Jun 18, 2012

June 2012 Tanzania Scholarship Program Report

Our students
Our students

Greetings friends and supporters of Project Wezesha,

Thank you so much for your generous support of our scholarship program to support students attending secondary school in Western Tanzania. We have some exciting updates to share about the program!

First, as we announced in March, four of our girls graduated last October. Now, Silvesia, Hindu, Edina and Khadija are starting classes at the Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA). The girls are going to board on site, which is safer and ensures that they can remain focused on their educational and career goals. The decision to continue our support beyond secondary school was reached through discussions with the students about the 'reality' of secondary school in the villages. The percentage of students who graduate secondary school with scores high enough to earn them admission to high school is below 10%. We don't want the last day of secondary school to be the last day of formal education for our students, so we decided to continue supporting them, if they so desire, through additional professional training so that they can support their families in the future. So far, they have all been enthusiastic about continuing their education.

Another exciting announcement is that Project Wezesha has its first intern! The bright, motivated Katy Lindquist of Colby College in Maine traveled to Tanzania in May. She was greeted at the airport by Lucas and has settled in with our friends Jane and Ashahadu in the village of Mgaraganza. Katy and Lucas have already done amazing, important work to reshape our scholarship program. They have been working with the village leaders to create a Scholarship Committee charged with reviewing applications and selecting new recipients. In addition, a new application process is being put in place so that the students are invested in the process and have an increased sense of responsibility for their learning and their spot in the program. Previously, the selection was primarily need-based, but now we are asking the students to demonstrate their commitment.

We also want to highlight the recent contribution of first year medical students at the University of Texas at Austin. With the guidance of their mentor, Dr. Oakes, these students pulled together several fundraising efforts to raise $15,000 for Project Wezesha - most of which will fund the building of Amahoro Secondary School, but a large portion of which will help us grow our scholarship program and support the girls at VETA.

Speaking of growing our scholarship program, the new Scholarship Committee will be put to work this very summer as we add 13 new students to our roster! Five of these new students will be supported by the Amani Hope Scholarship Fund - a new partnership that we announced in March. We are delighted to be able to add so many new students this year!

Please be sure to check in on our Facebook page and read the blog on our website. I'll be traveling to Kigoma on July 11th to join Katy and Lucas to continue our work. The pictures, videos and notes from the field will be flowing as much as the spotty electricity in town allows!

With much love and gratitude,
Asante sana!

Rai Farrelly and Lucas Lameck
co-founders, Project Wezesha

Scholarship Recipient - Amosi
Scholarship Recipient - Amosi
Scholarship Recipient - France
Scholarship Recipient - France

Links:

Jun 18, 2012

June 2012 Report on Amahoro Secondary School

Lucas helping clear the way for material transport
Lucas helping clear the way for material transport

Greetings friends and supporters of Project Wezesha,

Thank you so much for your kind and generous support of the project to provide a school for 1,000 children in Tanzania! Your contributions to this project are funding the 16 classroom Amahoro Secondary School, which will be the first ever for the village of Mgaraganza village and the other four villages in the district. We are excited about the outpouring of support in recent months and feel confident that we will be able to reach our goal of completing this school by the summer of 2013.

Some of the obstacles to progress this past year were the unavoidable rainy seasons that take away approximately 6 working months per year and an unfortunate accident that resulted in the breaking of our General Contractor, Isaya's hand. Fortunately, Isaya has healed nicely and is back to work with his crew. Now that funds are streaming back through the project, thanks to the help of you and other fabulous supporters, the building is rolling out as we speak!

On Friday, June 15th, we hosted our 2nd Annual Raise the Roof fundraiser in Salt Lake City, UT. It was a fun event with live music, a silent auction and raffle. On our website, you can read more about the local supporters and musical talent, without whom this event would not have happened. The event raised $3,500 - which goes a long way for our project! Big thanks to all the volunteers who made the night a success!

We also want to acknowledge the amazing support of the first year medical students at the University of Texas at Austin. Together, with their mentor, Dr. Oakes they raised $15,000 for Project Wezesha!

Finally, we are excited about the wedding of Shelmina and Minaz. Shelmina was raised in Tanzania and Minaz was raised in Uganda. They have been living in the US for many years now and wanted to give back to their home countries. They're starting in Tanzania by asking their friends and family to donate to this project in lieu of gifts for their upcoming July wedding! So far, the impact has been tremendous and Shelmina and I believe we may be building another school together sooner than later!

Please stay tuned as I venture to Kigoma, Tanzania on July 11th to track progress, have meetings with the villagers and local government and of course - take many pictures and videos of the project in action! You'll be able to watch your dollars at work by checking our Facebook page and website over the summer months.

We are sincerely grateful for all your support and the trust you place in us to carry your donation to its final destination > Amahoro Secondary School!

With love and gratitude,
Asante sana!

Rai Farrelly and Lucas Lameck
co-founders, Project Wezesha

The villagers and laborers transporting bricks
The villagers and laborers transporting bricks
Lovely Cambriah Heaton singing at Raise the Roof
Lovely Cambriah Heaton singing at Raise the Roof
Lucas hard at work
Lucas hard at work
The new walls going up - roofs coming soon!
The new walls going up - roofs coming soon!

Links:

Apr 16, 2012

April 2012 Girls Ed Pakistan Project Update

Dear Girls Ed Pakistan Project Supporters,

I am happy to report that our 30 students continue to progress in their academic pursuits; thanks to you!  With your continued support, we fully expect to see each of them successfully through to the completion of her studies.

The benefits of an education for girls in Pakistan is immense and we continue to receive requests to sponsor additional students.  As funding comes in, we will do our best to reach more and more girls bringing to their communities hope for a better future.

Thank you again!

 
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