"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

September 2015

By Vinnie on 1-04-2016

Hello everyone!

LOTS has been happening over the past few months, we can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Vinnie and Mary recently returned from a trip to Arusha, to celebrate both Shepherds and Haradali graduations, and also to work on some big developments within the academic and pastoral care aspects of the programme. All sponsors will receive an individual newsletter detailing exactly what has been going on, if you are not a sponsor and would be interested in receiving this extra update, please let us know. (maryduncan2@gmail.com)

Both Shepherds and Haradali Primary students had their august holiday recently, and are now all back at school. Shepherds secondary recently returned this past Sunday. All students had a place to go in the holidays, with a few students staying with Blandina and Otto. Based on what Blandina and Otto observed over these two weeks, this gave us a good indication of exactly what kind of care and attention those specific children needed and in what areas they were struggling.

Blandina and Otto also spent holiday time visiting the homes and families of all of the students, to meet with the parent/guardian and student together, and discuss recent progress and future developments for that child. A full parents/guardians meeting was also held, where they discussed the importance of students receiving support from not only ACE, but also the schools and at home. Other items discussed were the importance of parents/guardians following up on schoolwork and grades, the attitude and behaviour of their child as well as positive reinforcement and encouragement in order for the students to succeed and effectively progress towards achieving their goals. One of our big messages to the parents/guardians was to reiterate that although their child is sponsored, this does not mean they relinquish al responsibility, and that we need their support as much as they might need ours. It is about all working together. There was a good turnout at the group meeting, and the individual home visits also went well. We hope to see more involvement and support from the parents and guardians in the future.

ACE was proud to be part of the Haradali and Shepherds Graduations ceremonies, not to mention this year we had 5 students graduate from Haradali Grade 7! Congratulations to Amani Palangyo (also received top Award in Social Sciences) Goodluck David, Samuel Lucus (also received top Award for Discipline and Character), Teddy Emmanuel and Eunice Paulo. We are so proud to have such great students in our programme, and having watched these students struggle, develop and succeed over the past 5 years, to finally graduate and move into secondary is a huge achievement. All 5 students will sit the entrance examination for Shepherds Secondary, and we hope to see them all accepted for 2016.

Both events were great fun and an honour to attend. We had several ACE students participating in different performances, including the cultural dancers, hip hop group, French club presentation, ICT presentation, singing group and the Marching group. It was great to see the students getting involved and enjoying themselves! Needless to say, the ACE students are really starting to stand out! We were very privileged to have been presented with Awards of Appreciation at both ceremonies, our relationships with both schools are very strong and we look forward to continuing our work with them in the future. All sponsors, donors and supporters – it wouldn’t be possible without you so thank you very much! The credit for these awards go out to you all 🙂

During the trip the ACE Team had 3 days of intense brainstorming, meetings, teambuilding and workshops. This time was spent assessing our progress to date, the positives and negatives of the past 12 months, what our future plans are over the next 5 years, and any new ideas and changes we can make to the programme. The time spent together was very productive, and we are feeling very strong as a team and committed to continued future success.

As the students grow older, we are recognising there is a huge need for counselling and emotional support systems for the students, as they begin to struggle with past events and trauma. While in Arusha we were lucky enough to meet up with a wonderful woman from Denmark who specialises in Trauma Counselling. She has committed to volunteering her time through ACE, working with the schools and teachers, to counsel and coach them in effective ways to manage students who are troubled, how to provide techniques for support and assistance as well dealing with any of their own personal issues that may be indirectly affecting the children. We are very happy to have her on board and believe it will be a huge asset to the development of the students and schools as a whole.

On Friday 18th ACE held a big event for all students, parents and guardians at the Village Centre in Kwa Pole. The ACE Team began by playing games with all the students (egg race, water buckets) working in teams. This was a good chance for the students not only to have some fun and laughs, but also to work on team building and understanding the importance of working together, perseverance, concentration and attitude, all lessons they can apply to their learning. A buffet Lunch was served, with most students going up for seconds and some thirds! The Village Centre provided a great service to us. Once the parents arrived after lunch, awards were presented to the ACE students who had excelled in Academic, Sport & Talent, Personal Excellence and Attitude as well as individual Graduation Awards. Gifts of books (Nelson Mandela, puzzles, World Geography and Picture Encyclopaedias), crafts, clothing, and personal items were all presented along with the ACE certificates. Representatives from Shepherds and Haradali attended, and talks were given with important messages about sponsorship and appreciation, attitude, teamwork and family support, working hard and having the courage to succeed despite your fears. Our 3 Form 2 students, Maulidi, Flora and Livingstone, all gave short speeches to the other students on their experiences and struggles over the past 5 years, and made a great impression on the yonger students. These students are shining examples on the benefits of attitude, perservenace nad self veilef. Their sponsors can all be very proud!

Keep an eye on the ACE Facebook page for photos of the event, to be uploaded soon!

All sponsors – Term 2 results for Primary should have all been sent out, along with an individual student update. If you haven’t received any results yet or would like to know more about your student, please contact Mary. (maryduncan2@gmail.com)


As some of you may have noticed, our website has been undergoing some changes and developments, so if you cannot access the website or it is showing as incomplete – we are lucky to have an IT Team from Auckland working pro bono in updating our system – so please bear with us! In the meantime, keep an eye on the Facebook page for photo updates. If you normally donate through the website and cannot access the donate button, simply follow this link www.fundraiseonline.com and it will direct you straight to the ACE fundraising page. Alternatively contact Vinnie (vinnied@duncan-nz.com) for direct bank transfer details.

Thank you!

We’d like to make a special thank you to the following donors, for their recent contributions to the programme.

Beth Rose & Ron Marr – for their ongoing support and contributions to a full sponsorship, the cost of Worming Tablets, assistance in funding the ACE Event and more. We really appreciate your generosity!

Calvin Yates – for his recent donation to ACE (full proceeds donated from the sale of his car), which assisted in the costs for graduation gifts and certificates for children, personal merit cards for each child, parent and extra for the schools, as well as the food costs for the ACE event. Your kindness is overwhelming!

And of course, a huge thank you to all sponsors, donors and supporters, for your ongoing generosity, and faith in us all to succeed.

Asante Sana!