Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021

by Ikirwa School Project
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021
Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children in 2021

Dear supporters,

 As I write this, Ikirwa students and staff are enjoying a well-deserved mid-year break.  In the face of the pandemic our student body has continued to grow and thrive, reaching 180 children, 70 of them boarders. Our students continue to work hard on their studies and are making tremendous progress.Their dedication and hard work never ceases to humble me. The results they deliver in-spite of the daily challenges that seem to come from every corner, are nothing short of amazing.Your continued support of the students and their academic success is truly appreciated by both us and their families. Your continued contributions open doors and opportunities that they, our children, would not have otherwise had. 

This year has been a crazy one to say the least.  As the world begins to re-open, we keep in our hearts those comminities that continue to face losses and hardships brought on by the pandemic. We count our blessings because our staff and students have remained healthy and safe and, while nations closed their borders, Ikirwa staff and students built new partnerships and relationships with their peers from across the world using technology the school has thanks to our wonderful supporter network. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the globe, schools everywhere closed, sending teachers and administrators scrambling to figure out how to continue to educate their students from a distance. In the U.S., many of us were fortunate to be able to send Chromebooks and Ipads home with students, and though our classrooms looked different on Zoom and Google Meets, a new sense of school “normalcy” took hold after a few weeks. On the other side of the world in the village of Midawe in Tanzania, Ikirwa School experienced something different. When Ikirwa closed in April 2020, its students were sent home to small villages, many with little to no electricity, most without the support and resources needed to continue their learning. 

For the next five months, Ikirwa’s teachers worked tirelessly, committed to teaching their students without the benefits of modern technology. Teachers worked feverishly to create learning materials, review, correct and compliment students’ work, ensuring they continued to support their academic advancement despite COVID obstacles. Parents came to school weekly to pick up learning materials and return work that their children had completed; where parents were unable, staff made these trips. Staff maintained contact with all families, delivering weekly learning packets to those that couldnt collect them, ensuring that emotional support was offered and access to food was available as needed

To supplement the teachers’ efforts, a global network of Ikirwa supporters grew to raise funds and mobilize American students to work with their Tanzanian counterparts.  Lead by the Ikirwa School Project board director and veteran educator, Rose Hogan, they worked with the Academic Master day and night, with 7hr time difference to find ways to virtually support both teachers and students by:

  • Providing “Professional Development” and resources to the Academic Master and teachers.
  • Teaching students how to use and organize online classroom apps and materials for teaching and learning.
  • Introducing and teaching the staff how to use Jamboard and Google Docs, Forms, Slides and Classroom
  • Allowing the students and teachers to access and complete work/assignments from home
  • Researching old Tanzanian National Exams to build/create countless Google Forms in all subject areas
  • Supporting and reviewing material for the September 2020-2021 National Exam - Secondary School placement for Class 7
  • Adapting curriculum being used in classes in the U.S. to the Ikirwa context to bolster learning
  • Teaching students how to set up email accounts, as well as using the Internet to research topics

In addition, Rose brought these collaborative learning experiences to her classroom in the U.S.  Several 8th Grade English students from Pelham Middle School in New York, worked weekly through the spring of 2021 with peers at Ikirwa to teach them the basics of computer literacy. Bill Gates has once said, “The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.”  These Pelham  students brought this quote to life through their Eighth Grade Community Project, which included teaching Ikirwa students how to:

  • log onto Google
  • find and understand helpful key words/phrases for conducting Google searches  
  • find credible websites
  • paraphrase researched information 
  • develop a Google Slide presentation with information researched and found online 
  • confidently present their findings to 50 students and teachers from across the globe

The impact of this global collaboration was not only felt by the students of Ikirwa, who were proud of the work and skills they learned, but also had a tremendous impact on the middle school students in Pelham. They truly enjoyed and were grateful for the opportunity to see the world through a different lens.  They are now active members of a global community, with a new-found understanding and appreciation of other countries, cultures and contexts.

The professionalism exhibited by the teachers at Ikirwa and their desire to seek and accept global support to supplement the education of their students is a testament to their dedication and embracement of Ikirwa's global mission. Providing an exemplary education based not only from knowledge gleaned from books, but exploration, research, and partnerships with schools and organizations throughout the world continues to be our driving force.  What may not be as obvious is that the support of our global, grassroots community is not only the financial engine that makes Ikirwa possible, but also a shining example for our students of how an idea can bring together people from every corner of the planet, inspire continuous collaboration and go from being a dream to becoming reality. 

