School has Started for our Tanzanian Friends (January 2021)

January marks the start of the school year for our friends in Tanzania. Elementary students will be donning fresh uniforms and walking to their neighborhood village school. The walk might take a few minutes, or it might take an hour or more if there’s no school in their own village. In Tungamalenga, 80 students or more crowd into a single classroom, taught by a single teacher. There aren’t enough text books for every student, so the teacher writes a lot of notes on the blackboard, and the students copy the information into their notebooks. The children study very diligently, knowing that their scores on national exams at the end of the year will determine their future prospects.

Most secondary students travel to boarding schools to continue their education. They wake early in the morning to tend to their housekeeping chores, then attend classes, take meals in the open air dining halls, and spend the evening in supervised study halls. They understand that the cost of their schooling is equivalent to a large portion of the average annual income in Tanzania. A teacher reminds them that attending school is their “golden chance.”

In December, we received a note of thanks from the parent of such a student. He wrote:

“On Friday last week Humphrey graduated Form Four. We went to his school to celebrate his special day of completing ordinary level of schools in Tanzania. Also we picked him back home yesterday to wait for the results of this national exams. His brother Hans has finished his fieldwork at Iringa postal bank and is now back to school in Mbeya Campus of Mzumbe University to complete his studies.

I want to thank you so much for your sponsorship of my sons in their schools. I’m looking forward to prepare them for further studies until they reach a position of self-reliance on their own. Humphrey is waiting for the results to see if he can continue for advanced level studies or going directly to college. Again thank you for your parenthood to my children.”

Thank you to the many generous contributions to our Tanzania Scholarship Fund. SOTV provides scholarship funds for 150 students in our partner congregations and additional funds for students from the Huruma Center Orphanage. Students like Hans and Humphrey, and many more, have opportunities for a brighter future because of your gifts.