From Students to Graduates to Teachers! Bravo!!

In 2011, three amazing young men – Tumsifu, Saidi, and Dibeit – began their studies as Form 1 students in Tanzanian secondary schools, with the help of Project Wezesha. In November, they all graduated!

Dibeit: Due to his excellent performance on the secondary school entrance exams, Dibeit was selected by the government to study in Dodoma, Tanzania at a boarding school. He studied hard and stayed focused, even though he was half way across the country from his family. He remained among the top of his class throughout these four years.

Saidi: Saidi began his studies in Kiganza village, but at the insistence of his father (for the betterment of his education) we brought him into Kigoma town and paid half of his school fees for a private secondary school – his father paid the other half. He believed in Saidi so much that it was worth investing his small income to give Saidi the best shot possible at a better life. Both of his parents spend most of the year very far from their home village, living at the farm. Saidi and his siblings live with their grandparents most of the time. While studying in town for the past 3 years, Saidi has been living with Lucas. Saidi has made his whole family proud and the future impact of his education on all of them will be a great story to share!! Lucas attended Saidi’s graduation and captured some great shots of the ceremony and his proud family!

Saidi Graduation

Saidi with a proud sister, brother and Bibi (grandmother)

Saidi Teaching Bibi Science2

Showing Bibi Science in action

Diploma Dance

A little Graduation Get Down!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tumsifu: Tumsifu began his studies in Kagongo village, but like Saidi, it was important that he move to a secondary school that could really tap into his potential. At Mlore Secondary School, he thrived and held a spot at the top of his class. He has been dedicated to his studies and has high hopes for his future. He wishes to continue his studies through high school and into university with the ultimate aspiration of becoming either a doctor or an engineer. Tumsifu’s education was supported through the Amani Hope Scholarship Fund provided by AFR Clothing.

Since graduation, all of the boys have returned home to their villages (Kiganza and Kagongo). But, eager to keep their brains working and stay connected to their studies, they have volunteered to help us fill a big gap in our program – tutoring our current students. All of our students put two things on the top of their ‘wish list’ when we discuss what would help them succeed in secondary school: 1) textbooks and 2) after school tutoring.

Textbooks are expensive and most students don’t have them. They take notes from the board, written by the teacher, who has the only text in the room (and often limited English language proficiency). This is their only resource from which to study later – and sometimes, the notes don’t make sense when they read them later. So far, Project Wezesha has only been able to keep up with school fees; textbooks have been just out of our financial reach.

Providing after school tutoring has also been a challenge for us. Finding a qualified teacher who is willing and able to offer after school study sessions for our students wasn’t as easy as we thought. Most teachers charge per subject and per student, again pushing it just out of our reach.

Tumsifu_Teacher

Tumsifu with a captive audience

Well – problem solved! Dibeit, Saidi, and Tumsifu are now earning a monthly stipend from Project Wezesha to offer supplemental classes to our Form 1 and Form 2 students on the topics that are most challenging for them: math, chemistry, biology, physics, civics … and all in English! They teach groups of students at a time. While they make less than what it would cost to pay multiple teachers to teach multiple students in multiple subjects, the income they are receiving is more than their families have been bringing in from subsistence farming and fishing – and, it doesn’t depend on the weather! Rain, Shine, or Drought – there are students to teach! When the time comes for them to leave for high school, we’ll see which of our next graduates can step in to help out!

Dibeit Teaching

Dibeit breaking it down

Lucas had a focus group interview with our students this month to see if, after one month, the investment is worthwhile. He asked the students if the support they were receiving was useful and accessible. They unanimously said it was so great. They said that Saidi, Dibeit and Tumsifu were clarifying things so much! They hailed their teaching abilities and said that they would continue to be lost if not for these new teachers. Bravo! Bravo!

Saidi monitoring

Saidi checking students’ work

 

 

 

 

Thank you to everyone who has supported us along the way so that we can support the students! They literally are the future and as we invest in them, we invest in a better world!

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