In the words of  Lois McMaster Bujold: "Some people grow into their dreams, instead of out of them."

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Mr. Mapigano brings learning outside
Mr. Mapigano brings learning outside

Jambo.

In January our new school year started and our students returned to the classroom eager to learn and grow.  Spring is always such a wonderful time of year.  We think of the flowers pushing their way through the dirt and soil and gaining strength as they grow and blossom.  It’s a perfect analogy to describe our students. 

The class seven students, who will be graduating in September, continue to excel in their studies and are continually challenged by their teachers. The younger students easily transitioned into their new classrooms and are extremely inquisitive.  Recently many teachers have chosen to bring their classrooms outdoors and take advantage of the wonderful weather and educate the students in a less restrictive environment.  Watching the children actively engage in their studies and participate in the discussions surrounding topics being taught is heartwarming. 

The success our students have is not solely dependent on a wonderful education, but the generosity and support of our donors.  Without your continued thoughtfulness many of our students would not have the opportunity to attend school.  Your continued donations are needed because the demand for a world class education is out pacing the ability of many of our families to financially pay their child’s education due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has affected the world.  Tanzania was especially impacted because of the lack of tourism which is the industry that many of our parents work in.  Without your continued monetary support many of our students will not be able to continue their education at Ikirwa School. 

 

Ahsante sana for everything. Stay safe and healthy.

Rose Hogan

Follow our adventures in learning on Facebook at Ikirwa School Project and on Instagram@ikirwa.school

Working together is so much fun.
Working together is so much fun.
Class 7 students working together
Class 7 students working together
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Mr. Kassian teaching science class
Mr. Kassian teaching science class

Dear Friends,

Our campus has been buzzing with activity since school reopened in July.  The students and staff resumed teaching and learning as if there had been no disruption.  We can not say enough about our incredible staff.  They are continually working to find new learning techniques for the students and at the same time to increase their knowledge of educational approaches and materials to strengthen the curriculum. A day does not go by when we are not approached by a parent, family member or director of a local orphanage asking for educational assistance for a child in their care.  It is with your continued support that we are able to offer these children an opportunity for a brighter future. 

October started off with our Class 7 students taking their national exams.  They could not have been better prepared for success and we are confident in their abilities.  It will be at least another month before we are notified of their exam results, but we continue to be hopeful knowing we did our best to prepare them and they did their best.  

Our younger students continue to excel in their classes.  We make sure daily that we are presenting their material with the goal of tapping into all of their different learning styles.  Many of the teachers spend time outside instructing the students and providing them with an atmosphere free of our structured four walls. As we are constantly reminded, learning does not just happen in the classroom, but occurs on the playing fields, in conversation with a peer or adult, or can be found when picking up a book for pleasure or for research purposes. 

Our staff is as diverse as our students in their interests. Some have a tremendous knowledge of history, while others are fascinated with science and math, and others incorporate their love of the arts into their curriculum; all allowing the students to explore their studies in an unconventional way.  We are lucky to have a staff that is so multifaceted!  

If you haven't had the opportunity to visit us yet we would love for you to come and volunteer and share your knowledge and expertise.  It is with your financial assistance and continued support of our endeavours that we continue to flourish.  We would love for you to follow our adventures in learning on Facebook at Ikirwa School Project or on Instagram@ikirwa.school.  We update each platform regularly with pictures and anecdotes of the students’ daily activities. 

Stay safe and healthy.  Ahsante sana for your continued support of our amazing students.

Ms. Stella sings a song
Ms. Stella sings a song
Mr. Jackson enjoys a song
Mr. Jackson enjoys a song
Class 6 students learn how to write emails.
Class 6 students learn how to write emails.
Mr. Mapigano enjoying some sports
Mr. Mapigano enjoying some sports
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Gasper bringing work to one of our students
Gasper bringing work to one of our students

Dear Friends

 

We are happy to report that our students have returned to school and are resuming their studies on campus.  We are overjoyed, to say the least, with the thought of our classrooms, once again, being filled with discussions, laughter and most importantly learning. The silence on campus for the past two months has been overwhelmingly sad.   

Our staff has done an incredible job of maintaining contact with all of our families to ensure that emotional supports were in place in case they were necessary and that learning continued throughout our Covid closure.  Parents came to school weekly to pick up learning materials and to return those that had been completed. For those families that were unable to make it to school, our staff brought the materials back and forth to them.  Our teachers worked feverishly to make sure they were corrected and comments were made to support the academic advancement of each student.  

