The St Jude’s Rotary office was filled with the sounds of craftwork as Interactors got busy with their latest community project.
“We are making blackboard dusters to give to schools. I think I have made over five so far!” explains enthusiastic secondary student Eva.
As well as being a practical show of goodwill for a local school, who can then prioritise their limited budget on providing more books for their students, the blackboard dusters have another benefit. They are made out of recycled foam from old mattresses and help reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. The soft, spongey material is perfect for a new life as a duster!
Once a mini mountain of dusters had been made, our students hopped on a St Jude’s bus to give them to two neighboring schools in Arusha - Oldadai and Njiro Secondary Schools. The smile from Oldadai Secondary School headmaster Urio Godson shows they were well received!
Both schools are supported by our Community Service Year Interns (CSY) Interns. Many local government schools do not have enough teachers, and a student to teacher ratio that makes effective teaching difficult. It is not uncommon to see over 100 children in one classroom.
Daudi is one of last year’s St Jude graduates doing his Community Service Year at Njiro Secondary School, and Kelvin is at Oldadai Secondary School. Now that The School of St Jude has both intern teachers and a supply of blackboard dusters to help support our local community, we are sure our Rotarian students can build on this with their community project plans in the future.
Interact gives our students the confidence to present their ideas and the opportunity to get a project off the ground and out into the world. The blackboard duster project was the brainchild of Edgar from Form 3. Rotary Coordinator Seb was full of praise for the community-minded student.
“He is brilliant. Edgar constantly tries to develop more knowledge about Rotary and goes to the library to research in his free time,” he said. “The dusters were his idea. He came to me with the idea and I encouraged him to take it to the club President and board. He even taught the other Interactors how to make them.”
St Jude’s students love to help others, so show your support for their community enthusiasm by helping fund their projects. They learn skills for life and grow confidence!
More than 500 promising primary school graduates streamed through the St Jude’s gates late this month.
They arrived early, prepared for testing and hopeful of securing a St Jude’s scholarship that will ensure they receive a free, high-quality education through high school.
An opportunity like this doesn’t come along often in Tanzania, one of the world’s poorest countries. Just 7.5% of the total population over 25 years old has a secondary education, so those who are eventually chosen from this eager group already have a chance at a brighter future.
Each of these students have already showed their dedication to education – due to their impressive exam results, they were invited from under-resourced government schools to vie for fewer than 100 Form 1 scholarships available.
“Student selection is very important to St Jude’s and it’s imperative we get it right,” testing co-ordinator and Community Relations Manager Charlotte Peyrat-Vaganay said.
“This process gives the most diligent students the best chance of receiving a well-educated future.”
Each year St Jude’s awards scholarships for free high-quality education to the poorest and brightest students in Arusha.
New students are enrolled in a number of different age groups, from Grade 1, right up to Form 5, the second last year of high school.
In August, more than 700 students from across Arusha participated in a similar process for our 2017 Grade 1 scholarships.
Students who successfully pass the academic testing must then pass a poverty assessment to ensure we reach the families who need your support the most.
Donate today and help our school continue to offer a high-quality education to promising but underprivileged students in Tanzania.
They’ve finished in the academic top 1% in the nation, and now our Grade 7’s are showing their maturity by demonstrating community spirit during their holidays.
Our Grade 7s recently came third from 68 schools in the district and improved in the national rankings. All students finished with marks of either ‘A’ or ‘B’ in their national exams, qualifying St Jude’s as one of the top primary schools in Tanzania.
Primary school headmaster George Stephen was unsurprisingly thrilled with the outcome.
“I would like to congratulate every one of us (within the primary school) who worked to achieve these good results. Your hard work is appreciated,” he said.
“Let’s continue working towards more performances like this.”
More than 30 of these enthusiastic, soon-to-be primary school graduates have busily spent their end of school-year break volunteering for our school community.
Anethi (Annette) is one such inspirational student. She has chosen to give back by helping to prepare the hundreds of meals our kitchen serves each day, as well as sharing her creative skills in the art room.
“I wanted to help so I just said I would (in both areas),” Anethi explained, adding that she knew she could be an asset in the kitchen as she often helps her mother prepare family meals.
