“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.
“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.”
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.”
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.