Child Sponsorship Program (CSP) Tanzania: Celebrating 11 Years! | Surely 2020 has been a year of transitions! Thankfully in the midst of Covid-19’s spread, all of our students and program partners in Tanzania have remained healthy and safe! Earlier this year, two students, Elijah James transitioned out of the CSP and we anticipate one more transition in early 2021 after Rose V. completes a six-month apprenticeship. As the CSP enters year 12 of its programming, we have five full-time students pursuing higher education courses: Shedrack who will begin his senior year of high school in January and college students Baraka, Naomi, Rose S. and Glory. We are grateful for the ongoing generosity of our donors and we are excited for all that is ahead! As you’ll read below, our CSP will expand its support to current students in 2021 to ensure they have access to training between school terms, so click here and choose “Child Sponsorship Program,” to join us for another year of educational support or contact Project Lead Elizabeth Kallop to learn how you can become involved!
Covid-19: Schools Paused | Earlier this year in March, shortly after the first few cases were reported in Tanzania, schools were closed for several months. For some of our students, they were able to do limited distance learning, whereas others were enrolled in vocational courses near Shalom as available, to ensure their learning wasn’t interrupted.  For our Jobortunity student, James, the Covid-related closure meant his March graduation was postponed to June. Thankfully as he was awaiting graduation, James secured full-time employment within the hospitality industry! Though tourism is still low due to Covid-19, James remains gainfully employed and has successfully graduated from his one-year apprenticeship at Jobortunity and graduated from our JOS program!
Where We Have Been: More Transitions | Once schools were permitted to re-open, our five full-time students excitedly returned to their courses and school friends: our youngest, Shedrack, shifted to a new school after his former private institution was unable to re-open after several months of closure; Rose S. resumed her 1st year college courses on business administration; Glory finished her 2nd year of college with a focus on pharmaceutical studies and just days ago began her 3rd and final year of college; and Baraka & Naomi – our two students who began their first year of college in November – first finished vocational studies in Karatu before leaving for college. And, our soon-to-be CSP graduate, Rose V., who completed a one year vocational program in 2019 shortly before becoming a new mom, has opted to pursue an apprenticeship in Karatu. Earlier this year, Rose was to enter the hospitality industry however positions are not available until at least March 2021 due to Covid. 
What is Ahead: Independence | Though the students we support have called Shalom Orphanage Centre home since we started the CSP in 2009, by law those over 18 cannot permanently live at orphanages or children’s homes. Rather, their guardians (Shalom in this case) are required to assist those over 18 in their transition to independence. Though JOS is not a guardian, surely we are committed to the students’ wellbeing and continued transition to adulthood, too!  As such, for the last 18 months, JOS has been discussing with Shalom, guardians, potential partners, and the students themselves, the options for our sponsored students, all of whom are older than 18 years of age. As the students near their independence from Shalom, we’re excited to be in conversations with organizations like The Foundation for Tomorrow and The Girls Foundation of Tanzania, which provide invaluable programming such as coaching, mentorship, and more, to students like ours.
Get Involved: Kesho Fund Support | Starting in 2021, in light of the additional support we will provide to our students as they transition towards independent living, the per annum sponsorship cost will increase to $2,500.00USD. This $500.00USD increase will enable us to cover accommodations and food costs between school terms, as well as secure coaching and mentorship opportunities for the young adults in our CSP.  At present, one of our students – 3rd year college student Glory – is in need of support, so if you’re keen to become an individual sponsor, contact Elizabeth for more information! 
A final note: due to our enhanced attention to the students’ independence, we have recently hired a long-term JOS supporter and friend based in Tanzania: Yusuf. For those familiar with our CSP history, Yusuf was one of the guides from the 2008 Kilimanjaro climb and first introduced Elizabeth to Shalom in 2008. Historically, all admin funds towards our project are separately secured by Elizabeth and do not come out of student sponsorship costs. If you would like to donate specifically to admin fees – in this case the costs for Yusuf’s dedicated part-time assistance to our project – please contact Elizabeth for more details!
Thanks for journeying with us! Onward we go!
Elizabeth Kallop