It’s hard to believe its October already! We at AfricAid have again begun to receive scholarship applications from Kisa graduates, and are expecting about 50 applications this year. This reflects the gradual growth in the reach of the Kisa Project and the growing number of Kisa Alumni.
Applications will close at the end of the month, and the Kisa Project Manager (Arusha Region) will go through each application and prepare a report on the graduate and her application for the Tanzanian Board. The Board will make the final decision, but the recommendations of Kisa Project Manager, who knows each applicant individually, including her personal financial situation and how she performed as a Kisa Scholar, are invaluable. The Board then has the unenviable task of deciding how the available funds will be distributed.
Even when a Scholar only receives a scholarship to partially cover her tuition costs, it can mean the difference between her going, and not going. One of last year’s scholarship recipients is a young woman called Maria. Maria is enrolled in a Bachelor of Law degree at Tumaini University, Makumira. She says that studying law isn’t difficult, but there’s a lot of work and it’s very tiring! She’s especially interested in subjects dealing with child rights, saying ‘it’s easy to apply to what goes on in the real world here in Tanzania. It was very interesting to learn about FGM when we were studying about children’s rights and the Law of the Child’.
Mary says that when she finishes her studies she plans to open a law firm, ‘so that whenever a woman has a problem about her rights I will give free advice. People don’t know about their rights here and I think things would be very different if they knew. They will become fearless; they will be stronger and more determined. I would like to see greater equality for women’.
We look forward to be able to offer scholarships to other bright, motivated young women and would like to say a very big thank you to all our Global Giving donors for making this possible!
AfricAid staff undertake regular site visits to Losinoni Primary School, where we administer a school lunch program, as well as receiving written project reports from the school administration. AfricAid has been supporting Losinoni since 2004 and has implemented a number of successful initiatives at this rural primary school, which serves local Maasai communities. We’re delighted to be able to share some of the highlights of the latest report from the school with our Global Giving supporters.
Losinoni currently has 557 students enrolled. A new primary school opened in the area a short time ago, and is closer to the homes of some of the students, who have since transferred there.
Since the introduction of the school lunch program at Losinoni, the Principal reports that school attendance has increased, student concentration levels have increased, and there is more active classroom participation. This has meant that student performance in the national Standard Seven Examinations (the last year of Primary School) has continued to rise. In 2004, when AfricAid commenced working with Losinoni, only 23% of Losinoni students passed the exam; in 2014 this number was 87%! We’re absolutely delighted with this result, and look forward to it growing further. By way of comparison, the national pass rate for 2014 was 57%.
All of this is made possible because of support from people like you! We’re extremely grateful for the support we receive from our generous Global Giving donors.
Thanks to the School Lunch Program, there is even enough energy for a game of netball at lunchtime!
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.