Sponsors and Donors
Heading this way? Stop in and see our school for yourself!
Sponsors and donors are welcome to come and visit/stay at the school any time.
The school is extremely grateful to these people who have joined our team - our extended 'family' - as they are the backbone, support and strength behind the progress of the School of St Jude.
Without these individuals, families, clubs, schools, businesses and institutions, we would probably be a school with a few classrooms, a handful of children and a couple of teachers … still dreaming of the impact we hope to make on the extremely poor and disadvantaged children of Arusha.
To all you sponsors and donors we say WELCOME!! If you're thinking of heading to Africa, factor a visit to the school into your itinerary. You will be amazed at how much our school has grown since we had only 1 teacher and 3 students in 2002. Now come and see our 400+ staff, 1650 students and 21 buses. Most importantly, you can see how your money is being used to educate some of Africa's pooest, brightest and most amazing children.
When you come, you can take a tour around the school and see how it's evolved since a Rotary team helped build the first classrooms. Meet with your sponsored child or teacher, travel on your sponsored bus, visit the classroom you sponsor... see what all your kindness and generosity has achieved. Just let us know and we will look forward to hosting you here.
Now, having said that, there are quite a few of you and we'd love to see all of you but we have limited accommodation so please don't all come at once!
To ensure you have a comfortable and memorable stay, carefully consider the following:
What time of year should you come?
If you want to see the school in action, check the term dates below to ensure you don't arrive during the school holidays.
Term Dates 2013
Term 1, 2013: 7th January – 15th February and 25th February – 12th April
Term 2, 2013: 30th April – 7th June and 17th June – 2nd August
Term 3, 2013: 19th August – 4th October and 16th October – 29th November
The Climate in Arusha
If you’d prefer cooler weather, consider coming between April and September. April, May and June are usually the wettest months of the year. May, June, July and August are quite cold and you’ll require winter woolies.
Warmer months are between September and March/ April (the hottest being December - February). However, Arusha is cooler than the rest of the country, because of the high altitude so it's almost always quite pleasant here.
If you would like to stay at the school for a couple of nights, we would love to have you! As sponsors or donors you are more than welcome to stay at the school for up to 7 nights free of charge. The school has modern, basic, single, double and twin units with private shower, toilet facilities.
Alternatively, in Arusha there are many western style hotels and lodges ranging from budget to 5-star accommodation and facilities. We are happy to make suggestions and help you bargain for a good deal.
How long should you spend here?
Because of our limited accommodation and the growing number of sponsors and donors who are starting to visit, we ask people to come here for two or three days. That's usually the perfect amount of time to spend here. Below are a list of some of the great things that you can do to get the most from your trip!
What you can look forward to doing in Tanzania
So you're planning your big trip to Tanzania! With so much to offer, we have a few recommendations about some of the fantastic things in Tanzania, to get you started.
In Arusha and at the school
Some of the things you can look forward to while you're here are meeting the student or teacher that you sponsor, travelling on the bus you support or sitting in the classroom you are helping to pay for.
You can also eat a traditional African lunch with our students and teachers, sit in on a library or music/art class or help out in a PE class. Then, when you feel you have soaked up the St Judes atmosphere, head into the hustle and bustle of Arusha town to check out the UN Rwanda Genocite Tribunal, visit the local craft markets or relax by the pool at one of the local hotels – there is plenty to see and do in Arusha! Then you could see a lot more of Tanzania; take off on safari, head to Zanzibar or climb Kilimanjaro (see below for some information about all the fantastic things you can do in Tanzania).
Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays - the special days at our school!
If you can possibly factor a Monday, Thursday or Friday into your stay at the school, we recommend you do so because you will get to see our school assembly where the students sing the Tanzanian National Anthem and our unforgettable the school song. You can also watch our students receive awards for trying hard, helping their fellow students and being acknowledged for other fantastic efforts.
Please note: Our school assembly is on Monday & Friday are at our Moshono campus and on Thursday at our Usa River Campus - all at 1:30pm.
Go on safari
Spend 4 -7 days on a safari exploring some of the most magnificent National Parks that Africa has to offer, including the Serengeti Plains, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Maynara etc. And if you come at the right time of year, you might witness the famous wildebeest migration (check out the Lonely Planet Guide for more details). If you are planning a safari during your stay in Tanzania you can check out the Go on Safari page in our Visit Us section, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and they will help you plan a safari that fits your itinerary.
Visit the magnificent
Return to the school for another day before you head off to
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
Alternatively you might like to attempt the slopes of Kilimanjaro National Park. Some people reach for the stars and go for the summit. Others just spend a couple of days walking in the National Park, camping and taking in the magnificent sites and atmosphere.
