The School of St Jude is privileged to have modern computing and information technology facilities. From financial management systems and human resource solutions to help students and staff improve their English, technology is constantly in use at St Jude’s.
All of this is possible because of generous supporters, including TechnologyOne, an Australian software company.
“TechnologyOne is a software company based in Brisbane, Australia,” explains Robin, a software engineer at TechnologyOne. “Our software helps organisations and businesses manage day-to-day activities such as accounting, procurement, and student management,” he adds.
Although TechnologyOne is primarily a software company, it takes social responsibility seriously and is committed to making a difference for underprivileged and at-risk youths in communities. So when St Jude’s inspirational story of empowering future Tanzanian leaders with quality education reached TechnologyOne, they quickly joined hands in support.
“We have a dedicated charity program at TechnologyOne called TechnologyOne Foundation,” explains Melissa, of TechnologyOne. “The Foundation currently supports nine charity partners and St Jude’s is one of them,” she adds.
As a Foundation Champion at TechnologyOne, Melissa organises fundraising activities for charity partners. Over the years, TechnologyOne Foundation has come up with creative ways to raise funds and support for St Jude’s
“One of our popular fundraising campaigns is the triathlon,” explains Melissa. “In a triathlon, participants complete a series of three sports which involves a 1500m swim, 40km bicycle ride, and a 10km run,” she adds.
This year’s donation from TechnologyOne helped purchase 60 laptops for new staff, allowing them to work efficiently. Furthermore, TechnologyOne employees conducted their own fundraising for a new jungle gym at St Jude’s, a donation which the software company then matched!
Over the years, TechnologyOne has donated software that has become indispensable at St Jude’s, assisting with budgeting, forecasting, database management and supply chain management.
“Software programs from TechnologyOne have helped simplify a lot of processes,” says Noel, Assistant Team Lead of Corporate Applications at St Jude’s. “Tasks that used to take hours can now be done in a few minutes,” he explains.
Corporate Applications is a special division of Information and Technology (IT) at St Jude’s which is dedicated to researching, incorporating, and customising technology to school requirements.
“Technology is always evolving, and so should we,” says Noel. “Mastering technology is crucial for students if they are going to develop innovative solutions in the future,” he elaborates.
There is a strong emphasis on technology at St Jude’s. All students attend weekly computer classes, which include a special IT curriculum, typing lessons, and a program for learning English called ESL (English as a Second Language). Additionally, students have the option to learn programming as an extracurricular club to further nurture their interest in technology.
Melissa and Robin visited St Jude’s this year as part of TechnologyOne’s charity program. It was the first time in Tanzania for both of them and the experience was eye-opening.
“Everything from the art, music, dances, and academics is phenomenal,” says Robin. “It is truly fulfilling to be supportive of what happening here,” he adds.
TechnologyOne has been supporting St Jude’s since 2014. Their support helps St Jude’s equip students with 21st century skills in science and technology to lift their communities out of poverty. In an ever-changing world, TechnologyOne’s partnership with St Jude’s facilitates a necessary and timely technological evolution for Tanzania’s future leaders.
James first heard about The School of St Jude in 2013 when he joined Louisville Collegiate School in Louisville, Kentucky.
“The first group of teachers from Louisville had just returned from St Jude’s in Tanzania and were telling wonderful stories about the place,” recalls James. “I was thrilled and wanted to come to see for myself,” he adds.
So when Cindy, a board member of Louisville Collegiate School, President the American Friends of The School of St Jude (AFSJ) board and a pioneer of the newly established partnership between the two schools, asked him if he would be interested in joining, James jumped at the opportunity.
“In the summer of the following year I was on my way to St Jude’s for the first time!” says James excitedly. “I immediately fell in love with the students, teachers, staff, and everything about the school,” he adds passionately. This September, James was back again, along with Cindy and three other education professionals.
Kufundisha Pamoja (kufundisha pamoja means teaching together in Kiswahili) is a partnership program between schools in the United States and St Jude’s in Tanzania. Through the program, teachers from both sides exchange their skills, knowledge, and experience in pedagogy through running professional development programs, team building training, co-teaching, and more.
