Send 35 Girls in Tanzania to Secondary School

by Girls Education International
Vetted
Student leading discussion seminar
Student leading discussion seminar

Dear Girls Ed Supporters,

We hope your holiday season is off to a lovely start and that you are having some peaceful, enjoyable moments with family and friends. It can sometimes feel like the world is swelling with angst and disappointment, but in truth - there is beauty and goodness all around us. For me, getting reports about our students in Tanzania is one great source of  joy. Another is being able to share that with you!

Right now, our project manager, Lucas alongside our friend and fellow educator, Madaga are leading our students through a rigorous and fruitful study camp. The idea is our response to gaps we have identified in our students' education experience. The reasons for these gaps include limited resources and high demands on teachers. Many of our students have struggled to earn good grades because they don't get the individualized attention they need to deepen their understanding of the concepts they are exploring in school.

Lucas and Madaga designed a month-long study camp (see photo of them planning), which they are implementing right now! The students come together in one village location and remain on site for the entire camp. We secured lodging for all the girls with local families and we hired cooks to provide them breakfast, lunch, and dinner during the month of study (see photo of women under the cooking structure). The schedule they are following is quite demanding.

  • They wake at 6am for personal care, a morning jog and assembly (i.e., announcements, motivational speeches).
  • At 7am they have breakfast, and at 7:30am they begin classes.
  • At 10:30am they have a quick break for tea.
  • Classes resume until 3pm at which time they have lunch.
  • After lunch, they have a siesta to recharge their bodies and minds. 
  • Afternoon consists of discussion seminars. (See photo of a student leading a discussion section)
  • After dinner, they continue with their studies in preparation for the following day.

When Madaga shared the "timetable" with me, I was surprised by how demanding it was. He assured me that the students are actually enjoying it. "It is of great benefit to them." The rigor of the schedule with time built in for self-care and reflection is providing a structure and intensity to their studies that they don't get during the school year.

The parents (photographed in front of one of the schools) came together for a community meeting prior to the study camp. They had a chance to ask questions before signing an approval letter and sending their children off to 'camp'. Lucas sent me a message via Whats App the other night to convey the parents' words of gratitude. He wrote, "They are not happy--but very very happy! They want to meet with you one day to say thank you in person because they say this is a good gift for them and their children."

This study camp is exactly the boost that students attending village schools need. In urban areas, the quality of teaching tends to be higher because teachers are more qualified and speak English (medium of instruction) with greater fluency. Students in cities also tend to get additional support at after school programs or with tutors.

Lucas and Madaga tested all students at the start of the study camp and will conduct a final assessment to measure gains through this program. We believe that we will see the impact of this intensive academic camp when our students transition into the next school year in mid-January. If successful, we hope to offer another camp in June when the students are on break between terms 1 and 2.

Of course, there are expenses for running a camp of this scale. We provide food, pay the cooks and teachers, and buy materials that teachers and students need for teaching and learning.

You can share this report and news of our work with friends using the Facebook and Twitter buttons below. Make sure to follow us on Facebook!

You can also make a donation by clicking on the Give Now button so that we can offer our girls all the support they need to reach their goals - texts, tutoring, and hopefully another study camp!

And since it's the holidays, consider honoring a friend by making a donation in their name. When you do so, GlobalGiving will give you the option of sending them a card.

Asante sana.

With gratitude,

Rai Farrelly
Executive Director
Girls Education International

Students in class at study camp
Students in class at study camp
Lucas and Madaga planning for study camp
Lucas and Madaga planning for study camp
Parent meeting prior to study camp
Parent meeting prior to study camp
The cook tent at lunch time
The cook tent at lunch time
Some time to relax and have tea
Some time to relax and have tea
Mayane - Motivated to Learn
Mayane - Motivated to Learn

Greetings Girls Education Supporters,

We'd like to share another interview with one of our Amahoro Secondary School students, Mayane. Mayane is a dedicated student. She even spends her breaks studying and reviewing subjects with her friends.

The motivation to learn lives deep within the hearts of children. The persistance of this motivation in the face of despair is remarkable! Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee of Liberia speaks about the power of education to change the lives of girls in this TED Talk entitled Unlock the intelligence, passion, greatness of girls.

As Gbowee says in this talk, when you educate young girls, "you unlock intelligence, you unlock passion, you unlock commitement, you unlock focus, you unlock great leaders." We know that's true. That's why we keep doing what we do. And you know it's true. That's why you're one of our supporters! Thank you for all you've done to help fulfill the wishes of our girls - their wishes for education, their wishes for a better life, their wishes to be empowered.

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Here's what Mayane had to say when we spent some time with her earlier this year:

What is your daily routine like?

On Monday, at 6:30 in the morning, I am prepare to go school. At 7:00 in morning, I am starting to go school, and when I arrive at school, I clean the area together with other students. The teacher stating to teach. We have a break at 10:40am, but I and two other friends remain in the class to review the subject. At 2:30 in the afternoon, we go back home.

