AfricAid, Inc.

AfricAid is a nonprofit organization that supports girls' education in Africa in order to provide young women with the opportunity to transform their own lives and the futures of their communities.
Feb 24, 2015

Kisa Scholars Expand Their Skills

Unloading the Computers
Unloading the Computers

With the support of our Global Giving Donors, AfricAid were recently able to install another computer lab at one of our partner schools in Northern Tanzania. Although most of AfricAid’s Kisa Scholars have very little experience with computers, they are enthusiastic and quick learners, as we discovered with the recent installation.

Our most recent donations allowed us to buy a number of second-hand desktop computers from Computers 4 Africa. This organization sources computers from donors in developed countries who have machines they no longer need or want. The computers are fully refurbished and in very good condition. They are perfect for our needs and are excellently priced.

We received a delivery of C4A machines in early February and were met on-site at the recipient school by our IT technician Eddie. The girls had received word of the delivery and came to see the unloading and installation of the computers. Much to our delight, they asked Eddie and their IT teacher to show them how to set up and connect the machines, and then insisted in helping do just that. So in this report, we want to share a short video and a few photos of the process.

We are so grateful to all who donate to this project. Who knows, we might have a budding IT professional in our midst, which would be great news for an industry that is overwhelmingly dominated by males in Tanzania!

Many hands make light work...
Many hands make light work...
Learning what goes where
Learning what goes where
Enjoying the fruits of their labour
Enjoying the fruits of their labour

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Feb 4, 2015

New Kisa Scholars at Orkeeswa Secondary School

New Year 1 Kisa Scholars
New Year 1 Kisa Scholars

In mid-January AfricAid staff returned to work after a well-earned break, and 423 dedicated Kisa Scholars returned to their respective schools and resumed their Kisa leadership and life skills training.

One of the schools we partner with to deliver the Kisa Curriculum is Orkeeswa Secondary School, a unique rural school serving a mostly Maasai population. Orkeeswa students come from a community that is marginalized and impoverished, with very limited access to education.

The Kisa Curriculum is normally taught to girls in their final two years of secondary school – Forms 5 and 6, also known as Advanced Levels. But at schools like Orkeeswa, very few girls enjoy the kind of circumstances that allow them to make it that far. So in 2013 AfricAid decided to recruit Form 3 and 4 girls and teach the Kisa Curriculum to them. Just having made it to secondary school is a massive achievement and these girls are already considered potential community leaders. So teaching them leadership and life skills is very appropriate and is proving to be a great success.

The new school year for Forms 3 and 4 commenced in January and we have recently finished recruitment at Orkeeswa. 12 girls have just started Year 1; last year’s Year 1 girls (18 of them) have just started Year 2 of the program. Kisa Mentors Eligrania and Gladys have been delighted with the progress of the Scholars to date and are looking forward to the year ahead, as they watch the transformation of these young women, especially in terms of confidence and self-belief.

Reaching out to girls like those who attend Orkeeswa would not be possible without the generosity shown by our Global Giving donors. Again we say thank you very much. We hope that each donor gets as much satisfaction out the success of the Kisa Project and the achievements of Kisa Scholars as we do. Please keep giving – to date we have raised almost half of our Global Giving target of $75,000 to keep the Project going.

Year 2 Kisa Scholars at Orkeeswa
Year 2 Kisa Scholars at Orkeeswa
Learning How to be a Good Leader
Learning How to be a Good Leader
Mentor Eligrania
Mentor Eligrania
Mentor Gladys Discussing Presentation Skills
Mentor Gladys Discussing Presentation Skills

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Jan 29, 2015

How Do You Decide Who Is Most Worthy?

Maragaret is now studying Law
Maragaret is now studying Law

In November, AfricAid’s Tanzania Board of Trustees was faced with one of their more difficult annual tasks. Along with AfricAid staff, days were spent poring over applications from 26 very worthy Kisa graduates for the University Scholarship Fund, supporting graduates who are unable to enroll in university without assistance.

The total amount requested far exceeded the available funds. The problem was that every single applicant could make a compelling case for support. In a country where just 26% of women make it to the secondary school level, and only 3% to tertiary education, the fact that each girl had obtained a place at university was in itself an achievement against the odds.

After much discussion, the Board decided that there was no one application they could reject. Everyone would get something, but it wouldn’t be the amount originally applied for. Each applicant, with one exception, got about half of what they asked for – a small contribution towards their tuition fees. The rest of the cost of the tuition, and all living and other course-related costs would be raised by the student from elsewhere.

There was one particular student who stood out from the rest. Margaret had been one of the most dedicated Kisa Scholars our Mentors had worked with. She had even volunteered her time extensively to assist AfricAid staff with running the annual Career Day. She approached university with the same commitment, getting her application in early, carefully making sure she’d done as much as she possibly could to convince the Board to support her request, and following up with AfricAid staff to see how her application was progressing. Subsequently, Margaret has had the full cost of her tuition covered for the 2014-2015 university year. She is studying law at Tumaini University, Makumira.

26 Kisa graduates commenced or returned to university in October. They are studying things like education, sociology, law, business administration, finance and accounting and health sciences. They are changing the face of Tanzanian society. And it is, by and large, possible because of the generous support that is given by our GlobalGiving donors. Again we say a very big thank you on behalf of the inspiring young women who now have an opportunity to change their own lives, and the society in which they live. To date we have raised over $11,000 towards our target of $50,000.

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