“Both teachers and students have greatly benefitted from this program,” says Mr Elineema, St Jude’s Primary School Deputy Academic Master, who has been working with James during his recent visit.
“It is different from other programs because the facilitators are actively engaged in the day-to-day activities at school. So their input is timely and relevant,” he adds.
Mr Elineema was part of a group from St Jude’s that travelled to Louisville Collegiate School in Kentucky as part of the program in 2016. He looks back at his time in the United States as one of the most eye-opening experiences in his 15-year career in education. His most interesting discovery was how similar students in the United States are to their Tanzanian counterparts.
“For example, the discipline challenges we face with students in Tanzania were identical to those in the United States,” he explains. “Yet their approach to disciplining students is different from most schools in Tanzania. So an exchange program like this can go a long way to help us re-evaluate our approach to pedagogy,” he elaborates.
Along with James is Jim, the Associate Head of School at Louisville Collegiate School. Like James, Jim uses his 24 years’ experience in education to enhance the exchange of knowledge and skills within the program.
“What I love about the program is that it is a true partnership,” says Jim. “We learn and we’re also supportive of the work that’s happening here at St Jude’s,” he explains.
Jim joined the program in 2014 and has been to St Jude’s three times since then. In addition to helping out with the program, he is inspired by St Jude’s mission of fighting poverty with education and has since joined the fight himself.
“I knew I wanted to sponsor a scholarship for a student right away,” Jim recalls of his first visit to St Jude’s.
“During my first visit in 2015, there was a small group of students that would play games with me after class hours. When I enquired about the sponsorship process, I was told one of the students from that group was unsponsored and asked me if I’d like to sponsor him,” Jim shares.
“And that’s how I met Isack!” Jim says excitedly.
Over the years, Jim has grown to learn about Isack and his family through regular greetings, letters, and updates. The sponsorship experience has been a fulfilling one for Jim, who now looks forward to hearing all the wonderful things happening in Isack’s life.
Since its inception in 2013, Kufundisha Pamoja has brought together 43 different participants between the United States and Tanzania. The program has expanded to include four schools in the US with participants meeting at least once every year. Through the program, the St Jude’s community has grown and welcomed many wonderful new members.
When a long-term St Jude’s sponsor supports a student’s scholarship right from the beginning of primary school, through secondary school and then university studies, there comes a day when the scholarship ends.
The end of a scholarship is a new beginning in more ways than one. For the graduating scholar, it’s the beginning of working life. For the sponsor, it can be the beginning of a brand-new scholarship and the opportunity to change another life.
This was the case for two committed St Jude’s sponsors, Taree Rotary Club and the O’Hara and Doyle families.
The members of Taree Rotary Club began sponsoring a scholarship for St Jude’s alum, Blandina, back in 2006, and saw her through primary, secondary and tertiary studies, right up until her graduation from university with a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing in 2019. Then, without hesitation, they began the sponsorship journey again, this time with a scholarship for Given, who was then in his first year of primary school, Standard 1.
Philip Streatfield, the Director of International Service of Taree Rotary Club, explains, “Our member, Ian Dyball, first met Gemma in 1999. Ian supported and encouraged Gemma long before the first brick was laid at The School of St Jude. Gemma's concept of ‘Fighting Poverty Through Education’ struck a chord with Ian who, as Club President (2004-2005), convinced our members that we should sponsor a student at St Jude's.”
For the O’Hara and Doyle families, sponsorship is a family affair. Today, Colleen O’Hara, her son Lachie, her sister Rhonda, Rhonda’s husband Jade and their children Mitchel and Ivy share the sponsorship of scholarships for students, Yasiri (currently in Standard 6, the second last year of primary) and Joyce, who has just commenced her final year of secondary school. They began their sponsorship back in 2009 when Colleen and Rhonda visited the school.
Colleen recalls, “We were captivated by the kids and the wonderful work the school was doing for the underprivileged children of Arusha and surrounds.”
