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A page-turning chapter in Tanzanian education

Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope…
Lower primary headmaster George Stephen giving books to East Meru Community School, a project started by a former St Jude’s volunteer.
Lower primary headmaster George Stephen giving books to East Meru Community School, a project started by a former St Jude’s volunteer.

Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope… Literacy is the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.” ― Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations

The wonder of leafing through a book remains an all-too rare experience for students in Tanzania, and St Jude’s is helping all the more appreciate it.

Boxes of books were personally delivered to various government and community schools by our lower primary headmaster George Stephen and secondary headmaster Rasul Abdul, with help from library mentor Glenyce Surtees.

The donations will benefit a situation in which just 2.4% of the 1.63 million students who entered primary school complete secondary.

St Jude’s works hard to ensure the best education opportunities for every child in our community, in line with our founder’s belief that education is the best way to fight poverty.

Reader: A St Jude’s student beaming in one of our libraries, which are stocked with books donated to the school.
Reader: A St Jude’s student beaming in one of our libraries, which are stocked with books donated to the school.

“Instead of having books in the library that are not used, we consult with library staff and see if we can give away these books to other schools, where they are needed,” George said, explaining that books were sometimes left over when heads of departments ordered new or different versions for their subjects.

“We realised there was a community school here (East Meru Community School), run by a former member of staff (of St Jude’s),” he said.

“It is a kind of sponsorship school like St Jude’s, and depends on donations and support from abroad, and we thought that could be a good place.”

Helping out: St Jude’s secondary school headmaster Rasul Abdul gives much-needed books to Arusha’s District Office for Education, where they will be distributed to the schools most in need.
Helping out: St Jude’s secondary school headmaster Rasul Abdul gives much-needed books to Arusha’s District Office for Education, where they will be distributed to the schools most in need.

Rasul, meanwhile, took picture books to a government primary school and brought senior texts to the District Office for Education for further distribution.

“Local government schools are facing challenges with resources, especially supplementary books,” he said.

“The Government doesn’t have enough funds to fulfill the needs of the schools, so most of those students do not get the opportunity to access different books.”

“I believe the books donated will help (the students) to improve their English.

“Hopefully it will benefit the local schools so that we can improve the education system of our country. It is clear that when the students are exposed to different books, they increase their skills, broaden their thinking capacity and are more curious.”

Science boost: Teachers and students at the secondary campus library are learning lots from science books in the new The Freudenberg Collection.
Science boost: Teachers and students at the secondary campus library are learning lots from science books in the new The Freudenberg Collection.

German company Freudenberg Group also realizes the importance of a good education, and as a result, have donated US$4000 worth of books to St Jude’s this year. The money was given to be spent on science books for our senior secondary students, so science heads of department made up lists of books that would be most beneficial.

“As we worked through the list and the available budget, I was also able to add books about different careers in the science fields,” library mentor Glenyce said.

“Each of the individual books bought with that donation has a label on the front to identify it as such.”

She said even the art department wanted to show their thanks for Freudenberg’s generous donation, and made a sign made to go above the A level collection.

Various school supplies, such as library books, are not covered by our sponsorship programs. General donations which cover these expenses can be made here.

To make sure parcels arrive and incur no expenses for the school

  • Please do NOT register or insure any mail as it costs the school at least USD $25 in taxes at our end.
  • Mark all parcels as being “second-hand goods” or “personal gifts”.
  • Ensure the description of goods written on the parcel matches the actual items inside as customs and postal staff frequently inspect contents of parcels.
  • Please label all parcels clearly with the first and last name of the recipient and your full name.
  • Please put the value of the package at no more than US$10 (the lower the better).
  • Ensure that your parcel is LESS THAN 2KG. We have been advised that parcels less than 2KG are technically tax-free regardless of content, but this is not guaranteed by all postal workers.
 

Tax-free items include books, personal goods and anything that is not new. Used goods, used clothes, etc…(please remove labels and packaging from all items before sending them)

Keep in mind that parcels sent by airmail can take up to four months to get here (sea mail is even longer – often 12+ months!), so don’t worry if it takes a while for us to let you know the parcel has arrived.