One of the biggest challenges that young women face in Tanzania is the lack of opportunity to attend university. Our University Scholarship Program is geared towards girls who graduate from our Kisa Program, AfricAid's leadership development program for secondary school scholars. AfricAid offers eight competivite scholarships for girls to attend university or vocational training colleges. This year, eight young women have been identified. The girls graduate in May and will start university or vocational training after their Leadership Immersion Experience in July 2014. Upon graduating from the Kisa Program, the girls join the Kisa Alumni Association which connects them to a network of accomplished Kisa leaders who are using their leadership skills to change their communities. University graduates can apply to join the Kisa Program as mentors and the cycle of empowering and developing new leaders continues.
Meet Husna, a soon to be graduate of secondary school in Tanzania. Husna wants to become a teacher at a secondary level of education. She believes in the impact education has on children and enjoys interacting with young people. Husna says that becoming a teacher would be a dream come true.
With graduation coming soon, our students are eager to attend teacher training classes to be the next leaders in education in their communities. Having gone through school in overcrowded classrooms with under qualified teachers who cannot give each student the time he or she deserves, these young women are determined to change the education system by becoming competent, passionate teachers in Tanzania. By supporting girls to become teachers you are not only helping one young woman but also her family, students and community. Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, says, "Seventy per cent of a woman's salary goes back into her family. If you want to tackle poverty, you help girls become women, get educated and employed."
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!
Teachers are one of the most influential factors in ensuring high-quality education in a school. AfricAid is passionate not just about providing ways for girls to have educational opportunities but for their experience in school to one of high quality. We have a vision of classrooms full of girls learning, growing and reaching their potential. And for this dream to become reality, we need trained and qualified teachers teaching in those classrooms.
We are so thankful for all of your support and generosity towards this project. Your donations to our Teacher Training Scholarships project are so powerful. Imagine what can happen when highly trained teachers fill the classrooms of Tanzanian, the impact will change the educational landscape of Tanzania.
Our current scholarship recipients continue to work hard at their studies and move closer to graduation and their dream of becoming teachers. We continue to receive more applications for teacher training scholarships and are hoping to raise more funds in order to fulfill this request and provide more women with the opportunity to receive training.
Teaching is not a highly valued or highly paid profession in Tanzania which makes your donation towards teacher training scholarships that much more impactful. Teachers are changemakers and your generosity and support enables these young women to become influential and inspiring leaders in their communities. Thank you for your donation towards this project.
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Interim Executive Director