They immediately began sponsoring scholarships for Enock and Madina, who were in Form 1 (the first year of secondary) and Standard 4 (the fourth year of primary) respectively. In 2015, Enock graduated with St Jude’s inaugural Form 6 class and won an external scholarship to study in the US, and the families generously decided to transfer their sponsorship to Tumaini, who went on to graduate from university with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology in 2020 with their support.
Their favourite part of sponsorship is, “Seeing the kids grow into adults and get their letters of appreciation. It makes you grateful for the life we lead here in Australia and to be able to help enrich these young people's lives is such a gift for us.”
On their decision to continue sponsoring following the end of Enock and Madina’s scholarships, Colleen says, “We wanted to continue to support the school and we have loved the experience of seeing the students grow into amazing adults, so we couldn't not continue!”
The members of Taree Rotary Club feel the same way, reports Philip, who says of Blandina, “It was exciting for our club to watch this outstanding young lady progress through school, and to receive regular school reports, letters, and photos. Our members could readily see the impact that education was having not only for Blandina but also her family and the wider community of Arusha.”
“Our club members had no hesitation in recommencing the journey having seen the valuable opportunities given to students of St Jude’s,” Philip shares.
Sponsors see students' progress through regular communications, including letters from students, school reports and updates from the St Jude’s Sponsor Relations team, plus plenty of photos. The O’Hara and Doyle families even made the trip to Tanzania to see the sponsored students in person!
After their initial visit in 2009, they returned in 2015 to witness Enock’s graduation from Form 6 and came again in 2019 to see Madina’s.
“We love coming to the school and we hope to be back next year to see Joyce graduate. Everyone is so welcoming and the week leading up to the graduation is such a fun week with so many activities to immerse in the Tanzanian culture,” says Colleen.
These two committed sponsors demonstrate that the end of a scholarship can be a brand-new beginning. By recommencing their sponsorship journeys as sponsored students graduate, Taree Rotary Club and the O’Hara and Doyle families have extended their positive impact to a brand new generation of St Jude’s students.
Fundraise, donate, sponsor or share our story – those are four main ways you can support St Jude’s. Yet, time and time again, our supporters find the most creative ways to help St Jude’s.
There are 3, 407 St Jude’s supporters which means there are 3,407 ways to support the school. These creative supporters challenge themselves to perform athletic feats, put their craft skills to the test, make speeches, bake cakes and host trivia evenings in order to help St Jude’s fight poverty through education.
Today, we’d like to introduce you to two of our super supporters.These are people who get particularly creative to spread the word and raise funds for St Jude’s.
Chris and his friends visited Tanzania and St Jude’s in January 2020, just before COVID - 19 turned the world upside - down. “We met the teachers, students and some of the families and it highlighted how important the school was in changing the lives of many, as well as for the future of Tanzania,” he says.
Chris, Jayson and Dan came up with a unique idea. “One of the guys is a part owner of a local brewery and we all liked playing poker so we thought it would be great to combine the two – a poker tournament in a brewery,” Chris remembers. So far, Chris and his friends have held two poker fundraisers. A portion of each player’s entry fee is a donation to St Jude’s and on the day of the tournament there’s an auction to raise further funds for St Jude’s.
“We have approximately 40 players who progress through a series of rounds to a final table,” Chris explains. “We sent the message around to all of our friends and from there word of mouth has spread.”
The tournaments have been a huge success, both in terms of fundraising and spreading the word about St Jude’s. “Before we start the tournament we always explain to everyone our experience at St Jude’s and why we are doing this… Everyone has been really supportive and many have dug deep in their pockets to donate more. It’s great to see,” Chris says.
To date, the friends have donated over AU $5000 to the school following their poker tournaments.
We’re so grateful for the way Chris and his friends have used their creativity to help St Jude’s and excited to hear that they’re planning another fundraising tournament for February 2022.
Maddie, a Communications and Editorial Specialist at St Jude’s for the last four and half years, has always had long, beautiful, curly hair.
Or she used to, anyway. In May 2020, she shaved her head to raise funds for St Jude’s and today she has short, beautiful, curly hair.
