Educate Children in Western Tanzania

by Girls Education International
Ezra is ready for High School!
Ezra is ready for High School!

Dear Project Wezesha Supporters,

Happy Autumn to all of you! The leaves are turning in their brilliance here in Vermont, but back in Tanzania, rainy season is upon them - which means everything gets so lush and green!

Students are getting ready for their end-of-year examinations. Let's just say there are some stressed students in our midst! These exams play a significant role in the lives of students in Tanzania - determining for some whether they will be able to attend secondary school, determining for others if they will continue to study at the secondary level, and determining for yet another cohort whether they will move from secondary school into high school. The stakes are high!

But in the spirit of Autumn, we'd like to celebrate that for which we are grateful. Lucas recently spent time traveling around and visiting some of our current students and their teachers to see how everyone is doing. Here are some highlights.

Ezekial shared his story with us. He said that he was born in 1997. He attended Mungonya Primary School in Kiganza, Tanzania and finished in 2012. He began secondary school in 2013 with the help of Project Wezesha and this year, he is completing Form 4. He is one of our high school hopefuls who will take the exam this month. We will get his results in December and find out if we can support him as he pursues studies through Form 5 and 6. Ezekial wants to be a doctor. He says that in Tanzania, many people die due to a shortage of doctors in the region. He wants to fill that gap and we want to help him do so!

Ezra also shared some thoughts with us. First, he says he thanks God because he was blessed to have a father who cares about him and education. When Ezra was young, he didn't like studying. But his father gave him advice and highlighted the example of a cousin who did very well in school. With this cousin as a role model and his father as his mentor, Ezra studied with renewed enthusiasm. After his standard 4 exams, he was ranked second in his class. He was motivated to become the top in his class, so he studied even harder. Throughout the remaining years in primary school, Ezra was ranked first in his class. It was this ranking that landed him a spot in our scholarship program. He did so well on his O-level exams that he was sent to a boarding school in another region, where he studies Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. His dream is to become a doctor - with a rather specific focus on kidney problems. We love his focus and determination! He also takes his exit exams this month and we see a bright future in higher education ahead!

George, like Ezra, was inpsired by a parent - but in this case, his mother. George saw how hard life was in the village and he saw how hard his mom worked to provide for him and his siblings. She encouraged him to study. He studied hard throughout primary school and succeeded in the exams to get into secondary school. His ranking as top of his class caught our attention. Life continued to be difficult for George through secondary school, however, because he had to walk a long distance. He later decided to move closer to the school - where he had to cook and care for himself. Fortunately for George, he did excel in secondary school - scoring high in Division 2 on his Form 2 exams. We expect an equally high result on his Form 4 exams in his track: Physics, Chemistry and Biology. George would like to be an Engineer, specializing in the Oil and Gas industry, and we're proud of him for having tenacity and vision!

As students graduate from our program, space opens for new students to join us. Lucas and our friend, Madaga - an amazing local educator - have started to visit local primary schools to scout for new students to join our program. They have created an assessment tool to do some initial screening. Once we get exam results from these recent Standard 7 graduates, we'll be able to announce who is joining us. The photos of the young girls below are the faces of some of our potential new students. Join us in sending them hope as we await their results. We'll soon let you know who will join us in January!

Asante Sana for all of your support. Please know that our work continues as long as there are children in need of education ... i.e., forever! ... or for as long as we have the capacity to do so. As you know, we can't do this without donors who are willing to contribute to the cause. Now that secondary school fees have been waived by the president, we can focus on the critical costs of keeping students in boarding schools, buying text books, and funding support classes between terms.

Please share the work we do with friends and family (click the sharing buttons below) and of course, chip in when you can (click 'Give Now'). Let us know if you'd like to know more about how you can help.

With gratitude,

Rai Farrelly & Lucas Lameck
Co-Founders, Project Wezesha

George - a future Engineer!
George - a future Engineer!
Prospective Students from Mungonya Primary
Prospective Students from Mungonya Primary
Prospective Students from Mkongoro Primary
Prospective Students from Mkongoro Primary
Prospective Students from Kangongo Seco
Prospective Students from Kangongo Seco
Lucas on Mt. Mansfield
Lucas on Mt. Mansfield

Greetings Project Wezesha Supporters,

It's heating up for summer in most parts of the world! Even here in Vermont, where I've been based since August 2016, the days are hot and the nights - not much cooler. And guess who's getting to experience our heat firsthand?? The one and only Lucas Lameck!

After planning for years and then finally making the push for his US tourist Visa this past January, his dream to visit has become a reality! At the end of his trip, we'll make a video in which he'll share first hand what his impressions are and how this trip will impact his ongoing work with Project Wezesha. For now, he's enjoying: hiking in the Green Mountains; participation in an English language class with college students from Mongolia, Japan and Thailand; playing 'pick-up' soccer each evening with a bunch of young men from Somalia; sampling the variety of foods this land of farmers and immigrants has to offer; and, marveling over the "good roads and nice environment". In this picture, he's 'flapping his wings' on top of Mount Mansfield.

