Can you believe our Child Sponsorship Program is now in its teen years – with November 2021 marking Year 13?! What an adventure we have shared thus far!!
In October 2009, I sat down with the leadership of Shalom Orphanage Centre and heard their request for a focus on educational support for the children in their care. Unlike our previous one-time projects which supported construction efforts and securing school supplies, a focus on educational support would be a more long-term, dedicated endeavor. And so, immediately after this discussion with leadership, I began drafting what would become our Child Sponsorship Program (CSP)!
Over the CSP’s 12 years, we’ve seen the students work hard in school (some even traveling across the country for coursework!), articulate their aspirations, grow into stellar young adults, and pursue their dreams. Along with the big celebrations such as students finishing their school journeys and securing employment, we’ve experienced more somber moments when support was discontinued as students did not meet program guidelines. As we’ve journeyed together, JOS too has grown, most notably by extending support for higher educational endeavors, like vocational programs and college courses following high school graduation, and by partnering with organizations that support young adults as they transition towards independent living. And on the eve of year 13, we celebrated another milestone: Glory, our first college graduate!
Glory was in our inaugural cohort of students back in October 2009, one of the “Tumaini 7,” as you might recall. Throughout her school career, she consistently earned high marks and remained in full pursuit of her dreams. Earlier this year as she was finishing her final round of field work for her pharmaceutical studies college certificate, Glory and I spoke at length about next steps and life post-JOS support (see Kesho Fund FAQs for further details on transitions). A few days after this discussion, I came upon this street art in New York City and its timely reminder: Dream until it’s your reality.
Next up for Glory, she is eligible for a one-time JOS transition grant which will help her as she navigates a new and exciting chapter: a recently secured internship with FAME Medical in Karatu, a dear JOS partner since October 2009. She is keen to gain some work experience before pursuing further studies in the future. We are so thrilled for her and this fantastic opportunity. NOTE, check out Glory’s thank you video which we coincidentally had recorded whilst on the FAME campus!
In Other News, we have three remaining students in our program, all of whom began their CSP journeys in 2010. Baraka and Naomi are second year college students – Baraka focusing on mechanical engineering and Naomi pursuing clinical officer training. Both are in three-year college courses, complete with field work opportunities. And, our youngest, Shedrack, is set to graduate Form IV/high school this month.
Our work surely would not be possible without the invaluable support of our Tanzanian partner, Yusuf. The students have faced a tremendous amount of transitions over the years and especially in this last year once their sign-out process formally began. Accordingly, we have leaned heavily on Yusuf’s expertise and guidance, from completing home visits to greet our students’ families of origin, to assisting with school shopping, even treating the students to meals during school holidays and securing holiday-time housing, and more! Yusuf’s long-standing relationship with the students and Shalom and friendship with JOS have enabled these transitions to be very smooth.
Likewise, we are grateful for the generous partnership you – our donors – have gifted us. Thank you for journeying with us and the students in our program! To continue on with us, you can donate here, with “CSP-Kesho Fund” in the memo. 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 – you can donate here and indicate “CSP-Yusuf” in the memo or contact Elizabeth for more details!
With a grateful heart for your continued partnership as we keep on dreaming,
View the video clip: Glory says thank you!