The National Exams for our class 7 students will now take place in October and our class 4 students will take their exams in November. We will continue to make sure they receive the best education available and strive to make sure that they will again score in the top 1% in the nation.  We would be remiss if we didn’t mention our younger children. They are like sponges. They soak up all that they learn and in turn raise the bar on their education.  They badgered their parents daily about returning to school, begging for the constancy and structure of the classroom. It is with your continued support that we are able to continually create and supplement our curriculum to provide extraordinary educational experiences for our children.  

We continue to look forward to hosting your visits and sharing our classrooms and learning experiences with you.  Our Facebook page and Instagram are updated regularly so you can watch our achievements and adventures in learning.  

Stay safe and healthy.  Ahsante Sana for your continued support of our wonderful students.

Rose Hogan

Follow us on Facebook at Ikirwa School Project

Follow us on Instagram@ikirwa.school

Mr. Mapigano bringing work to one of our students
Mr. Mapigano bringing work to one of our students
Our supportive parent body exchanging school work
Our supportive parent body exchanging school work
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Returning volunteer with scholarship students
Returning volunteer with scholarship students

Greatings from Midawe dear Ikirwa School supporter,

Our year is off to a great start and the Tennessee Williams quote we borrowed for this report's title fits the mood on our campus. We are thrilled to share some of the LOVELY accomplishments of our students and staff.

An exciting new addition to our Ikirwa curriculum is RACHEL, an offline educational program that brings educational material and websites to rural schools in developing countries such as Tanzania. We were lucky enough to connect with World Possible, the maker and supplier of RACHEL, and they have been an incredible resource to us.

Of course, we also LOVE all of our volunteers and the contributions they have made. We have had many volunteers who have spent time with us and supported our learning and facilities. Most recently, Jerry spent countless hours working in our computer lab and providing our teachers with professional development opportunities regarding the use of RACHEL as an academic supplement in their classrooms.  He said it was wonderful to see the excitement and enthusiasm of the staff for the new educational resources and the opportunities to enhance their classrooms and learning.

When Jerry left we were lucky enough to welcome Eric, who generously sponsors 10 children. He spent the day with a large group of volunteers enjoying the classrooms, campus life and activities with our students and staff.  We LOVED having him back and  eagerly look forward to his next trip. This visit was especially notable because he was once again accompanied by a returning volunteer, Michelle, who has fallen in LOVE with our beautiful school and the vast plains of the Serengeti.

Not long after Eric and Michelle’s departure we warmly welcomed several visitors from Japan.  After enjoying many days on safari, they were awe-struck by the work being done in our classrooms and the bright, engaging students with whom they came in contact.  As you can tell, our reputation as a world class school seems to be spreading across the globe! 

In addition to rejoicing in our many visitors, we wanted to share the LOVELY progress that has been made on the construction of our new dining facility.  Layers of brick and cinder block continue to grow with each new donation. It is no longer just a foundation, but a true structure. This will include the academic office, assistant academic office and two additional classrooms, as well as a beautiful library and a storage area. The excitement on campus is palpable! The goal of feeding 200 students two nutritious meals a day, in a kitchen that will support our ever growing population, was just a dream at the start of 2019, but now as we enter 2020, that dream is coming true!

Most recently we LOVE that we were spotted on the Rooftop of Africa! At Ikirwa, the level of academic excellence is out of this world.  Just like climbing a mountain, learning takes a lot of stamina, hard work, dedication and practice.  We see these characteristics in all the good learners throughout our campus. We would LOVE for you to visit us and become a part of our special community.  Your continued generosity inspires the children, as they graduate, to aspire to be anything they want to be and in turn become role models for a generation of younger students. 

You continue to be an incredible influence on the lives of our children and for that we are eternally grateful.   In Swahili we would like to say NAKUPENDA.

Ahsante Sana for your continued contributions. 

 

Follow us on Facebook - Ikirwa School

Instagram@ikirwa.school

Dining Hall progress
Dining Hall progress
Jerry and Ikirwa flag on top of Uhuru peak
Jerry and Ikirwa flag on top of Uhuru peak
Students using RACHEL
Students using RACHEL
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Organization Information

Ikirwa School Project

Location: Juneau, AK - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Ikirwaschool
Project Leader:
Maria Skuratovskaya
Juneau, AK United States
$10,841 raised of $12,000 goal
 
114 donations
$1,159 to go
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