Back in Tanzania, our scholarship students, current and former, continue to make their way through life - each on his or her unique path. 

At Kagongo Secondary School, Simoni’s headmaster said that he is doing exceptionally well and all his teachers enjoy having him in class. His grades across the curriculum are impressive to all. He is still at the top of his class. Currently he is a Form 4 student so he will be taking his exit exams in the fall and we hope that he will do well enough to be selected for high school.

Mahamudu and Hassani are also doing very well. The head master believes that both of these young men will also perform well enough on their exams this fall to earn a spot in high school.

Ezekiel, George and Rahma are also doing very well. They studied together at the same primary school and were selected as students at the top of their class after Standard 7. Lucas visited Bitale Secondary School to visit with George and Ezekial, and to speak with the head master of their school. Both of them are doing really well. Rahma is studying in Mwanza at a day school; she lives with relatives and is doing well in school.

Have you ever wanted a financial obligation? It seems like a strange thing to wish for, but we're really hoping to have the chance to pay for high school for all of these youngsters! Keep them in mind as they round the bend in Form 4. The national exams after Form 4 really do shape their future in a big way.

I'm working with Lucas on his trip this summer to plan for more informative interviews to really share, "in deep" as he would say, what the students are experiencing during and after their studies.

One of our former students, France is living and working in Morogoro running his own small business. He invests in crops - buying food products when prices are low, then selling them when the prices go up. His secondary education gave him the extra boost he needed to effectively calculate profit and loss margins and make wise business decisions that benefit him as an investor.

Hindu and Khadija continue their jobs in Oman. They are both enjoying their host families and their jobs. Neither of them speaks Arabic well, but they have started to learn because most people they interact with don’t speak English, and naturally, don’t speak Swahili. Hindu has also reported feeling some discrimination at times, but she stays quite positive and is grateful for the money that she is earning and sending home to support her mom. She and Khadija are also saving money so that when they return to Tanzania in the coming years, they can open a small business together in Kigoma town. They both continue to send me frequent text and voice messages on What’s App, which include pictures, videos, and lots of love!

As of recently, social media is reaching more of our students. When I started working in Tanzania in 2008, no one I knew in the villages had a cell phone. A few folks in town had old-school Nokia phones. Now, almost everyone has a basic phone, and more and more people have smart phones. If you can afford to buy credit, you have 3G access - even in remote villages. Not surprisingly, it's really changing communication and human interaction in huge ways.

For me, it's a bonus because I have closer contact with some of our students - even from across the world. Diana, Tumsifu, Dibeit, and Hindu use Facebook. Khadija and Hindu love What's App! Through social media platforms, I'm able to get stories from them, share ideas and pictures from home, and just keep the relationships alive. They also stay connected to others that they've met over the years - friends from the US who have traveled with me or visited as interns: Hadley, Tamrika, Katy, Krista, Carter, John, Dagny, Marte, Laetitia, Amy, and others. It's these connections - as much as the education and the financial support - that contributes to the work we do. For us, these young people are friends and our support of them is personal. 

Thank you for all of your support and for believing that we can make a difference, even if our reach seems small (i.e., we're not the United Way or CARE) - it's a reach in the right direction and it does matter!

Sincerely and with gratitude,

Rai Farrelly & Lucas Lameck
Co-founders, Project Wezesha

Hindu greets Lucas on What
Hindu greets Lucas on What's App
Messages with Khadija
Messages with Khadija
Facebook Message from Tumsifu
Facebook Message from Tumsifu
Dibeit Shares my Pic of Lucas in Central Park
Dibeit Shares my Pic of Lucas in Central Park
Chatting with Hindu
Chatting with Hindu
Rahma - Form 4 Student in Mwanza, Tanzania
Rahma - Form 4 Student in Mwanza, Tanzania

Dear Project Wezesha Supporters,

We're at the half way mark of a new school year and are eager to share some updates on the students you've been helping to support. Your donations have covered the expenses of school fees, text books, and after school tutoring support. These updates are based on a report compiled by Lucas after many calls and personal visits with teachers, headmasters, parents and students.

As each year passes, our student numbers ebb and flow due to graduation and new enrollment - and unfortunatly, also due to dips in retention. These dips are often the result of failures on national examinations. Students take examinations after Form 2 and Form 4. If they fail Form 2 examinations, they have the option to repeat Form 2. If they fail Form 4 examinations, they can repeat, quit school all together, or opt for vocational training in a career center. With that information in mind, here are some updates on our current cohort of students.

