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Educate 20 Vulnerable Tanzanian Children

by Ikirwa School Project
Educate 20 Vulnerable  Tanzanian Children
Educate 20 Vulnerable  Tanzanian Children
Educate 20 Vulnerable  Tanzanian Children
Educate 20 Vulnerable  Tanzanian Children
Educate 20 Vulnerable  Tanzanian Children
Educate 20 Vulnerable  Tanzanian Children
Educate 20 Vulnerable  Tanzanian Children
Educate 20 Vulnerable  Tanzanian Children
Educate 20 Vulnerable  Tanzanian Children
Educate 20 Vulnerable  Tanzanian Children
Educate 20 Vulnerable  Tanzanian Children
Educate 20 Vulnerable  Tanzanian Children
Educate 20 Vulnerable  Tanzanian Children
Educate 20 Vulnerable  Tanzanian Children
Educate 20 Vulnerable  Tanzanian Children
Educate 20 Vulnerable  Tanzanian Children
Thank you from the graduates
Thank you from the graduates

Greetings from Midawe, our dearest Ikirwa School Project supporters As you read this, Ikirwa students are busy with !their final exams while the staff are wrapping up another hectic but successful year, our 7th in operation. With it we bring the end to this 2018-2019 Ikirwa Scholar fundraising campaign, before we turn our attention to 2020 next week. 

Later this week, all across the USA, people will sit at their tables surrounded by family and friends and remember things they are thankful for. As children, our students receive the gifts of love and care from their parents, knowledge from their teachers and support from our global community. What they can give back, even at their young age is gratitude.  At Ikirwa, giving thanks is a daily practice. Every day we thank the community of our Global Giving supporters who for the past four years have given twenty of our students a chance to receive excellent education in a nurturing environment and disrupt the cycle of poverty that has confined their families for generations.

In our last newsletter we shared with you the joy of seen our first born class graduate. Then in mid-October came the results of national exams. Our kids ranked 3rd out of 40 schools in Arusha, 7th out of 322 school in the region and 89th out of 7102 schools nationally. We couldn't be more proud of them and also relieved. Relived that the first serious test has we faced has demonstrated that we are living up to our mission of delivering world class education in a place where that is not an option for most.

We are happy to see that the first four graduates from the Ikirwa Scholars program will be going on to top secondary schools in January. Next year, their place will be taken by four other deserving children, whos education, we hope, you will continue to support. As for us, we will continue to strive to give them the good education and open their minds to the world of possibilities. 

 

Thank you for your continued support.

Asante Sana

Thanks to you these girls stayed in school
Thanks to you these girls stayed in school
Ikirwa Scholar for 7 years
Ikirwa Scholar for 7 years
Asante Sana!
Asante Sana!
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Graduates and guests of honor
Graduates and guests of honor

Dear Ikirwa School Project supporter,

Greetings from the foothills of Mt. Meru, where just 24 hours ago, in a ceremony attended by 350 people, including the MP for Arumeru District as a guest of honor, we have handed out diplomas to the first Ikirwa Primary School graduates. Among them, were 4 students who could not have attended this school and reached this milestone without the help of our donor community. In liew of the formal report here is a speech that I have prepared for this momentous occasion. Thank you from the bottom of our heart. 

 

Dear students, parents, teachers, staff and distinguished guests,

Welcome, and thank you for joining us on this very special day. I am very sorry that I can’t be here in person, but my heart and mind are with you right now.

In January of 2012 we opened this school with a very simple goal – to give our students a world-class education and teach them not to be afraid of having big dreams. Our graduates today are roof that our goal is not out of reach. Graduates, most of you, were here when we first opened our doors, and if you heard this speech then, you probably wouldn’t have understood any of it. Today you are confident young women and men, who know what it means to have a goal and how to work hard to achieve it. Among you are future doctors, engineers, pilots, accountants and entrepreneurs. You are the future leaders of this nation and the of the world. You make us very proud. So what advice could I give you as you, our first born, leave Ikirwa.

First - never stop learning. Education doesn’t stop when you get your diploma. It doesn’t stop after you finish college or university either. You’re not going to get very far in life based on what you already know. You’re going to advance in life by what you’re going to learn after you leave here. Wisdom acquisition is a moral duty. It’s not just something you do to advance in life. It’s a moral duty because it’s only through continuous learning that we can add to the vast knowledge of mankind. If we stopped learning, progress in all industries—computers, finance, engineering, biology, stops as well. 

Second – be kind. Never forget that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing.  The effect that you have on others is the most valuable currency there is. A mentor once told me – it’s people who will lift you to the top.

Third – work hard. But don’t do things just for the money. If you didn’t get the money, then you wouldn’t have anything. But if you do work that you’re proud of and don’t get the money, then at
least you’ll have your work. Everything material you gain in life – money, power, possessions - will go away, and all that will be left of you is what was in your heart and what you shared with others.

Fourth - you must have some kind of vision for your life, even if you don’t know the plan. You have to have a direction in which you choose to go. That direction may change, but you always must have one even if it’s anchored to an audacious dream. That dream will be your guiding light as you make mistakes and build yourself back up from the inevitable failures. Never give up on it.

And finally - failure is inevitable, so accept it and learn from it. Failure is part of life, it’s part of every career, and you have to know how to take advantage of it.  So learn from your mistakes and use them as a building block to your next success. It is the hard days, the days that challenge you to our very core that will determine who you are. And I hope you’ll make mistakes because it means you’re out there doing something, and making the world more interesting for your having existed.

To sum it up: work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.

