If you’ve ever visited St Jude’s and were given a tour of the Sisia or Smith Campuses, chances are a jovial Tanzanian man named Felix guided you in and out of the classrooms, around the playgrounds and sat with you in the outdoor dining hall. If not, you’re bound to have met him, as he’s the first person you see when entering our offices.
Felix has been a member of the St Jude’s family for the past eight years, first starting out as a bus driver with little grasp of the English language. Determined to work in the administration office someday, Felix would practice his English with the students while he drove them to and from St Jude’s everyday.
“I remember when I was driving a bus some of the students would give me homework, because I was trying to talk to them in English, but my English was very poor,” Felix says. “They tried to correct me and I was really reading the papers they gave me, so the next day I would not make the same mistake again.”
After working four years as a bus driver, Felix improved his English enough that it landed him a spot in the Visitor Team. He’s not only become one of the most recognisable and beloved faces at St Jude’s, but he’s developed computer skills and an eye for improving visitor relations with the hundreds of guests who visit St Jude’s every year.
“St Jude’s has really changed my life,” Felix says. “My English has improved and I’m very happy to work in the office.”
Through hard work and a will to achieve his goals, Felix has become a role model to the students and a cherished friend and colleague to the staff.
The school bell sounds and hundreds of Tanzanian children pile out of their classrooms as laughter, singing and shouting fill the air. More than 1650 children from impoverished backgrounds from the Arusha region, in Northern Tanzania, are relishing in a free, high quality education at The School of St Jude.
They’re now closer to realising their dreams compared to those studying in a Tanzanian government school where there are limited resources, overcrowded classrooms and no meals. At St Jude’s, these children are challenging themselves to escape a life of poverty and are focused on becoming doctors, teachers or leaders in their field.