“When I told people, ‘I’ll shave my head if I can raise this amount,’ I got so many laughs because my hair was almost like my trademark. I had long, waist-length, massive, curly hair. I’d never had short hair,” Maddie recalls.
Despite the trademark status of Maddie’s hair, she considered it a small price to pay in order to help St Jude’s. “I knew I wanted to do a big fundraiser of some sort. I was supposed to go home last year for a visit in May, but then with COVID-19 I couldn’t and I knew I would be staying here (in Tanzania). So I thought, well, people could use a bit of a giggle!” Maddie laughs.
Maddie created a GoFundMe page and shared it from her Facebook and Instagram accounts to encourage donations. Overnight, she hit her fundraising goal and her friends encouraged her to increase her goal. Soon, Maddie had raised $4,600 and decided it was time for the big shave.
“I borrowed some clippers but I forgot to put on the attachment to do a number six length. So I botched it completely and my hair was down to the scalp, as bald as you could go. It was so, so cold! But, there was also the feeling of elation, because I’d done something good for the school which was beyond just giving time and it’d brought a smile to people’s faces,” Maddie says.
Not everyone needs to shave their head in order to fundraise for St Jude’s, but Maddie has a few words for people considering any sort of fundraiser, “Put yourself out of your comfort zone. Do something different and wacky if you can and try to link in stories of the people here at St Jude’s. More than anything, the stories of our Tanzanian staff, students and graduates will convince people to donate and support. Put yourself out there, be brave and have a go,” she says.
Coming up in November, we have a chance for you to flex your creative muscles while fighting poverty through education like Chris and Maddie. The St Jude’s Challenge is on again!
When you join the St Jude’s Challenge you can choose a reading challenge, a steps challenge or get really creative and design your own challenge. Register your challenge, create a fundraising page and then share your challenge with friends and family and encourage them to donate. Individuals, families, clubs and schools are all welcome.
Joshua, a charming and charismatic Standard 2 student, comes out of class and joins Jalilath, Hilary, and Getruda, eager to share his aspirations in life.
“When I grow up I would like to be a pilot. I will buy my mother, father and my grandmother each a plane of their own.” Joshua says, almost bursting with ambition.
Joshua is one out of the 71% of Standard 1 and 2 students who are currently not fully sponsored, along with 42% of all newly enrolled secondary students.
Each of these students has a story that needs your support.
Joshua is seven years old. He joined The School of St Jude in Standard 2 in 2021. His favourite subject is arithmetic and he enjoys playing tennis.
“I’m happy that I’ve joined St Jude’s. I can eat, play, and learn without worrying about anything,” says Joshua.
“The first thing I’ll do when I become a pilot is to build my parents a beautiful home so they can live a comfortable life,” he passionately adds.
90 Standard 1 and 2 students were enrolled last year after a rigorous selection process to ensure that only the poorest and brightest students in Arusha receive academic scholarships to St Jude’s.
The school provides academic scholarships for four key stages of student’s education; Primary academic scholarships to support a primary student’s education from Standard 1 to the end of Standard 7; O Level secondary academic scholarship to support a secondary student’s education from Form 1 to the end of Form 4; A Level secondary academic scholarship to support a secondary student’s education for their final two years of school in Form 5 and Form 6; and Beyond St Jude’s scholarship to cover phases of Form 4 and Form 6 graduates’ higher education.
Jalilath is seven years old. She is in Standard 1 and her favourite sport is cricket.
“I love being in Standard 1. St Jude's is a great school that teaches really well compared to my old school,” Jalilath says shyly.
“When I grow up I would like to be a nurse because I want to take care of the sick and those who can’t help themselves. I’ll be the first nurse in my family,” she adds.
Also aspiring to be a nurse is Getruda, who is in in Standard 2. She is six years old with big plans for her future.
“I love arithmetic, health care, writing and reading. I want to become a nurse because I’ll get to help people,’ Getruda explains.
Getruda is a bright student who has been winning academic awards since she joined St Jude's in 2021. Her awards include Best Performance in Midterm Exams, Best Handwriting Always and Finishing Work on Time.
At St Jude’s, we strive for academic and moral excellence and promote the development of well rounded individuals who will become community-focused leaders of Tanzania.
