Marlene Killian is a private piano and voice teacher in Williamsville, NY. In August, 2013, she was able to realize her dream of traveling to Africa. She climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro followed by a five day safari. She prepared for the climb for several months and thought that reaching the summit of the 19,370 foot mountain would be the greatest experience of her life. Little did she know that her trip would evolve into a passionate mission to help the African people.
Ms. Killian witnessed deplorable living conditions first-hand. Most Tanzanians live in shacks with no electricity, running water or paved roads. They survive mainly on subsistence agriculture, working on tiny plots of land with primitive tools. She spoke with her guides about the problems in their country. Education, specifically in the Lindi Region, was emphasized as a huge problem and a need for future development. Being a teacher, Ms. Killian understands that education is the way out of poverty. Before leaving Tanzania, she promised to help at least one school and she chose the Nkowe Secondary School. Nkowe School is in the rural Lindi Region in southeast Tanzania, the poorest region in Tanzania.
There are few teachers in the school and often 100 students are packed into a classroom. Many students drop out of school because their families cannot afford the nominal annual fee charged by all government schools. Learning takes place solely by copying notes from the chalkboard, all written in English. Most of the students have a very poor understanding of the English language and so they “blindly” try to memorize their notes. They are unprepared for the national examinations and therefore most of the students don’t pass. Without a basic high school degree, jobs are impossible to find. In order to find work to support a family, a high school diploma and a good command of the English language are necessary because the best paying jobs are in tourism.
Ms. Killian is in regular contact with the headmaster of the Nkowe Secondary School and he has compiled a complete list of all the textbooks needed by his students. Its students are anxiously awaiting their first ever shipment of textbooks. Funds are also needed to supply a new science lab with furniture and equipment. Ms. Killian invites you to support global literacy, one school at a time with your donation.