Theresia in her classroom
In Tanzania, there is a saying, “Tushaonyesha njia. Sasa ni wakati wako kufuata.” We have shown you the path. Now it’s your turn. Last week, I had the inspiring opportunity to witness one AfricAid scholar as she began to walk down her own new, exciting path.
Theresia was the first girl in her village to go to secondary school, and she has been an AfricAid scholar since the early days of the organization. As a scholarship recipient, she was sponsored for four years of secondary school, and I got to know her as we exchanged letters during that time. (See a short video about what I learned from Theresia here: http://africaid.com/blog/?page_id=2392.)
Upon graduation, Theresia was forced into an arranged marriage as a third wife, and her future looked bleak – her husband did not want her to continue her schooling. When AfricAid offered support for further education, her brother and father advocated on her behalf, and her husband relented. Theresia is now studying to become a teacher.
I had the chance to visit Theresia during her teaching practicum, and I have seen just how much her education has opened up new doors – and new paths – for her. She stood in front of a classroom of 40 6th-grade students, teaching them about carbohydrates, proteins, and starches during the science period. The kids eagerly raised their hands, snapping their fingers – they each wanted to be the first one to answer her questions.
Theresia says that, unlike most teachers in Tanzania, she will not use corporal punishment. Instead, she has bought students pencils and small candies, hoping to encourage and inspire them to study hard. She is a natural teacher, and the female students in the class, in particular, looked with admiration toward her. When she graduates from teacher training college, she will become a rare, shining role model for the young girls in her village.
AfricAid is proud to support young women like Theresia. They are taking what they have been given and creating new paths in their own life. But more importantly, they are creating pathways for others after them.
Thank you for support of Theresia, and the many others like her here in Tanzania. Theresia thanks you as well, writing in a recent thank you letter to AfricAid, “I thank everybody who is supporting me in school. Please thank them very much and pass my sincere greetings to them!”
With much appreciation,