December 5, 2023

Letter Distribution

Embarking on a noteworthy journey across three regions (Arusha, Kilimanjaro, and Manyara) and involving 900 schools, the dedicated team of more than 100 Community Service Year volunteers (CSY 9) undertook the significant task of delivering letters to more than 5,000 high-achieving students who excelled in the standard seven national exams. The CSY 9 group played a crucial role in ensuring the success of the letter distribution when the standard seven national results were released in late November, marking the initiation of the enrolment process for new Form 1 students scheduled to start in January.

Enrolment commenced with the distribution of letters to government schools in the three regions that housed the highest-performing students. These letters provided essential information about the scholarship application day, including the date, venue, and required documents.

Isdory, a CSY 9 volunteer at Beyond St Jude’s Team, emphasized the challenges faced during the journey, stating, “Knowing the challenging terrains that lay ahead, we carried with us more than just letters. A spade for the muddy stretches, spare tires for unpredictable roads, and a jack to conquer any obstacle that could stand in our way.”

The CSY volunteers travelled extensively across these regions, navigating through both urban and rural districts. Their responsibilities extended beyond delivering letters, including presenting a bar of soap as a gift to Head Teachers, recording driving directions, and capturing GPS coordinates of each school's location.

Brenda, a CSY volunteer at the Visitors department who journeyed to Hanang district in Manyara region, described the challenges faced during their trip: "We encountered nature's challenges, with heavy rain causing flooded roads that made delivering letters extremely difficult. In some areas, the flooding was so severe and swampy that we had to abandon our shoes and fold our trousers before crossing bridges. Using the bus for these crossings was risky due to the unreliable nature of the bridges."

She further explained, "The places with clay soil posed the most difficulties, as the roads became extremely slippery or sticky, causing the buses to stall. To navigate these sticky roads, we had to make stops, dig dry soil, and spread it before our tires to gain traction. In instances where the car got stuck in mud, we had to disembark, and local villagers joined efforts to push the car."

The volunteers encountered diverse landscapes, from areas with huge rocks and narrow roads ascending hills to breathtaking 45 km motorcycle rides from hill bases to remote schools. Letters distribution marked only the beginning; Scholarship Application Day for Form 1 students followed on Saturday, 2 December (in Moshi and Arusha), with CSY volunteers actively participating in Arusha. Their involvement in various tasks contributed to the smooth execution of events, ensuring a positive experience for over 1,000 students from Arusha Region.

CSY volunteers took on diverse responsibilities, including class markers, shuttlers, and photo portrait helpers, ensuring every moment was captured. They acted as gatekeepers, overseeing the logistics of the examination process, from shuttling students to examination halls to assisting with various activities.

The success of both the letter distribution and Scholarship Application Day underscores the significance of CSY volunteers' involvement in supporting the educational procedure. Gratitude is expressed for their immense help, emphasizing the extensive impact these community service year volunteers had on the successful execution of these events.

Now, it's time for others to join hands and contribute to this noble cause. Whether through volunteering, donations, or raising awareness, let us collectively ensure that the momentum created by CSY 9 continues to positively impact The School of St Jude.