“Without education, we would be on the street. We don’t know where we would be.”
As I sat across the table from two of our college students in Dar es Salaam earlier this year, I had to make sure my sips of coffee were strategically timed! Our uproarious laughter filled the small eating area as the girls regaled me with stories from their fashion and cooking courses. A few moments later, as we shifted from stories of reflection to those of hopes for the future, Aggie and Glory, became silent for a moment then looked at me with a serious gaze, saying “Eliza, without education, we would be on the street. We don’t know where we would be.” Similar scenes unfolded during discussions with each of the 11 students we support in the Child Sponsorship Program (CSP) in Tanzania: Stories from schools were shared with delight. Likewise the excitement was palpable as we spoke of the future.
Now in my own reflections on the last 9 years of sponsorship support, I remain grateful for the journey shared with these amazing and hardworking students, dear program partners and you, our dedicated sponsors. 2018 has been another year of exciting milestones for the CSP, several of which I was lucky enough to experience firsthand during my two visits to Tanzania! Some highlights include:
1) All of our students are now pursuing their secondary school and/or higher education;
2) One of our students earned a spot in an apprenticeship program called Jobortunity, which provides apprenticeship/job training for young adults who are eager to enter the workforce;
3) We celebrated two Form IV graduations (and in 2019 shall celebrate two more!);
4) Our five eldest are enrolled in college students around the country.
2019 shall mark the 10th year of operation for our program, as well as the formal rollout of the Kesho Fund – a fund specifically devoted to supporting the higher educational endeavors of our students once they’ve graduated Form IV (high school). With the same excitement I felt whilst sitting with the students, and the regular flurry of text messages and calls from them since, I look forward to another fantastic and inspiring journey before us.
Twendeni! (“Let us go!”)
With thanks for your support,
Child Sponsorship Program – Project Manager
To get involved or learn more about our work in Tanzania and the Kesho Fund, please email me: [email protected]
NOTE: accompanying photos of our 11 students, as well as two of our partners, Madam Christine & Mr. Jimmy; Tumaini Junior School teachers with Elizabeth