The days have passed quickly; I hope you haven’t felt neglected by the absence of my updates!
Alas, another school term has come to a close at Tumaini Junior School! My how the time flies! And, I have officially been in the US for a longer period of time than I have been outside of the US since 2008! But more on this first point for now!
The JOS-sponsored children, four more of whom began secondary (high) school in January 2015, continue to thrive at Tumaini and their respective secondary schools. Tumaini, too, has remained busy in providing stellar educational opportunities for its students and graduates. The half-year mark has been surpassed and we are just one school term away from 2016!
Primary School – One more term of 2015!
As of last week school is back in session, and just days away from celebrating another Standard VII Class graduation! These soon-to-be graduates have been poring over their lessons in preparation for the Standard VII National Examination which they must pass to enter secondary school. Worry not, these hard-working students also enjoyed some breaks which usually consist of an afternoon or two at a nearby lodge complete with cold sodas and beautiful pool!
The Standard VII Graduation Ceremony will shortly follow the National Exam (set for 9 & 10 September), so do stay tuned for additional photos from this special day! Staff and students have been practicing special presentations to bid farewell and good wishes to the Standard VII graduates. Needless to say, it is a very exciting time at Tumaini!
Standard VII students learning about new science equipment
Earlier this year, Tumaini had its 2nd Annual Alumni celebration, inviting back three classes of Tumaini Alum. The day was attended by many grads who regaled fellow students and staff alike with stories of secondary school life! On several occasions as JOS grads were back at Shalom (in addition to the Alumni day), Tumaini teacher Mr. Jimmy snapped some photos of these (quickly maturing) young men and women!
Here is Charles E., at secondary school with one of his teachers. (photo credit Rick French)
Tumaini Alum and Teachers at the June Alumni Celebration!
A Secondary School – Continuing to Strive for Excellence
Through the unwavering vision of Tumaini co-founder and director, Mr Bayo, and committed, generous donors, ground has been broken for a Tumaini Secondary School!! The school is slated to open in January 2016 with a Form I (US 9th grade) class of about 100 students. It will be private and is located in Makuyuni about 60KM (~37 miles) rom Karatu. JOS has 4 students graduating in September so we are thrilled for these students to join the inaugural class come January. Also, I am ecstatic to be returning to Tanzania for a brief visit in November so will have the privilege to see the site first hand.
In the meantime, some photos for you:
JOS board member, Rick French, visited the site earlier this year with Mr. Bayo and was put to work!
Science Lab block
Tumaini alum visit the secondary school site!
NOTE: you can read more about the Tumaini Secondary School project in Tanzania Education Corp’s latest newsletter [at bottom of this post]*.
Water is Life!
Another fun nugget about the secondary school site: water has been found!! JOS is currently in discussions about fundraising for this fantastic and very-much needed addition at the secondary school site; more details in the coming weeks! If you’re intrigued and would like additional details, leave a message here or email me (email@example.com)!
As you may recall, JOS completed a water well at Tumaini Junior School back in 2012. At the February 2013 well dedication in my late father’s honor, my mom, brother and I each planted a tree at Tumaini Junior School. We celebrated alongside Tumaini staff and students as the water gushed forth and watered each of these plants. Here are some photos of the trees as we planted them…and here they are just a few months ago!!! In speaking with Mr Bayo, he remarked, “It is unusual for trees to grow quickly. I believe there are blessings you’ve left behind.”
Planting and watering the trees!
Just two years later!
It never fails. There’s at least a double take, that is, if I don’t catch myself before my gaze lingers for a few more seconds than is comfortable for some. I’ve been seeing the familiar faces of friends from Tanzania as I walk the streets of NYC. Bridgette walking along Broadway. Mama Pendo leaving a bodega. Pascalina waiting on the subway platform. Dr. Frank walking just ahead of me in the East Village. Countless students whose laughs I heard as they walked two by two with Vacation Bible School buddies. It never fails.
So many adventures were mine as I found myself alongside dear friends, precious children, and a journey of giraffe or two! Physically I remain thousands of miles away from Karatu (though interestingly, at times it feels as though I’m much farther from my present reality.) Whilst it has been eighteen months since I was in Tanzania – the longest period of time I have spent out of Tanzania since 2009 when my regular visits began – within an instant I’m back there, save a healthy coating of red dust upon me!
Of course, somehow life has continued. I have been (trying to) settle back into life in the Big Apple. After six months of temping through a fantastic agency, I secured a one year assignment and even signed a one year lease! I guess I’m a big girl now?! For the first time in a long while, I am living not out of a suitcase or two (or storage unit!), but have settled a bit, unpacked if you will. 2015 is the first full year in nearly 7 that I’ve seen myself in the US sans plans of an extended stay abroad. Polepole baby steps.
…2016, well we’ll see.
Thanks for reading and do stay tuned for additional updates coming soon!!!
www.tanzania-schools.org September 2015
Tumaini Senior Secondary School
To Open January 2016
Why build Tumaini Senior Secondary School?
Tumaini Junior School graduates are top performers. Each year several students earn assignments to the most competitive government secondary schools, and the remaining students, still top ranking, are assigned to a variety of other government schools. However, due to the poor overall quality of government schools, Mr. Bayo has been very concerned about their fate in secondary school. He did not want to see their investment in a Tumaini education wasted at underperforming secondary schools. Mr. Bayo began to think deeply about starting a secondary school himself.
Due to land constraints, locating the school in Karatu would be impractical. In Tanzania, towns and villages have the option of designating part of their lands for certain public uses such as schools or hospitals. Knowing this, Mr. Bayo approached the neighboring village of Makuyuni in 2012 about obtaining land to open a secondary school. Makuyuni is a small village located an hour and a half east of Karatu, and an hour from Arusha, the major city of the region. Mr. Bayo was notified in Fall 2014 that his proposal was approved, and he received title to 20 acres of land at no cost. Securing this land was a major milestone to establishing a secondary school.
TEC received grants from Navis Capital, Segal Family Foundation and individual donors to begin construction in late December 2014. Initially, six buildings will be needed: administration, classrooms, boys’ dormitory, girls’ dormitory, faculty housing, and science labs. In addition, a water well was dug in July 2015 and clean water was located at 130 meters.
In years 2016-2018, additional classrooms, dormitories and faculty housing will be constructed to accommodate each new entering class. By 2019, campus facilities will accommodate approximately 480 students, 25 teachers and 12 administrative and support staff.
To see more pictures of construction site click here
Long Term Goals and Measures of Success
Like Tumaini Junior School, the mission for the Tumaini Senior Secondary School is, “Educate the future leaders of Tanzania.” The lessons from Tumaini show that the essential elements are strong school leadership, motivated and caring teachers and ultimately, a culture of learning that values the individual student.
Both Tumaini Junior School and Tumaini Senior Secondary School will share their approaches broadly with the goal of providing a model for education in Tanzania. We see no reason why these approaches, if continually improved, will not permit Tanzanian students to ultimately compete with their international peers.
Would you like to help us build Tumaini Senior Secondary School?
TEC is committed to help Bayo raise the funds to open the new School in January 2016. We have made significant progress, but we have not reached our goal! Donate online at www.tanzania-schools.org or send a check to Tanzania Education Corp, 6 Norfolk Rd, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467. Naming opportunities are available. Please send inquiries to Chall@tanzania-schools.org.