Six years ago, Eva’s face beamed from the cover of our school founder Gemma Sisia’s autobiography, titled ‘St Jude’s.’ Eva was a young girl who was still realising her dreams. She epitomised the happy, bright-eyed child at St Jude’s who is overjoyed about getting a free, high quality education. Now she has grown and is developing into a well-adjusted, young adult. She is in Form 1 and has big aspirations, with a world of possibilities in front of her. This is her story.

Eva started at St Jude’s in 2006, when the school was four years old and we had just over 600 students and around 115 staff.

Eva’s family includes her father, John, mother, Penina, and younger brothers Richard and Benjamin. They live in a two-room brick home. Like many other Tanzanian dwellings, it has no plumbing (water is collected from a neighbourhood tap for a small monthly fee) and meals are prepared over a charcoal- or kerosene-fuelled stove.

To support the family, Eva’s father finds work where he can as a carpenter and a mason. Her mother works at their home as a tailor. They are big supporters of Eva’s education and encourage her to continue learning in the hope that one day she will have qualifications and a successful career so she can break the cycle of poverty for herself, help them and her community.

Eva showed promise as a student at a young age. As a child, she would often ask her parents to send her to a school which would enable her to learn English. “I wanted to learn English because I knew in this world of today that I needed it and I strived to get a high quality education as I wanted to have a bright future,” said Eva.

She grew up playing with her younger brother and their games would regularly revolve around learning. “There was one game where we liked to draw and the first one to finish was the winner. The aim of it was that you drew things, like an egg and you also wrote the name of it in English. So, I always liked to play games where I could learn new words.”

Before St Jude’s, Eva attended a government school where nearly all of her subjects were in Swahili. It was a limited learning environment where she felt she was not able to reach her full potential. She remembers hearing about St Jude’s at her old school and then soon applied.

It was a turning point in her life. After passing the relevant checks, she was accepted and began a new chapter of her life. “When I found out I was going to St Jude’s, I thought it was amazing and I was very happy. It meant a lot to me,” said Eva.

Since then she has reached a number of milestones. She successfully completed her seven years of primary schooling, has begun high school and has impressively scored A’s in almost all of her subjects. She also boards at the school’s Smith campus which is preparing her to be a strong, independent individual.

Eva’s life has been transformed because of her education. She has sponsors in Australia and is acutely aware that their support has enabled her to have clean uniforms, a place to board, fresh, nutritional food, committed teachers and access to state-of-the-art ICT laboratories and well-stocked libraries.

Research supports the assertion that sponsorship can make a huge difference in a child’s life. Bruce Wydick, an economist from the University of San Francisco, carried out a study in six countries over three continents, including in Uganda and Kenya. He and his team studied more than 10-thousand individuals who had been sponsored in the 1980s. The overall result was that student sponsorship works and that 50 to 80 per cent are more likely to complete a university education.  

“By sponsoring a child at St Jude’s you will change the life of that child, their family, their community and contribute to changing their country,” says St Jude’s School Director, John Ford. “The evidence and the economics say it works and if you visit the school you can see it for yourself. What better way is there of using your money?”

Eva, the little girl that shyly took her first steps through the St Jude’s gates seven years ago, has grown into a happy, confident young adult. She is like any other teenager who enjoys spending time with her friends and playing card games. In a few years, Eva plans to head to university to study engineering and work in Tanzania. Like the young girl on the cover of St Jude’s, she is optimistic, loves life, has the world at her feet and is ready to embrace it. 

For the competition, students were required to write an essay of up to 1,000 words about the topic:  “How can governments, businesses, non-profits, individuals and the youth collaborate to maximize Africa’s youth potential for the continent’s development and prosperity?” Here’s Wenseslaus’ essay:

In Africa there is a very large number of youth that has even exceeded other age groups. A youth age rank from 15- 27  years age. Around 43% of Africans are youth with the potential to bring development to this continent. Potential is the  ability of prosperity that is within an individual to do something much better for development purposes. 

“The world is on the cusp of entering a new reality in which human potential itself will become the major agent of economic growth,” said Jeffrey A. Joerres, CEO and President of Manpower Group, “Entering human age”, 2011.

Government is the group of people responsible for their citizens in the sense of leadership and law maintenance. The non-governmental organizations are organizations that do not depend on government support to run their activities. Businesses deal with provision of goods and services to consumers at the time of need while individuals are independent people. All these groups and individuals can come together to maximize the potential of African youth in different ways.