So, as you begin on this journey of a lifetime, don’t forget what you have learned within these walls:

Don't ever forget that you’re a citizen of this world, and there are things you can do to lift the human spirit, things that are easy, things that are free, things that you can do every day: civility, respect, kindness, character. You’re too good for taking joy in misfortune of others, you’re too good for gossip, you’re too good for intolerance and you’re too good to think people who disagree with you are your enemy.

Don’t ever forget that a small group of thoughtful people can change the world. It’s the only thing that ever has.

Don’t forget the motto of your alma mater, Ikirwa School:

What you think you create
What you feel you attract
What you imagine you become.

 

SIncerely,

Masha Skuratovskaya

Our valedictorian
Our valedictorian
Family, friends and schoolmates in attendance
Family, friends and schoolmates in attendance
Friends for life
Friends for life
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Ikirwa Scholar class of 2022
Ikirwa Scholar class of 2022

Dear supporters,

 

As I write this, Ikirwa students and staff are enjoying a well-deserved mid-year break. Their dedication and hard work never seize 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.

This year, climate change continued to disrupt our daily commutes with deluges and flooded roads. There were many days when day students had to walk the last up-hill kilometer to school because the road became impassible. Teachers and older boys helped carry the little ones.

Yet there were plenty of joyful moments even in the hardest of days. All students finally got uniforms dsiplaying the school logo. A sponsor's gift allowed one girl and one boy to share their birthday with their whole class, as well as a (first for many) birthday cake. The kids agreed that they could eat cake every day, but birthday hats can choke you. 

Each milestone Ikirwa School advances to, is an unchartered territory for us, its founders. Because we could not have found ourselves here without the support of our grassroots donor community, we have the responsibility to remain accountable for the results and failures of this experimental journey to build something different. Which is why it means so much to receive validation that years of effort do bring the results we hope to achieve and that our mission is carrying us forward. At the end of March, our 7th graders took a trial exam. When results came out, Ikriwa School students took the first 10 spots out 228 kids tested. It is wonderful to see that the first 2 places went to our girls. An equally wonderful to see that three out of ten are our very first Ikirwa Scholars. 

With so many conversations taking place in the Western world about what we must do to raise resilient children, I am reminded of a quote by Steve Maraboli :

Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient”

As I watch our first class get ready to leave the school and go off into the big world full of dangers and possibilities, I am confident that these kids have what it takes to carry out the mission of Ikirwa School, as should you, our dear supporters, for your investment has born fruit beyond our wildest dreams. What you imagine you become.

Birthday kids (note the quote on the blackboard)
Birthday kids (note the quote on the blackboard)
Exam Results
Exam Results
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7th Grade Boarding Students
7th Grade Boarding Students

Greetings from Ikirwa School!

As I write this report, our students have finished off their first month of school and completed first round of monthly tests. It is hard to believe that on January 7th we have begun our seventh school year in operation. This year holds two very important milestones for us. In January we have opened the doors of our first ever dormitory and in September we will be graduating our first primary school class.

Co-founder of the Ikirwa School Project, Gasper Mbise, likes to call out graduating 7th graders our "first born" and it is certainly true that we have watched these kids grow and develop as our school grew and developed. This graduating class will be the test, and we are sure, the proof of a vision we had when we founded Ikirwa School - to deliver world class education to the underserved corner of East Africa. We will watch eagerly to see how these girls and boys progress in their academic careers, armed with the tools to succeed acquired in our classrooms.

Among those students will be three Ikirwa Scholars who's studies you have so generously help fund over the past 3 years.  Based on our conversations, their studies will take them to careers in accounting, engineering and medicine. Meanwhile, their places in the Scholars program will be taken by three equally deserving kids. Other Scholars are continuing to make us proud as well. The top results on the national exam for the 4th graders belonged to a girl who has been part of the program since 2016. 

Thank you for your continued support of our small, but very important endeavor. Your generosity is truly life-changing and we appreciate each and every one of you. 

 

Asante Sana,

Masha Skuratovskaya, on behalf of the board and staff of the Ikirwa School and Ikirwa School Project

 

4th graders after taking National Exams
4th graders after taking National Exams
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Ikirwa Scholars at lunch
Ikirwa Scholars at lunch

Greetings from the foothills of Mt. Meru

 

As I write this, students and staff of Ikirwa school are working hard to wrap up our fifth year in operation. Older students are sitting for the national exams, while construction crews are racing to complete the building of our first dormitory. It is a busy and exciting time of year and everyone is looking forward to the Christmas break, which will begin in two weeks.

Ikirwa scholars, who's tuition you have so generously sponsored have had another great year. Their academic achievements have been excellent, but what is far more impressive is the continuting transformation of these children from shy and reserved to confident, energetic and curious students. Their photos say it all - these children smile unprompted.

Shortly after this letter reaches you, those of us in the United States will be joining our friends and family at the Thanksgiving table and taking stock of things we are truly greatful for. At Ikirwa School gratitude is something that we practice daily, because so much of what we are able to do comes from the kindness of others. We are grateful for the beautiful natural setting of our campus, for neighbours and the Midawe community who help us build and get through tough seasons, for our dedicated teachers and staff who nurture and develop the young minds entrusted to us, for supportive parents who are always ready to contribute their time and efforts. Most of all, we are greatful for the support of the donors like yourselves. Without your lasting contributions we would not be able to carry our mission to those that need it the most, such as these twenty girls and boys who would not have a chance to receive a good education and an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and have a better life then thair parents. 

From the bottom of our hearts we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 

Thank you,

Staff and Volunteers of Ikirwa School Project 

Nature studies class observing celestial bodies
Nature studies class observing celestial bodies
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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

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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