Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania

by Girls Education International
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Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Post-Secondary Education for Students in Tanzania
Lucas and Madaga in the STEM Lab
Lucas and Madaga in the STEM Lab

Dear Project Wezesha Supporters, 

Here we are about to start a new school year in many parts of the world. In Tanzania, however, secondary school students are wrapping up an academic year. And like every summer, they’re ending on a strong note thanks to the annual summer academic study camp that Project Wezesha offers.

In this 3-week intensive camp, 10 young women and 10 young men who study at Amahoro Secondary School came together to participate in our unique and rigorous study camp. They are divided into groups based on their year of study, and within those groups, they attend classes all morning. These small classes provide a boost to the learning that’s taken place throughout the year in all subjects, including Geography, Physics, Biology, History, and English. The teachers are motivated, invested, and professional! They make all the difference with the care and knowledge they provide.

Amahoro Secondary School is unique among village schools. Thanks to the generous support of many donors, the school has well-built and ample latrines, solar panels, copy machines, printers, electricity to charge laptops, and a state-of-the-art STEM lab. We're so thrilled to see the amazing science lab put to use at Amahoro Secondary School year round, and at camp (see picture of Madaga and Lucas in the lab).

We've been running these study camps for years now and the impact has been undeniable. Just consider who's entering their first year of university this coming fall - Study Camp veterans Lameck, Malicki, Elias and Yohana! We can recall years ago when they were Form 2 and Form 3 students, dreaming of completing secondary school. They attended study camps twice a year with enthusiasm and big dreams for their futures. Now they’ve successfully completed high school and performed well on their national exams. In November, they start university and join the ranks of the many young people Project Wezesha has supported through high school and university over the past decade! 

Study Camp has been the winning ticket! Students who attended study camp demonstrated a higher capacity for success in secondary and high school.  At camp, they establish a solid knowledge base for the core subjects, but they also learn to be self-motivated, autonomous learners. They learn about accountability, collaboration, study habits, peer instruction, and how to devise action plans that lead to attaining goals! 

In the camps, students spend the afternoons in peer study groups where they take turns reviewing what they learned, problem solving, and completing homework (see pictures of peer groups in action). They find out that collaborative learning is a win-win, and this aligns with the community spirit that is deeply rooted in their culture. Of course, the culture has its fair share of competition - as most do - but these learners really lean in and leverage one another, seeing one another’s success as shared success. 

And let's not forget food! At our camps, food is fuel for learning! The students eat well at breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are no hungry brains among them. We're so grateful to our camp cook, Mama Amina, who has been with us from the very beginning. The students love her; she loves the job; and everyone loves her food! (See pictures.)

Please help us continue the important work we do to elevate the impact of education in the communities we serve by making a generous donation today. All donations made now through December go directly toward covering the costs of university tuition for our line up of future doctors, surgeons, economists, urban planners, teachers, environmental scientists, and more! We literally cannot do this work without you.

Kindly share this report with the link to donate. Let your friends know why this matters to you and to these young people.

Thank you for your support thus far. Let’s keep going!

With gratitude,

Rai, Lucas, & Madaga
The Project Wezesha Team

Collaborative Learning at Camp
Collaborative Learning at Camp
Peer Instruction - Problem Solving
Peer Instruction - Problem Solving
Happy Campers
Happy Campers
Well Fed Learners are Good Learners
Well Fed Learners are Good Learners
Mama Amina - Camp Cook Extraordinaire
Mama Amina - Camp Cook Extraordinaire
Mama Amina Enjoying Lunch with the Students
Mama Amina Enjoying Lunch with the Students
Lameck starts university this Fall!
Lameck starts university this Fall!
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Saidi (center) with Dibeit and Hindu in 2009
Saidi (center) with Dibeit and Hindu in 2009

Greetings, Project Wezesha Supporters!

This summer, Project Wezesha celebrates 13 years as a small nonprofit working to support youth in the Kigoma Region of Tanzania. When we got started, one of our longtime friends from Kiganza village, Saidi was only about 11 years old. (See picture of  Saidi with Dibeit and Hindu in 2009.) He was still in primary school, but there was rarely a day that he didn't turn up at the guest house where Rai was staying and Lucas was working. 

Fast-forward many years later and Saidi has completed secondary school, high school, and university! He earned a degree in Economics with a focus on Financial Management and capacity building with local communities. Saidi is the son of subsistence farmers. Most of his life, his parents were working far from home at a farm they own. He was largely raised by his grandparents and as he got older, he and his siblings took over care of his aging grandparents. Knowing how difficult life for subsistence farming families can be, he has always been committed to pursuing a degree that would empower him, to empower his community. 