Firstly, by providing quality education and vocational skills. This can be done through construction of schools. Individuals may assist in learning institutions and even find scholarship opportunities for youth. Due to the fact that many Africans are not educated and those who are educated have low quality education, there is a need for these groups including individuals to assist in quality education for youth. 

For those who are not qualified academically, there should be vocational skills training that could help them get qualifications. There are about 133 million young people, 50% of whom are illiterate. If this number is reduced, we could count on a big development step for Africa. For example, an educated person can control a business well and later the profit is used for future development by paying tax to government. 

Fruits of education cannot be seen in a short time. It takes some years to reap what you sow.

There must be greater investment in science and technology. When governments, non-profit organisations, businesses and individuals join forces in science and technology we expect to enhance development in our continent. Also through empowering women to study science subjects. This would increase the number of students and graduates.

 There are so many youth in Africa who have the potential to do well in science and technology. Much concentration can be put in this sector since it is important that we consider the world’s fast moving technology. Many inventions, ideas, and discoveries have come from America, Asia and Australia but very few come from Africa. This shows we are behind in technology. If we invest we will one day end up developing in line with the Europeans and others.

Moreover, there is a need to create more employment opportunities. Employment makes a person self-reliant since they have a source of income. It should not just be spoken about but implemented and jobs should only go to qualified people so businesses can prosper. Uneducated persons can make a business decline as a factor of not having enough knowledge. Through employment, people will be able to pay taxes to their governments which will help in construction of social services like schools, roads and hospitals.

We have to start trusting youth and give them a chance to show their worth. If you hire a youth to control your business, I would assure you of a great success rather than anyone else, particularly if it is not their homeland. An African has a true love for their land compared to anyone else from abroad. I believe Africans can do better things, once given a chance.

Unemployment rate in Africa




















Nevertheless, rendering of resources such as books and equipment to youth is another important factor. These can help youth to accomplish their dreams. These tools can include learning materials in the education sector, provision of quality machines will make the production more effective and lead to prosperity. 

Equipment, resources and tools may be offered by different methods like loans. Capital to start a business can be provided and interest be paid in return. This will make youth be more serious about their work knowing that they have something in return rather than just providing equipment for free without any consideration. For example youth who use computers to study have a higher ability for understanding compared to those who study without. Students who are exposed to resources perform much better than those without.

Furthermore, giving out reasonable loans can build the spirit of entrepreneurship in youth. Not only in business but also loans for study costs. There are some wealthy individuals like Dangote from Nigeria who are wealthy enough to provide loans to youth in order to maximize their potential. According to the loans rules they have strict conditions for one to obtain a loan. The government and banks should try to make the conditions lighter so we have a larger number of youth taking loans. 

For example, people need fixed assets to get a loan and many youth come from poor families. They may not have assets but they have the potential to do something to get out of that poverty. Hard conditions limit the number of youth putting effort into development and as a result hinders development overall.

In conclusion, the main thing needed is to main and bring development to African youth is teamwork and cooperation. These are the keys to a successful life. 

Though there are various challenges that are facing African youth such as poor infrastructure, lack of technology, poor administrative leadership and lack of skills, I still believe that one day Africa will be a place of another world. Changes are possible with commitment to oneself. If we have opportunities, let’s make good use of it. The little knowledge we have, let’s use it to bring greater change and reduce poverty.

Let’s make Africa a home for other continents.

There were around 200 entries and 46 came from St Jude’s. Ebenezer made it into the top 10 and travelled to Dar es Salaam for the award ceremony. He didn’t get one of the major prizes but was awarded a merit certificate and Tsh/-50,000. Ebenezer says he wants to use the money during the break to enlarge his chicken house so he can keep more chickens. Here's his essay: 

Standards are documented agreements containing specifications or other precise criteria to be used consistently as rules, guidelines or definitions of characteristics to ensure that material, products, processes and serves are fit for their purpose. For example, the format of credit cards and smart cards that have become common place is derived from an ISO international standard. Adhering to the standards which defines such features as an optimum thickness (0.76mm) means that the card can be used world wide. Positive change is the act or result of replacing things, people and services from a worse situation to a better one.