One of our Form 4 students, Albert passed his Form 4 examinations and has been accepted to start high school (Form 5) this summer! We are thrilled about this news and are looking forward to see what he chooses to focus on for his Form 5 and 6 studies. Another of our Form 4 students, Shabani didn't pass his examinations, but he did well enough to enter VETA for vocational training. Lucas is currently working with him to identify a potential focus for career training. It will be his choice if he continues and what path he chooses. 

Two of our Form two students, Sango and Amina did well on their Form 2 examinations and will continue on to Form 3. These young girls are excited by the challenge to keep studying at a secondary level. We continue to support them with additional study support outside of their regular class time as we've come to learn it's key to success for students attending village schools.

We also have six students - Simoni, Mahamudu, Rahma, Ezekial, George and Hassani who are moving on to Form 4 at Kagongo and Bitale Secondary Schools this year. They have really dedicated themselves to their studies and we are proud that they have made it this far. Each of them is doing very well - in particular Ezekial, George, and Simoni. Simoni is one of our top performing students - always at the top of his class - and will hopefully follow in the footsteps of Dibeit, Saidi, Tumsifu and Albert - to go on to High School!

In our boarding schools, we have three students entering Form 4 - Waridi and Ezra. They are both doing very well because, as Lucas says, all students in the boarding schools do well. Placement into secondary school is determined by the government. Placement into boarding schools is based on high performances on secondary school entrance exams. In many ways - for a young Tanzanian - this is winning the lottery. The schools are well equpped, the teachers are dedicated and well prepared, and the fact they live on campus increases their focus and chance for academic success.

Sadly, there were students who failed the national examinations and made the choice not to continue studying (not to repeat a school year and try again). Lucas felt great pain in reporting those updates and even delayed his report because he didn't want to share bad news. We have to believe that we didn't fail them, but rather that the system failed them - a system in which students who barely speak English are required to switch gears in the middle of their educational experience and start learning all subject matter in English. It's a broken system and one that I wish I had the power to overhaul. In time, I believe the government of Tanzania will find a solution - whether that be starting English earlier or continuing education in both Swahili and English at the secondary level. Nonetheless, for now - it's not working and the inability of our students to complete their education is one price that is paid. So, we wish them well on their journeys and hope that the time they did have in school gave them an opportunity to expand their knowledge base and build a relationship with education that will serve them for life. Best of luck to Oliva, Samiru, Mussa, and Mariam.

To make sure we end on a positive note, let us not lose track of Dibeit, Tumsifu, and Saidi who continue to study hard in Form 5 at their respective boarding high schools in Dar Es Salaam and Arusha. Ismael continues to study at VETA to become a mechanic and driver - he will be completing his studies and entering the workforce this year! Hindu and Khadija are reunited in Oman. They are both working there and living with host families. They make a montly salary equivalent to their families' annual income and they send most of their earnings home to support their loved ones, while exploring a new land, language, and culture together! They send us messages regularly on What's App and Facebook so we can see how they're doing. All signs point to happy!

Thank you for all of your continued support. You may never actually experience the return on your investment, but trust me when I say that our students certainly do! They are very grateful for the opportunities that we have collectively afforded them and not one penny has gone to waste!

Please consider continuing to support our program so that we can make sure that we can cover the continue costs of high school, vocational training, and tutoring for our students.

Thank you for everything! Asante sana.

With gratitude,
Rai Farrelly & Luca Lameck
Co-founders of Project Wezesha

George - Form 4 Student at Bitale Secondary School
George - Form 4 Student at Bitale Secondary School

Greetings Project Wezesha Supporters! We wanted to write and send warm wishes for the holidays, and what better way to share a little warmth than with a warm fuzzy letter from one of our students to all of you!

Ismail joined our program years ago! He was among the first scholarship students that Project Wezesha admitted into the program. After secondary school, Ismail didn't score high enough on the national examinations to go to high school, but he had the option of our continued support through vocational school. Since then, he has been immersed in his studies to become a mechanic and driver, which will open many doors to him in the Kigoma region, and well beyond! But without further ado, these are his words to you!

My name is Ismail. I’m living at Kiganza, Tanzania. I was born on May 12, 1990 in Kiganza, Kigoma. I’m living with one parent - only Mother. My Father was died the year 1998. The time when Father was died, he was remain with seven children and I’m a fourth child born. I was starting primary school the year of 2000, and I finished the year of 2006 for that year, I was fail the Examination and I repeated primary school at Kagina primary school in 2008. I passed the Examination and I was so happy for that time.

Then I joined secondary school Form One at Kagongo Secondary. It was 2009 up to 2012 - I finished form four. I was happy because Project Wezesha was supporting me to cover all cost from form one up to form four at Kagongo Secondary School, under Sister Rai and Brother Lucas - Thanks for all.