As soon as he had his degree, he found work consulting with communities - offering workshops and trainings on finance management, investing, banking, and more. Recently, Saidi offered a workshop to villagers in the Uvinza district in the south of the Kigoma Region. Topics of the sessions included methods for generating income, developing sustainable relationships through economic partnerships in the community, addressing climate change through enhanced farming practices, and establishing microfinance and marketing groups. The participating farmers had the opportunity to present ideas to one another to share and build upon existing local knowledge. Saidi was praised for the expertise he shared and the time he invested with this community. (The photos show Saidi and the villagers working together in the classroom and the field.)

Saidi is one of many students we have had the honor to support over the years. We are thrilled to see him mature into a young man giving back to his community with the new knowledge and skills he developed while earning his BA. We really couldn't be prouder!

In the coming months, we will have tuition bills for several students starting or returning to university in Fall 2022.  Lameck, Malicki, Elias, and Yohanna will start their first year. Simoni, Hamisi, and Mayani are continuing into Year 2. Our budget for the 2022-2023 academic year will be $10-15k. If our first year students get government support, their annual tuition will be approximately $1500 each. (Without government support, tuition is $2500 each. We'll find out about government support in September.)

Would you like to sponsor one of these young men? Perhaps a group of your friends will join together to raise $1500? 

Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for many communities in Western Tanzania! The ripple effect of supporting one student keeps going and going! Let's keep exploring what we can do together. 

Sincerely and with gratitude, 

Lucas, Madaga, and Rai
Team Project Wezesha

(Girls Education International is the fiscal agent for Project Wezesha.)

Participants at Finance Workshop
Participants at Finance Workshop
Saidi visits villages in Uvinza
Saidi visits villages in Uvinza
Visiting the Farms with Local Farmers
Visiting the Farms with Local Farmers
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Hamisi (middle) with two classmates
Hamisi (middle) with two classmates

Happy Holidays Project Wezesha Supporters!

We hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and enjoying peace at this time. The pandemic has given us all a lot to think about – and worry about. It has also given us opportunities to expand the ways in which we connect with one another locally and globally. My hope was to return to Tanzania this December to join students from Amahoro Secondary School during our academic study camp, but unfortunately, the uncertainty of Covid in Tanzania has made that impossible. Nonetheless, camp will go on! And in the meantime, Lucas and Madaga are sending updates weekly via What’s App. 

Celebrating Class of 2021

At the end of November, Amahoro Secondary School celebrated the graduation of Form Four students. They celebrated with dance, song, speeches, and food (see photos). There is so much pride among the teachers, students, and community members. We’ve come a long way since opening the school in January 2015!

December Study Camp

On Monday, December 13th a cohort of students from Amahoro Secondary School – 10 young women and 10 young men will begin attending study camp. Our longtime supporters are well aware of the success of our camps. The impact of attending a 3-week intensive camp twice a year has been remarkable! We saw a growth in the number of students passing national exams after their final year in secondary school. The ripple of effect of that has been more students attending high school, and ultimately university!

This year, we support a record number of students attending university. Project Wezesha is directly supporting 8 men and 3 women in university and college programs. We are also proud to partner with Girls Education International to support an additional 11 girls – 10 of whom just began at universities around the country in November. Having spent a lot of time in the villages where these students come from, I can attest that this is cause for celebration! These young individuals are among few from their remote communities to attend high school, let alone university. They are motivated and knew from the beginning that if given financial support, they could do the rest – and they have!

2022 Fundraising Goals 

Our fundraising goals for 2022 are set – our operational budget will be $17,750. It’s high because we’ve been successful, so we’re accepting this challenge with gratitude! Here’s the breakdown:

  • $1500 per student for university fees @ 10 students
  • $1250 in matching funds for a June Study Camp
  • $750 for Project Wezesha’s contribution to Lucas’ salary

We also have $700 remaining for our 2021 goal of $3,000 for Mayani and Hamisi’s university tuition. In the meantime, these young men have reported to their universities and started classes in November. So here, we'll share the story of Hamisi's launch into medical school.

Hamisi – Future Surgeon in the Making

Hamisi is studying to become a surgeon. He was motivated to do so by his own experience with illness as a young boy, and the failure of doctors to help him in the early stages of his disease. Now, Hamisi is enrolledat Kampala International University in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

According to Madaga, our Education Director, Hamisi has finally adjusted to the rigors of his program. He is enjoying life in Dar ss Salaam and has made many great friends to study and spend time with (see pictures). In some of his lectures, there are over 200 students from Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, and Rwanda. Their professors are from Nigeria, India, Cuba, Kenya and Tanzania. The university is finalizing construction on a hospital, which will serve the local community and be a site for medical student learning. Hamisi’s academic and career goals now include a focus on the health of women and children. He hopes to specialize in gynecology.