“I help in the (school) kitchen by washing utensils, cutting vegetables and helping serve lunch.”
Anethi, along with her friends Nasma, Nasabi, Martha, Elizabeth, Lightness and Brenda, help create Christmas cards and crafty creations for our supporters. Her favourite project has been bottle-top earrings, which Gemma will bring on her tour next year.
“I really like making the earrings and working with my friends on crafts,” she said, singing the praises of Miriam, a St Jude’s Form 6 graduate who is co-ordinating the program.
“She’s good, she helps us lots and it’s fun. I am enjoying it very much.”
Miriam said she has appreciated working with the young students, and enjoyed giving them guidance in both life and their art projects.
“Originally I was hoping to have 10 students (to help with projects), but the 7 I have are better than 10. They are perfect,” Miriam said.
Miriam said students like shy, smiley Anethi were greatly appreciated for their volunteering, and the Grade 7 group as a whole are high-achieving, excellent examples of student leaders.
Donate to St Jude’s and help us remain in the top 1% for many years to come. Go here to find out how.
St Jude’s is helping address the shortage of women in ICT professions by encouraging our students to gain experience on the World Wide Web.
With laptops in hand and the curiosity to try something new, a group of our female students attended a local college to learn how to build a Wikipedia web page in a special event designed to promote the next generation of female leaders in ICT in Tanzania.
In small teams our students worked together to write a new entry into the encyclopaedia on the internet. Salome was one of the fastest typists in her team.
“We are writing an article about Hotmail,” she said. “I really like writing and seeing my work published online instantly!”
Multilingual Tech Gurus: The students editing a Wiki page in Swahili and English.
The School of St Jude’s Head of ICT, Ernest Mayala, really enjoyed taking students out of the classroom and giving them a glimpse of what their future in education may look like.“I am so impressed,” he said. “Our students have taken part in a real college lecture and are working with maturity and impeccable behaviour.”
Rebecca Ryakitimbo, event facilitator, shares St Jude’s belief that tomorrow’s female leaders are the children of today who just need the skills and confidence to grow. She spoke to students interested in taking up traditionally male subjects at university about her own personal experience of studying a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering in Kenya.
“I was the only woman in my whole university class,” she said. “It took a lot of self-belief to tell everyone that this is what I wanted to do. Helping at events like today allows me to spark that confidence in other girls who were just like me.’
Also inspiring our students are Beyond St Jude's CSY interns Winrose and Miriam. It was the first time they had seen our secondary students since they graduated from St Jude’s in May.
All hands on deck: Our students all participated to make this a successful workshop.
Miriam is now volunteering in our business office, where she is gaining valuable experience working in a professional workplace.“It was so nice to tell the younger students what life is like after you leave school,” she said. “I really enjoy working in a professional office and have learnt so much!”
Australia is beckoning in Winrose’s future as she will be travelling with Gemma next year, spreading the word about St Jude’s. She led a small team writing a Wikipedia article about Wi-Fi.
“St Jude’s really gave me the confidence to think I can achieve anything,” she said. “I like seeing students at events like today shine.”
More than half of our students are women. Donate today to support more future female leaders in ICT and the sciences!
Each year St Jude’s begins the long, difficult but very important task of choosing its newest Grade 1 class. This year, we did things a little differently, inviting the top 10 students from every local government school to come and sit our entrance test.
Gemma said, “This change will better allow us to offer the most deserving students and families the chance at a St Jude’s education and while I wish we could offer every student in Arusha the chance of a scholarship, this just isn’t possible. We felt this change made the whole process fairer.”
The nearly 1,000 students who were invited began to arrive bright and early, armed with their invitation letters, pencils and a determination to succeed. The students first sat a reading test, with those who passed moving onto a written test. The successful students then underwent a documents check to ensure they meet our age and other entry requirements.
Of the nearly 1,000 students who tried only 117 passed this first stage. Those who passed will now undergo our strict poverty assessment. Organised by our Community Relations team, this stage of the process allows us to ensure that every St Jude’s scholarship is gifted to a student whose life will change the most.
We can’t wait to introduce you to the deserving new students early next year when they begin at St Jude’s!