After Secondary, I was continue to study to join (VETA) - the means of VETA is VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINIG AUTHORITY.   I was taking Motor Vehicle Mechenics, under the cost of Project Wezesha, between the year of 2014 up to 2015 and I’m continual to train even now. At the year of 2015, I had a Debe of 300,000 Tanzanian shilings. This is the cost of fees per year for my course. Also I have a challenge, because I like after this grade I need to continual grade three, up to grade four. I’m still sending my request for Project Wezesha (PW) to continue to supporting me up to the end of my study - not only me, but also and other people.

For myself I’m attaching so many thanks for Project Wezesha and all peoples or any Organizations who is supporting Project Wezesha to supporting me from begin up to now, because without Project Wezesha it was difficult for me to be here right now.

So I don’t have more to say, but I can say thanks, thanks, thanks a lot and God blessing you and Project Wezesha. Also I wishing you to continue to help other poor people like me because there is some people they need to get Education but they don’t have any supporter to supporting.




So, along with Ismail, let us extend our deepest gratutide for your support. Know, as always, that your contributions to Project Wezesha go straight to the cause. We're a small organization and you can always trust that when you donate to our programs, the money goes to one of 3 places:

  1. The schools (school fees)
  2. Local shops (for textbooks and supplies as needed for our students)
  3. Lucas's Salary (his annual salary is $3,000 - and boy do I wish it could be more! Half is paid by Project Wezesha and half by Girls Education International. By local standards, he's doing well, but on his salary, Lucas supports his family - paying school fees, covering medical expenses, buying food, clothing, and basic housing needs. He's a good man, that Lucas!).

So, if you're still thinking of ways to give for the holidays - consider a donation to Project Wezesha in honor of a loved one. GlobalGiving will let you choose to send either an eCard or print a real card to send with love. Or perhaps you would like to make an end-of-year contribution. In any case, thank you for your support thus far and again, Happy Holidays! Smile, spread kindness and let's hope for a brighter world in 2016!


Rai Farrelly
Co-Founder, Project Wezesha
Executive Director, Girls Education International

Some of our Students
Some of our Students

Dear Project Wezesha Supporters,

I've said it before and I'll say it again - talking to Lucas Lameck always puts the biggest smile on my face. Lucas is the heart and soul of Project Wezesha. Today, he updated me about some of our students in the scholarship program - students that you help support!

Here are some of the highlights:

Kiza and Hajira are rounding the bend in secondary school. This month, they will sit for their Form 4 Exit Exams. These exams are difficult and stressful and let's be honest, most students are not well-prepared in village schools to take a national standardized exam. But we think Kiza and Hajira will do their best and lay out some nice options for themselves. If they do well, they have the choice to go on to high school. If they don't pass, they can let us know what next steps they wish to take - and we'll try our best to support them!

For some of our students who didn't pass secondary exit exams, that next step was vocational school. This past year, our former student Diana graduated a program offered through the Vocational Education Training Authority (VETA). Now, using her newly developed clerical skills, she is working in Mwanga market as a secretary. Lucas told me today that she is so happy because she is making money for her family, who still lives in Kiganza village. 

Amosi, one of our bright young students from Kiganza village also finished secondary school. He has since taken a job as a teacher in a nursery school (pre-school) in Tabora! We're so excited that one of our graduates is a school teacher, and can only imagine what an impact he's having on these cute little learners!

Several of our other scholarship students are still studying in Form 2 or 3, and a few of them are staying at the top of their class in their respective schools, including: Simoni, Ezra, George, Ezekial, and Rahma.

In December, I'll be travling to Tanzania again. When I'm there, I'm hoping to meet with Saidi in Arusha and Tumsifu in Dar es Salaam to see how our first high schoolers are doing! I'll also check in with Dibeit by phone (but by all accounts on Facebook, he seems to be doing well!). I have to say, knowing them from the time they were 10 and 11 years old in a village without electricity to now being their friends on Facebook while they live in cities and go to high school - well, it's pretty incredible!

In 2008, when we started supporting students by paying school fees and mentoring them on their options, we figured we would help a handful of students. Thanks to your support, we've helped dozens and we hope to continue!

Please consider sharing this project through Twitter and Facebook (share buttons below!) and encourage friends to chip in. Funds pay school fees, buy textbooks, and pay for additional support (tutoring) between semesters to make sure they are coming in on level for the next term.

Asante Sana for your contributions! Stay tuned from some 'notes from the field' in January!


Rai Farrelly
Co-Founder, Project Wezesha

Diana and Rai
Diana and Rai

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Organization Information

Girls Education International

Location: Boulder, CO - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Raichle Farrelly
Co-Founder, Project Wezesha; Treasurer, Girls Education International
Lakewood, CO United States
$21,028 raised of $35,000 goal
166 donations
$13,972 to go
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