So, now you've decided to visit us!
If you wish to stay at the school, it is vital we have as much notice as possible of your
• arrival date
• length of stay
• number of people travelling
• the name of the student or teacher you sponsor (if relevant) so we can arrange for you to meet them.
When you have this information. Write an email to us at email@example.com with the above details and you will get a reply as soon as possible so that you can start looking forward to your holiday.
Logistics - Getting Here
Arriving by Plane?
The two most convenient airports to fly into are in:
This is the most popular destination for Australians using Emirates Airlines. The most commonly used flight arrives at approximately midday in time to catch a daily shuttle bus departing the airport at 2.00pm for Arusha. The five-hour bus ride, although not the most comfortable, is a direct route across the Kenya/Tanzania border at Namanga.
If you arrive on a flight after 1.30pm, either you will have to stay the night in
People arriving from Europe or
This airport is approximately a 45-minute drive from the school and generally we can arrange to have you collected from there.
What visas will I need?
Don't worry about getting your visa for Tanzania (or Kenya) in advance. It isn't a problem to get a visa when you arrive.
To enter Kenya (unless you are flying out without leaving the airport), you must have a visa. You will need to obtain a Transit Visa (US$20) if you are leaving
As soon as you leave the plane, find the necessary visa application form and head for the visa queue at customs. You can fill in the form in the visa line, which can get very long if you dawdle or delay! Then, explain to the immigration man at the visa section (with confidence and conviction or he will try to make you pay for a normal visa!) that you are leaving on the shuttle bus to Arusha immediately. This visa is US$20 cash so ensure you have this before you leave home and put it in your carry-on luggage. [As visa costs can vary at a moments notice, we advise you to carry an extra US$10 cash just incase.]
Kenya/Tanzania Border: When you travel on the shuttle bus from
Just follow the crowd to the first (Kenyan) border post and you will receive your exit stamp in your passport. NO MONEY IS REQUIRED HERE, DESPITE WHAT ANYONE SAYS! Beware of the scammers.
Then back in the bus for a few minutes to the next (Tanzanian) border post where (if you haven’t already obtained a visa in your home country) you are required to hand over a filled out form (sometimes given out on the bus or available at the office), US$50 or $100 in cash (please check the Tanzanian government website for up to date visa costs) and your passport to receive your 3 month Visitors Visa.
Sometimes the customs inspectors want to check luggage on the bus. The driver will ask you to take your bag to their office to be checked. Then it is back on the bus and you continue on to Arusha and arrive at the terminus in Arusha. We will collect you from there to go to the school.
2. Arusha, Tanzania (Mt Kilimanjaro Airport)
When you fly into this airport you will need a Tanzanian Visa which you can purchase at the airport as you come through customs and immigration. For most nationalities this will cost US$50 or $100 cash. However, as visa costs can vary at a moments notice, I advise you to carry an extra US$10 in cash just incase.
What health issues do I need to be aware of?
Before leaving home, ask your doctor what inoculations are recommended for the area. Keep in mind that there are quite a few hospitals and clinics in Arusha so if you do feel sick we are happy to help you out.
Please be aware that for many travellers it is essential to have a Yellow Fever vaccination before coming to Tanzania – you may not be checked at the border, but getting back home may be a problem if you don’t have your Yellow Fever card. You can check the most updated information with your doctor.
Research the latest information on anti malarial drugs, as there are new ones on the market. The best action against malaria is prevention – use mosquito repellent, cover up in the evenings, sleep under a mosquito net. If someone suffers the symptoms of malaria they are immediately taken to a local doctor, given a test and if positive for malaria, the patient is given medication and usually within a few days they are back on their feet.
If visitors use common sense – cook with and drink bottled or clean, boiled water, regularly wash their hands and take the usual personal care then they will alleviate any health problems.
Money - What to bring?
US dollars cash: This is the best currency to use. It is easily exchanged in Arusha or even at the school. Big denomination notes (US$100, US$50, US$20) get a much better rate so avoid anything smaller. * Please note at the school we are unable to change any bills that are older than 2004 so be sure to bring bills dated after 2004. It is also possible to exchange Euros and Pounds in Arusha and Australian Dollars in town.
Credit Cards: Visa or MasterCard. Very few establishments take credit cards so only consider using these for taking out cash from ATM machines. However, this is a very expensive way to get cash so only use as a last resort.
Savings Account Card with PIN number: There are several banks in Arusha that have ATM (‘swipe’) machines so you can access your personal account directly. Cirrus and Plus also works here.
Traveller’s Cheques: Unless you are travelling with a very large amount of money avoid traveller’s cheques as the exchange rate is very low and very few places take them here.