Want to help St Jude's give these students the education they deserve? Donate to Learning Resources today!
From cow dung to insect repellent, industrial waste to bio-gas and plastic bags to building materials; St Jude’s students are applying their first rate scientific education, turning Tanzanian trash into sustainable treasures.
Secondary Headmaster, Nestory Msoffe, was beaming with pride as he inspected over 50 exhibitions from St Jude's students and invited local schools, at the 6th annual St Jude’s Science Day.
“Instead of being content in their circumstances, Science Day gives our students motivation and tools to look for solutions to community challenges and use the resources available to innovate for a better future for our nation,” Mr Msoffe said.
Here's a few examples from the day:
Making plastic fantastic!
Edgar in Form 3 has been working on his Plastic Recycling project since 2014. He was motivated by the challenges of affordable, durable housing in Tanzania as well as environmental concerns.
“Two years ago, I was in Dar es Salaam and there were terrible floods, most of the people’s houses were mud so they were swept away. They made mud houses because they didn’t have money to construct strong houses.
“Tanzania produces 8 billion plastic bags a year, they end up in the rivers so animals get choked and the bags don’t decompose. You can’t say, ‘stop using plastic bags’, because people have very low income and plastic is cheapest.
“Recycling them is the only way to reduce pollution,” he said.
Edgar’s innovation comprises a custom-made metal burner in which he melts plastic bags and combines them with a few other 'secret ingredients' before transferring the mixture into handmade molds to make roof tiles, paving tiles and bricks.
“Tanzania doesn’t produce any roof tiles, most of them are imported from South Africa. If you could recycle plastic bags to make roof tiles, bricks and paving, you could create a whole industry that will give employment to the youth and contribute to development,” Edgar said.
The tenacious teen is still innovating, not content with a first place prize he is looking for materials to incorporate a carbon capture mechanism, of his own design, into the melting machine.
Edgar is also looking to bio-gas options to replace his natural gas burners.
Waste not want not!
Clara, also in Form 3, took out the prestigious Chairman’s Award for her innovation in sustainable energy sources.
With help from her friends and staff supervisor, Mr Amani, the aspiring medical doctor produced bio-gas using cow dung, bacteria, potassium hydroxide, a handful of buckets and pipes, and some cement for sealing.
“Many gases are produced from the decomposition of cow dung using saprophytic bacteria, the main product is methane, which can be very useful,” Clara said.
“When the gases are combusted, they produce bio-gas and can be connected to a gas cylinder which you can use for heating and cooking purposes and can be compressed to produce electricity.
“By using agricultural waste, municipal waste, green waste, sewage and animal waste to make bio-gas, we can make heating and electricity more available, we can lower pollution and deforestation in our environment and save money,” Clara said.
Herbal insect repellent made by Juma, Martin and Kilimba (Form 3) out of cow dung and pine needles. When it is burned it can last for many hours and is much cleaner and cheaper than mosquito coils.
“Mosquito coils are not good for you in small spaces, they are like smoking 137 cigarettes,” Kilimba said.
Organic disinfectant using rice, water and fermented milk bacteria, Aneth and Sesilia (Form 3) produced a low-cost, effective disinfectant with applications as varied as unblocking drains, decomposing waste and treating livestock for disease.
"The mixture must be activated with sugar and with the right ratio of molasses to disinfectant; it can be stored for up to 3 years," Aneth said.
Shoe polish – charcoal, water and glycerin combined to make a nifty, low-cost shoe polish. This entry was submitted by Shepherds School, one of the eight local schools who participated in the day.
Quadcopter Anti-poaching System - The Kilimanjaro International Institute for Telecommunications exhibited a drone, programmed to monitor national parks and alert authorities to the presence of poachers.
"Thirty elephants are killed in Tanzania’s national parks every week, we need to put an end to this," KIIT staff representative, Lui J Ayo said.
Sensor walking stick - Arusha Technical College displayed a walking stick that vibrates when there is a dip in the ground ahead and beeps when there is an obstacle. Students took turns testing it out all afternoon.
"There are many blind people who need full time assistance, with a tool like this, they will be made much more independent and their helper will be freed up to work and bring in some money," ATC student Samoni said.