The break is starting 10:40 up to 11:00, but for me every break I am still study. If there is something I don’t understand, I ask my friend. If it is very difficult, I ask the teacher.

Do you like school?

Yes, I like school. I believe in education - it removes ignorance. When I study well, I will get a job and money. I can help my parents and others.

Do you think studying as a girl is different from studying as a boy? Why?

Studying as a girl and as a boy is not different because both study well. The problem for a girl - when the teacher is teaching, she understands well, but in a short time - they forgot. But there are some girls doing well.

What advice would you give to a girl who wants to quit school?

I tell them to study hard because this is a light of life.

What would you like to do after secondary school?

For me, after finish secondary school I want to go to the Donors.

*Note: I think she'd like to visit you! :)

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"Let's journey together."

Asante sana!

Rai Farrelly
Executive Director, Girls Ed

Bukuru
Bukuru

Dear Girls Education Supporters,

We hope your summer is off to a wonderful start! Our students in Tanzania are racing toward their summer break, which is during the month of July. Then, they'll return for the rest of this academic school year. 

Our Form 1 students will take exams in October to gauge whether or not they are ready to move on to Form 2, so they'll be studying over much of their summer break. We're wishing them well. Our first cohort excelled in their exams - all passing, some with distinction. The Form 2 students get a little break from examinations this year, but will be taking mock exams next year to prepare for the big Form 4 exit exams. 

We'd love to let you know that we have a little fundraising push we'd love your help with. On Wedensday, June 15th (this week!) beginning at 9am EDT (Washington, DC time), GlobalGiving.org will be hosting their annual GG Rewards Bonus Day with $110,000 availalbe in matching funds and $2,000 available in bonus prizes. Funds always go so fast during these campaigns, so if you'd like to contribute - have your alarm set and your mouse ready to click 'Give Now' right at 9am! Thank you so much for your continued support! 

With that, we'd like to share an interview with one of our current students, Bukuru. 

What is your daily routine like?

First when I attend at school  during in the morning, I clean the area surrounding my school. So after finish, at 8:00 am, we start class.  So as to continual with  other activities such as to clean they area at home then I  help my mother at the farm, then I return home and wash for dinner. After dinner, I start to study different books and other exercise given by the teacher. 

Do you like school?

Yes. School is very important because it prepares me for my life. 

Do you think studying as a girl is different from studying as a boy? Why?

Yes, because when a girl comes home from  school, she has too much work compared with boys. There is too much housework for us.

What advice would you give to a girl who wants to quit school?

I advise that, education is the key or foundation of my life. If there is no education, there is no life.  Some say that their environment forces them to study, even if parents don't.  Some parents don’t know the importance of education. 

What would you like to do after secondary school?

I want to continue with my studies and become a lawyer!

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Asante Sana for all your continued support! Our students, including Bukuru, are working hard to make sure they get a return on your investment! Gratitude all around. 

Rai Farrelly

Adija
Adija

Dear Girls Ed Supporters,

We are happy to join millions around the world to acknowledge and celebrate International Women's Day, which is March 8th. Communities everywhere will be honoring women in various ways - dance, song, flowers, gifts, music, poetry, food and more!

What we have to celebrate is you! Thank You for supporting us as we stay true to our mission to support girls in Pakistan, Tanzania and Liberia as they pursue their educational goals.

We also celebrate our students for their efforts to stay in school and do their best, despite the many obstacles they face - lack of books, distance to school, hunger, housework, and resistance from some community members.

This year's theme for International Women's Day is Pledge for Parity! Shockingly, the World Economic Forum has predicted that the gender gap will not be closed until 2133. That seems unfathomable, as it's over 100 years away - well beyond our lifetimes. Nonetheless, this year - to celebrate International Women's Day - let us all recognize the goal of gender equality and do what we can to close the gender gap in education, politics, business, and access to healthcare. Even if change comes at a 'glacial pace' - we do our part. (Read more about International Women's Day here.)

One mission toward that end is to ensure that more and more girls have equal access to quality education. For our March update, we're happy to share with you an interview with our student Adija. Her points below speak directly to the disparity between boys and girls when it comes to access to education. As we often hear from our girl students, the responsibilities of the girl child in Tanzania are greater than those of the boy - they clean, fetch water, help with siblings, cook, and more. All of this interferes with study time and the ability to simply focus on being successful in school.

But enough from us - let's hear it in Adija's own words:

How are you doing in school? What do you do outside of school to make sure you get good grades? After ring the bell, l am enter to the assembly. After assembly, I enter in the class. If teacher is not in the class, I am taking my exercise book and I am starting to study. If teacher is enter, I stop to study. When I come from school I arrive home. I am eating; after finish I help my parent with some activities, then I play 30 minutes and I continue to study. When I finish, I am taking food, then I am going to sleep. I wake up 5:00 o’clock to study again up to the morning, then I am going to school.

Do you like school? Yes, because it is a key of my life and I like to study hard in order to get a job like nurse, teacher, or traffic police officer.