In Hamisi’s Words (slightly edited)

I am very grateful for my sponsors giving me another chance on my study journey. I enjoy my study at Kampala International University in Dar, because of the special kind of love and support from our lecturers and my friends. Our lecturers teach us how to dissect the cadavers. This makes me feel like I've already become a surgeon.

In addition to attending lectures, our program requires a lot of time on reading books so at our campus we have a library, which I use for more knowledge. I meet with friends from different places. Always I expect to learn new things from them. I meet with Ahmed from Zanzibar, Leonard from Mwanza, Linus from Dar es Salaam.

In our program, we have 9 subjects this year - anatomy, physiology, medical ethics, epidemiology, immunology, behavioral science, communication skills and English language, computer, and biochemistry. Per day we study 3 subjects for 2 hours each. 

I wake up at 3:00 AM to start readings. At 5:00AM I pray, then come back to study. I commute 20 minutes to campus and take courses from 8am until 4pm. After class hours we have a 1-2 hour group discussion, based on what lecture teaches us. Finally, I go home and rest briefly before starting to read from 8:30-10:30pm. Then I go to bed.  The main challenge I face is that I’m studying on my phone of small storage capacity. It can't handle the notes and materials needed to our course.

Inspiration and Gratitude

We’re inspired by Hamisi and his dedication to his studies. The amount of time he invests in his courses and his future is sure to result in his success. I suppose if we could add one more ask to our already big wish list for 2022, it would be a funding stream to cover the cost of one laptop per university student. In Dar, they can buy a good computer for $250 USD. Let us know if you’d like to contribute for one! 

Thank you to everyone for your continued support of Project Wezesha over the years. We hope the stories of the students’ success bring you as much joy this holiday season as they bring us. It’s all about the bright spots in the world today! Help us continue adding more light by contributing to support these university students through 2022 and beyond!

Cheers,

Rai, Lucas, and Madaga
The Project Wezesha Team

Proud Partners of Girls Education International

Hamisi in Lab
Hamisi in Lab
Hamisi and classmates
Hamisi and classmates
Amahoro Graduation Celebration
Amahoro Graduation Celebration
Amahoro Graduating Class of 2021
Amahoro Graduating Class of 2021
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Sospeter with Peers at College
Sospeter with Peers at College

Dear Project Wezesha Supporters, 

Many of the young men in our scholarship program have dreams that lie in the medical field. They have all been inspired by their life experiences in the villages surrounding Kigoma town.

Inspired by Experience

At the very start of secondary school, Dibeit knew that he would pursue medicine with a specific goal of improving the quality of health and life for women and their children. Tumsifu echoed Dibeit's concerns about the number of women they saw dying in their villages due to complications from childbirth and other female health related issues. 

In May 2020, Dibeit and Tumsifu graduated from University. Tumsifu is now working as an Assistant Doctor at a private dispensary in Tabora. Dibeit is also working at a hospital in Tabora, and he is awaiting an appointment by the government to an official post. 

In Their Footsteps

Following in their footsteps, Simoni entered a program to become a medical doctor of gynecology -- a 6-year program that will provide him with sound theoretical and practical knowledge for the work he plans to do. He is motivated by a strong desire to improve the overall health of women through a holistic approach that incorporates a focus on lifestyle choices. 

In this short video, we share a message sent to us by Simoni via What's App. In addition to sharing about his academic program and future goals, he commits to investing 10% of his future salary into our scholarship program to help "his young sisters and brothers" (i.e., future Project Wezesha students) as they fulfill their academic dreams. 

We have known Simoni since he was a small, shy young boy at the top of his Standard 7 class at Mgaraganza Primary School. His teachers raved about his academic performance. Everyone lamented the future of a young man with so much potential, but very little means to pay for secondary school. Project Wezesha admitted Simoni to our scholarship program and supported him through secondary school, academic study camps, and high school. Throughout it all, Simoni remained focused on his goals and performed at the top of each class. It was no surprise to us that he would be admitted to university to become a doctor. 

In addition to these young men, Sospeter and Anzaruni are completing year one of a 3-year program at Sumbawanga College in pursuit of a diploma in Clinical Medicine. (See photos of these two students with their peers at College.) They share updates about what they are learning through both course work and field study. Recently Anzaruni reported on the inspiration he got from attending the graduation of 3rd year students. He is both excited and nervous about his second year as the length and intensity of the program increases. Among challenges he anticipates is a lack of equipment to complete his coursework, noting that there are several devices that he will be required to purchase to keep up with peers in labs and other practical courses. 