Hilary is a six years old. He’s in Standard 1. Hilary enjoys studying and playing football with his friends.
“My dream is to become a soldier when I finish school so I can protect my school and protect my country,” Hilary says.
Primary school is an early and important chapter in a successful educational story. It’s where important fundamentals are taught and a love of learning is established.
St Jude’s offers scholarships to students in their first two years of primary school. But, even these youngest students are not exempt from our current sponsorship gap. You can help fill this gap by sponsoring the academic scholarship of Joshua, Jalilath, Getruda or Hilary and help change the story for them and their families.
By sponsoring a St Jude’s academic scholarship or donating to the school, you are changing the story for a Tanzanian student. You allow St Jude’s to provide free, quality education for students who, due to financial pressures, would likely have joined the three quarters of Tanzanian students who do not finish secondary school.
To show the true impact of your support, this year’s Annual Appeal will feature three St Jude’s stories. Over the coming month, you’ll see these stories in video form, but today, you can get to know alum Judica and students Seuri and Joylina a little better.
Judica’s Story of Transformation
“I’ve achieved my dream to be a business woman.” - Judica, Class of 2015.
Judica is a St Jude’s alum with an amazing story of transformation. As one of the earliest St Jude’s students, Judica’s story is inextricably linked with the school.
Judica started in Standard 1 at St Jude’s in 2003 when the school had just 120 students. As farmers, Judica’s parents struggled to afford school fees for her and their eight older children. After 13 years of free, quality education and serving as the school’s head girl, she graduated with the Class of 2015, our inaugural graduates.
Following graduation, Judica was quick to apply for the Beyond St Jude’s (BSJ) Program and spent a year volunteering as a book-keeping teacher in a government school as part of the Community Service Year. Then, Judica left home to study a Bachelor of Commerce, Banking and Financial Services at the University of Dar Es Saalam supported by BSJ. In 2019, Judica was one of the very first St Jude’s university graduates and today she is employed full-time at a national bank in Arusha.
Seuri’s Story of Determination
“I want to become a doctor to help my community, as there are not many doctors here.” - Seuri, Form 4.
Seuri’s story is a tribute to his determination. Seuri attended a government primary school in his village, which lacked electricity, water and learning resources. Despite this, Seuri was determined to get an education.
Seuri’s determination lead him to achieve great results in his Standard 7 National Examinations and earned him an academic scholarship for secondary school at St Jude’s. Seuri boards at St Jude’s during term time, but he returns home to his family boma (a traditional Maasai home) during holidays. Seuri’s father has two wives; he lives with his mother and four siblings as well as his father’s first wife and her six children.
After almost four years at St Jude’s, Seuri is more determined than ever. With quality resources, highly-trained teachers and a stable boarding environment at St Jude’s, Seuri has learnt volumes and is determined to achieve the results he needs to study medicine and become a doctor.
Joylina’s Story of Hope
“I want to be a nurse so I can help my family, friends and all the people who are sick.” - Joylina, Standard 2.
Joylina only started at St Jude’s in 2020, but her St Jude’s academic scholarship has already given Joylina and her mother hope for the future.
Joylina, her mother and her sisters live in a single room where they moved following the death of Joylina’s father in 2018. When she heard about St Jude’s, Joylina’s mother decided to bring Joylina to a Student Selection Day. She was overjoyed when Joylina was offered a scholarship.
During the last 18 months at St Jude’s, Joylina has been an enthusiastic learner and become one of the top students in her class. Like her classmates, Joylina receives uniforms, resources, bus transport and highly-trained teachers. In addition, she receives special diet provisions as she was found to be undernourished. With a carefully planned diet, she has been able to gain weight and her mother is pleased that Joylina now falls sick less often and has more energy.
Joylina especially likes healthcare class as she hopes to be a nurse when she finishes school.
Joylina, Seuri and Judica are proof that when you support a story, you can change the world. Generous sponsors and donors have changed the story for them and for thousands of others of St Jude’s students.
Be sure to follow us on social media and hear more from these featured students over the next month as they share their stories.