Do you think studying as a girl is different from studying as a boy? Why? Yes, because the boy does not work a lot like the girl. The girl is working many more jobs than the boy, like to wash tools, to cook, to clean house, to carry water. The boy 100% they don’t do that job. 

What advice would you give to a girl who wants to quit school? I will tell that girl it is better to study in order to get a job. It is bad to go around to the street; some time we got a problem. If you study well you must enjoy the life like Anna Makinda, but if you don’t study the people must see your ignorance.

What would you like to do after secondary school? I like to continue my education. After complete my high education, I want to be a nurse or teacher or work in parliament like Anna Makinda.

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We love Adija's hopefulness and ambition. She is inspired by sister Tanzanian, Anna Makinda who was the first female Speaker of the National Assembly in the Tanzanian government. We always tell our students - Aim high! Try hard! Anything is possible if you just believe.

If you believe it, too, then please consider chipping in so that we can continue to support the girls in our program! (Click 'give now' below.) Now that the government has alleviated secondary school fees, we are finally able to invest our support where it is truly needed the most - tutoring, textbooks, and test prep. Let's get these girls into high school first, and then university! We believe.

You can also help by sharing our updates and mentioning our work to friends. Sharing is caring. (FB and Twitter buttons below make sharing easy!)

With immense gratitude,

The Girls Ed Team & the Girls Ed students

Anna Makinda - Speaker of National Assembly
Anna Makinda - Speaker of National Assembly
Safi
Safi

Happy Holidays to all of our Girls Ed Supporters!

In this update, we're happy to share the words of one of our students. The report is late because our Tanzania project manager, Lucas had a big job of conducting interviews with our scholarship students. As he doesn't live in the village, he had to get there and then round up the students - which he actually does with surprising ease.

A Day in the Life of Lucas: Usually he starts calling people he knows in the village who have cell phones - Ashahadu, Jane, teachers, other students. He relays a message that particular students should be at a certain place (Jane's house, the school) at a certain time. Then, he travels in from town and has his meetings. I'm often amazed at the turnout, given that many of the students have to walk a fair distance to meet him.

This time, his efforts paid off! He collected several interviews from the students, then he typed them and emailed them to me. He is definitly a hard worker and he is so committed to our work! (His computer training really paid off!)

I'll spread them out over time so you can really enjoy them. Also, I'm not going to edit these much so that you can appreciate that these are Tanzanian children, living in a village in rural Tanzania - telling you about themselves in English - their second (and in some cases third) language. And - English language instrution in the elementary grades in village schools is not entirely effective. So - for these Form 1 students, these words are truly to be treasured!

Today, I'll share an interview with our Form 1 student, Safi who attends Amahoro Secondary School in Mgaraganza.

From Safi:

How are you doing in school? When I am attend at school, I am writing, I am reading together and to do some different activities at school, like to sweep, to clean toilet, and to cutting grass. I am attending at school every day and teacher teaching good. And me I am study hard.

I am going out of class and to sit because have not money for buy tea. I am sit and to play my friend who have not a money. Some students who are, drink tea.

What do you do outside of school to make sure you get good grades? From school time is three, and I am attend at home time 4 o’clock. I am start eating food and to clean my uniform for school and generally body. After finish I am going to study together with my friend. Because have not a money for tutoring, it is means we are together in order to study, in order to perform well in examination. And night I am study little because there is not enough gas.

Do you like school? Yes, because it help me to understudy to read and to write and it help get money and to increase education.

Do you think studying as a girl is different from studying as a boy? Why? Yes, because the girl many time they are doing different home’s job, also she got many bad advised in the street. She is taking long time to filling his boyfriend. By the end, she is join with love, due for that she is miss subject. By the end she got pregnant and she stop school.

What advice would you give to a girl who wants to quit school? I am advised that why you don’t want to go school, because school is better in your life. I am repeat of advise - if you don’t have education you remain as a ignorance.

What would you like to do after secondary school? I want to be a president.

**Notes:

  1. Schools don't provide meals, but villagers neighboring the school prepare food and/or tea for purchase. Only students who have money can buy food. This year, I'm going to consult with these adults and see how much it would cost to pay them to feed all students at the various schools we work with. Win-Win!
  2. Cleaning schools is part of the program in Tanzania and other countries. It instills in the children a sense of pride for their school grounds. Each student is required to buy a broom, hoe, and bucket along with uniforms and reams of paper at the beginning of secondary school. They do it in Japan, too. Take a look.

Thank you for all of your support of these girls. Please share this update by using the Facebook and Twitter buttons  below. Tell a friend why this cause matters to you. And, consider making another contribution as part of your year end giving for 2015!

Asante Sana!!

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

 

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Organization Information

Girls Education International

Location: Boulder, CO - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.girlsed.org
Project Leader:
Raichle Farrelly
Co-Founder, Project Wezesha; Executive Director, Girls Education International
Boulder, Colorado United States
$4,872 raised of $10,000 goal
 
42 donations
$5,128 to go
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