend a Youth Leadership Exchange Program in the United States sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania, one of only a handful of girls selected for this honor in all of Tanzania. She is an outstanding example of the "girl effect" through her active participation and leadership in her community, and evidence that, given the opportunity, educated woman will change the lives of future generations in Tanzania.
It is truly thank you to YOU that Margaret and other girls like her are having the chance to attend school, change their own futures, their families’ futures and their communities’ futures.
Thank you! And enjoy your last few weeks of summer vacation!