"Do not try to satisfy your vanity by teaching a great many things. Awaken people's curiosity. It is enough to open minds, do not overload them. Put there just a spark. If there is some good inflammable stuff, it will catch fire."
Anatole France

April/May 2014

By Mary on 26-05-2014

Hi there, April and May have been busy months, with primary school children having a holiday and secondary having a break for a few days over Easter then back to school. Technology issues at this end have meant a delay in communications but we’re back on track now! The past 3 months have been very wet in Arusha- the rains have damaged many of the roads, cutting off power and generally making life hard for all concerned. Blandina held another parents/guardians meeting in April, where she spoke about the children’s behaviour, and advising where the parents can help their children to continue with their great attitudes, or change, in the cases of those with a few problems. She also spoke about the children’s’ goals that they set at the end of last year, and how their progress is going, as well as how parents can help their children to achieve what they’ve set down. We have decided to ask the parents for a voluntary contribution for their respective kids, not only as a way to get the parents more involved in the schooling but also to give them more responsibility in the education/progress of their children. This is only voluntary, and the parents only need contribute if they want to, and only as much as they can afford. Several parents liked this idea and agreed to give 10,000tsh (approx. $7) each term toward extra tuition. Although this is a tiny amount, the gesture and commitment it entails is the main thing. For those that were keen on the idea, rather than giving money to ACE it was agreed ACE would continue to pay the money to the school, and instead Blandina would record when the children needed a specific item and the parents could then buy it for them. This is to maintain accountability within ACE as well as avoiding Blandina having to keep record of lots of separate small cash amounts. The parents that attended the last meeting were: the mothers of Alpha & Omega David, Japhet John, Kennedy Kanankira, Kelvin Konstatin, Rukia Mohammed, Jesca Emmanuel, Jesca George, Jovin Joseph, Jenifer Simon, Evaline Ndelekwa, Goodluck David, Immanuel & Godlizen Isaya, Brayson Alex, Vanessa Exaud and Seif Khalid, the fathers of Andrea Jacob, Brayson Alex, Eunice Paolo and Amani Palangyo, the sisters of Juma Abdallah and Baraka Omari, Jackson Zakaria’s Uncle, the grandmothers of Joshua & Joseph Bariki, Vanessa Aleen and Denis Ezekiel as well as the guardian of Hilary and Dennis Daniel. A small number of these agreed to help where they could. Another meeting with the Haradali children was also held last month, to chat about they are progressing with their goals after the first term and to stocktake everybody’s school items. We are really trying to instil a sense of responsibility and respect for their possessions with the children. A buddy system has also been set up for the students, to help the ones who are struggling or falling behind. Jackeline Meshak is mentoring Jesca Emmanuel and Elizabeth Noah, Evaline Ndelekwa to help Winnie Aminiel, Amani Palangyo to help James Naftal and Samuel Lukas, Amani and Samuel also to help Brayson Alex, Valentina (not an ACE student) to help Dora Gabriel, Emma (not an ACE student) to help Neema Williams, Andrea Jacob to help Samuel Aminiel and Faraja Innocent and Kanana (not an ACE student) to help Queenie Listono. Blandina has set challenges for several other children who have fallen behind in the past term, working with them to improve their grades and pick up their motivation. The first term Haradali grades are up on the website now (www.haradalischools.org) and individual emails will be sent out to you all when possible with a more detailed breakdown of each child’s grades. A meeting with Shepherds children will be held soon – all shepherds children are doing really well in their grades which we are so proud of! The secondary campus runs on solar power and because of the bad rains these past few months they have been without electricity a lot. This means they have been unable to access their computer labs and it has been a bit cold at the school, but it hasn’t affected the students studies in any way and the 3 older kids are doing great – we are very proud of their efforts and are really happy to hear our younger students talk about them and look up to them as role models. Some of the Haradali students who have been in the boarding house for almost 3 years are starting to grow out of their tracksuits, and their mattresses are wearing down. Blandina is recording down which students need what and sending the information through so we can organise to have new items supplied for these students. Unfortunately we have lost 3 sponsors this past month, which puts added strain on finances and paying fees on time, as we try and cover this through general fundraising. So thank you to everybody who has kept up with the invoices Vinnie has sent out. If any sponsors would like to introduce the programme to friends, family, or community member they think would be interested in helping out, either as sponsors or one off donors, please, feel free to email Vinnie or I and ask us to send you guys some information sheets that you can hand out 🙂 Like we always say – any little bit helps!! The Haradali children are in the process of writing letters to their respective sponsors which Blandina scanned through to me last week; some of you may have already received these – the rest I will get out to you over the next few days along with a breakdown of the most recent grade reports. The kids would all LOVE to have a reply letter so send those through to me when/if you can. For anybody interested – I am heading back to Tanzania again from the 25th June until the 14th July, and am happy to take any letters, gifts, photos with me. If anybody has specific requests as well for while I am over there, just email me and we’ll organise something 🙂 It has been decided that we will postpone the Sponsors Trip until September 2015. This gives us all a lot more time to plan and prepare, and for anybody who would be interested in next year’s trip, I can answer any questions you might have – just something to think about! Thank you to everyone for the support!