Continuing Your Support

If you believe in the potential for these young men to make a difference in the lives of many Tanzanians through their work in the medical field, please consider sharing this update with friends and family and making an additional contribution today. With your support, we can ensure they not only earn their degrees but excel while doing so! 

Thank you for being part of the dream!

Sincerely, 

Rai, Lucas, and Madaga
Team Project Wezesha 

*Girls Education International is the fiscal sponsor for Project Wezesha.

Anzaruni and Peers at College
Anzaruni and Peers at College
Anzaruni and Classmate
Anzaruni and Classmate
2012 Project Wezesha Scholarship Cohort
2012 Project Wezesha Scholarship Cohort
Young Simoni
Young Simoni
Simoni at University
Simoni at University

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Dr. Tumsifu in Tabora
Dr. Tumsifu in Tabora

Dear Project Wezesha Supporters,

We hope you are staying healthy and finding time in the comfort and company of loved ones. As we passed the one-year mark of the beginning of the global pandemic, we found ourselves reflecting on all that we have to be grateful for. First of all, Project Wezesha students and staff, as well as their families and teachers are all healthy and safe. Secondly, the students in our program are each excelling at everything they put their minds to! In this report, we’ll share some of the highlights.

We’d also like to take a moment to express our solidarity with the citizens of Tanzania who recently laid their President to rest. President John Magafuli passed away on March 17th. His Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in on March 19th as the country’s first woman President. We wish her much strength as she leads her country through the healing process and this transition of power. We hope that the best interests of the people of Tanzania will guide the public health decisions made by her administration moving forward.

Celebrating our Students

We couldn’t be more proud of Tumsifu – one of our first Project Wezesha scholarship students. With your support, we have funded Tumsifu’s studies through secondary and high school and most recently through University. He graduated with a medical degree as a clinical officer, which allows him to practice medicine in Tanzania.  He graduated with a GPA of 3.5 and was ranked at the top of his class. After spending a short time at home to visit his family in Kigoma, he secured a job at the Primary Health Care Institute in Tabora. He is earning a nice salary and is delighted to be helping patients in the community. (See attached picture of him in his office.)

Another one of our recent graduates, Mahamudu from Mgaraganza village, recently earned his diploma in pharmaceutical studies from the Royal Training Institute in Dar es Salaam. He graduated with a GPA of 3.2 and was also ranked in the top of his class. He is currently working in his uncle’s duka la dawa (pharmacy) in Dar es Salaam.  

One of our current university students, George from Bubango village is studying disaster management at the University of Dodoma. He currently has a GPA of 3.8, which is stellar! Courses from his studies include Risk & Disaster Management, Climatology, Introduction to Information Technology, Theories of Management of Risk and Crisis, Poverty and Livelihood, Environmental Conservation Education, and so many other fascinating & relevant courses that will open many doors to employment when he graduates.   

Simoni, another university student from Mgarganza village is pursuing a medical degree in surgery at the University of Dodoma. He is doing really well in his studies with mostly As and Bs in challenging courses. Among the courses he’s taken in his first two semesters are Medical Biochemistry, Human Anatomy, Medical Sociology, Human Nutrition, Nursing Ethics, Embryology and Human Development, and more.

In a recent conversation with Lucas, Simoni said, “When I get a job as a doctor in a hospital, whether government or private, I will allow 10% of my salary to go directly to Project Wezesha each month.” Lucas asked, “Are you serious, Simoni? This is a big promise.” Simoni replied, “Yes, I am very serious. I want to extend my thanks to Project Wezesha for helping me to meet my dream so the money will go to help others like me. It is necessary.” (See pictures of Simoni at university.)

We are truly grateful to these young men for all they have shown us through their dedication and gratitude. We are the ones who feel blessed – to be able to support such wonderful young men who have ambitions to help others and pay it forward.

To you, Project Wezesha donors - Thank you for your support over many years. Without you, none of this would have been possible! Lucas and I founded Project Wezesha in 2009. We never imagined that we would come so far and have so many success stories to share – well, maybe Lucas did! He leads with his heart, his faith, and his smile and never questions what is possible!

We invite you to share these updates with your friends and family. If you’d like to contribute today to support the next cohort of university students, please click “Give Now” in this report. We cannot do this without you.

With gratitude,

Rai, Lucas and Madaga
Project Wezesha Team
(Proud Partner of Girls Ed)

The Doctor is in!
The Doctor is in!
Simoni -- Future Surgeon at U of Dodoma
Simoni -- Future Surgeon at U of Dodoma
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Organization Information

Girls Education International

Location: Boulder, CO - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @girlsed
Project Leader:
Rai Farrelly
Co-Founder, Project Wezesha; Executive Director, Girls Education International
Boulder, CO United States
$39,131 raised of $75,000 goal
 
384 donations
$35,869 to go
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