Potential Partner School Outreach
As mentioned in the March Report, Kisa is expanding to Moshi, Tanzania. So far, the Tanzanian staff has conducted meetings with five of the original eight schools we targeted to approach as potential partner schools, and an additional school which has been added to the list. These meetings were all incredibly positive. All six schools were enthusiastic about the mission of the Kisa Project, the potential benefits of Kisa for their students, and several administrators had heard positive feedback about AfricAid from colleagues. The mentors and staff in Arusha are extremely encouraged by the response to these meetings.
Most Kisa Scholars are competent in the most common form of technology in Tanzania - cell phones. Unfortunately, they are often not able to gain access to computers with basic word processing and web browsing programs. Almost all Kisa Scholars are A-Level students, and though A-Level studies are college preparatory years, applied technology training is not well-integrated into the curriculum. When Kisa Scholars reach university (90% of Kisa Scholars move onto university), they will be required to conduct research online, as well as submit all written work typewritten, using a word processing program.
This is why it is critical to incorporate computer literacy into the Kisa curriculum as we strive to give Kisa Scholars the tools to thrive in their academic lives. The schools with whom AfricAid has partnered with have also seen the value of computers, not only for the Kisa Scholars, but for all their students. Providing computers has historically been an important incentive when reaching out to new partner schools. The schools we have approached to partner with in Moshi almost all have existing computer labs, but all are eager to add additional computers and programs to improve their existing labs.
Both the AfricAid staff in Tanzania and the US are happy with the positive response received from potential Kisa partner schools. The Arusha staff will be meeting with the head masters again soon to finalize partnerships. We are so thrilled to be expanding to reach new girls and their communities.
AfricAid's life-skills and leadership program - the Kisa Project, was always meant to grow and expand; this year we are doing just that!
This year, we plan to add 4 new Kisa partner schools in Moshi, Tanzania, which is about one and a half hours from Arusha, our current base. In Year 2 of the expansion, with the support of our amazing Kisa Sponsors, we hope to addanother 4 schools. By the end of 2015, we would have a total of 8 schools in Moshi to compliment our current Kisa partner schools in Arusha and Monduli.
You may be wondering "why Moshi?" In Tanzania, the word Moshi is synonymous with education. The first formal schools in Tanzania were in Moshi and the Chagga people, native to the Moshi/Kilimanjaro area, historically place a high value on education. For this reason, many of the country's more prestigious secondary schools are in Moshi. This is despite the fact that Moshi is actually much smallerthan Arusha, the major urban center in Northern Tanzania (Moshi's population in the 2012 census was 190,000,vs Arusha, which had a population of ~1.2 million in the metropolitan area). Kisa is taught primarily in A-Level school, and because most A-Level schools are boarding schools, girls from all over Tanzania study in Moshi. It is truly a national center for education. By expanding Kisa to schools in Moshi, we have the opportunity to reach girls from every region and city in Tanzania, and we can achieve this by traveling less than 2 hours down the road.
AfricAid's expansion to Moshi will be led by one of our star Mentors, Devotha Mlay. Devotha joined AfricAid in September 2012 as a part time Project Manager of the WorldReader project at Upendo Primary School and became a Kisa Mentor in January 2013. She is an outstanding Mentor and has shown her leadership ability throughout her time with AfricAid. Her exceptional effort, along with her experience as an A-Level student in Moshi and her willingness to relocate to Moshi in order to lead the Kisa expansion effort there, make us confident that AfricAid is well placed to have a strong start in the region.
Join us in our excitement and help make this expansion possible!
Happy Holidays Kisa supporters! 2013 has been a wonderful year for AfricAid's Kisa Project. Let's take a look at what we have accomplished since Kisa began.
The first two Kisa classes have now graduated from secondary school.
The Kisa graduation rate was 94%, in a country in which only 5% of girls graduate from secondary school, and where each year of secondary school completed adds 20% to a girls’ eventual wages.
Since graduation, these first two classes if girls have mentored over 1,000 other young girls in their home communities, giving them critical lessons in life skills, leadership, and entrepreneurship, in a supportive community environment.
91% of our graduated Kisa scholars are going on to university or another form of post-secondary training, in a country in which less than 1% of women have any training/education post secondary school.
Currently, there are 250 Kisa Scholars enrolled in the program, with another 250 young women expected to join the Kisa Project in 2014.
None of this could have been possible without Kisa's amazing supporters!! Thank you all so very much and have a wonderful holiday season.
This past month, AfricAid's Kisa Scholars welcomed some very special guests - members of the She's the First team. She's the First is a nonprofit that works to sponsor girls' education in developing countries, giving girls the chance to become the first in their families to graduate from secondary school. As a part of this mission, they have supported and sponsored many of our Kisa Scholars, for which we are so grateful. This past month we had the opportunity to share our work with them in person as part of their visit to Tanzania!
When I was in high school, I remember very, very occasionally walking into class to find the ultimate surprise - guests. It might be former students, or one of the teacher's friends who just happened to stop by, but it always meant one thing: a shorter, more laid-back class in which none of us would get yelled at. I'd pull out a piece of notebook paper to write a note to a friend (in gel pen, of course, and then painstakingly folded into some intricate origami pattern), while others would start games of hangman or throw paper footballs. The downside, of course, was that whatever work we did manage to get done that day would have extra eyes upon it, especially if we had a presentation to do.
So when we visited with Kisa classes this week, all of this was playing through my head. I feel we owe both an asante* and a pole* to the Kisa mentors and students for letting us tag along and disturb their classes. Once there, we listened as the girls discussed status quo and their place in it, as another class presented their business plans ("Royal Chicken, where the chickens are fatter!"), and as they learned to fight back against negative stereotypes affecting women in Tanzania. Breaking into STEM fields was high on that discussion list, just as it is in the USA.
We also had opportunities to meet with our STF Scholars after classes were over, and learned more about their goals and dreams. Many of them were preparing for exams, so achieving Division I or II was highest on their list of priorities. They also talked about going to university, and many of them want to study law - a profession direly needed by people in the area, especially by women.
We weren't surprised to find them well-spoken and enthusiastic about joining the Kisa Project. Even the first-year students knew what it meant to be chosen for the program, and told us they were ready to be leaders among their peers and in their communities. We have no doubt they will be!
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!
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