Standardization began many years ago but started accelerating and becoming common in the 1960’s during the time of industrial revolution in many parts of the world. Standards were introduced to increase productivity and the quality of the goods. Currently each country in the world has its own national standards organization. In Tanzania we have Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) which was established in 1975 under a Ministry of Industry and Trade by an act of parliament. In 1976 the name was changed to Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) which effectively and officially began its operation in 1977. The world standard organization is called ISO. The International Organization for Standardization was established in 1947 with the mission of promoting the development of standardization and related activities in the world with a view to facilitate the international exchange of goods and services and to develop cooperation in spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological and economical activity.

Standards ensure positive change in many ways. These changes are beneficial to individuals and the world at large. These are some of the positive changes brought about by standards.

Standards reduce the cost in production by optimizing operations and therefore improve the bottom line. Since the tools used in production are standardized, they work efficiently hence reducing the cost compared to when non-standardized tools are used. For instance, electronic machines which have no standards consume a lot of electric energy. This becomes a burden in production since the cost is multiplied. Tools and machines with no standards may only last a short time. This can cause an organization to undergo unnecessary costs in purchasing new tools or repairing them often.

Standards enhance customer satisfaction and increase sales in business when products are at their best quality and approved by standards such as ISO or TBS, customers are found to be satisfied leading to an increase in sales. For example, American products are often most preferred due to the fact that they are approved by the American National Standards which is very strict so as to ensure quality of the product. Imagine the world without standards. People would be complaining due to the increase of fake products in the market. It would be very difficult to determine quality products. Businesses would face difficulties in proving the qualities of their goods to their trusted customers.

New markets are accessed due to the existence of standards. International standards help prevent trade barriers and open up the global market. People of the African continent are able to import computers from Europe and Asia due to the presence of international standards. Any product approved by international standards to meet the requirements can be sold in any nation without any barrier. Even though the product is quality but it is not approved by the international standards, such products may be regarded as fake products. Some fake medicines have been imported into our country but because we have the national bureau of standards (TBS), all these medicines have been noticed and are being banned from sale so as to ensure the good health of citizens. This leads to economic development of the nation. Tanzania experienced rapid growth in production since 2006 due to roles played by TBS in ensuring standards for efficiency of the society as shown in the graph below

Standards increase market share through increasing productivity and competitive advantage. International standards raise competition in productivity and quality of goods. Many countries in the world have tried their best to produce quality products so as to attract more customers so as to increase their export trade. Goods imported to our country come from foreign nations. This is because we are still undeveloped because we import more compared to what we export. Standards raise competition in the global market by deciding which product deserves to be exported or imported. When goods which are below the required standards are imported or exported, such goods may be banned from being sold by the concerned national standards organization. Every nation in the world has its criteria for assessing the quality of products depending on the development of that country. Some products for instance can meet the required standard in Tanzania but cannot do the same in the USA. This is due to the technological and economical gap that exists. The biggest role of international standards is in increasing market share is creating national prestige where by each nation wants to honored in quality of goods it produces hence leading to global competition in productivity.

Standards also reduce negative impacts on the environment. Taking importation of cars as an example, some of the cars produce a lot of smoke into the atmosphere. In order to reduce such problems, international standards had to be introduced. For that reason, car manufacturing industries have tried their level best to modify car engines which produce less pollution in the atmosphere to meet the required standard. Imagine the world with no standards.

Standards ensure peace and security in the world. Products such as explosives and flammable liquids like petroleum have to be approved by international standards so as to avoid various accidents in case they are misused. Tanzanian and other international standards ensure that chemicals are stored in favorable conditions. For example, acids which are imported to our nation are ensured to be at optimum concentration and not being too concentrated. This is to safeguard the users.

Standards ensure expertise in the entire world. Through standards people become experts in various fields such as engineering, information and communication technology, electronics and mechanics. Since quality and efficiency of goods are judged based on standards, industries and manufacturing companies ensure creativity which induces expertise. Example, in South Africa we have well experienced experts in car manufacturing and these are made to the international standard and able to suit the conditions for transport in Africa.

Employment opportunities are broadened by standards. The standards organizations across the world provide employment opportunities to many people. Managers, laboratory technicians, chemists, scientists are among the careers provided by standards organizations.

A standard stimulates Innovation in the society. Standards have a considerable role to play in stimulating a knowledge-intensive activity such as innovation, regardless of whether this is focused on products or processes. Researchers, developers, engineers and marketing experts use standardization documents as important sources of information about state-of-the-art technology and processes. Standards and standardization activities strongly support the processes by which new technology is adopted and used, and they have a potentially powerful influence on the dissemination of information about technology.  Standards increases creativity in the society where people have been coming up with new techniques in undertaking production.