Two visitors from the School of St Jude in Tanzania called in to talk to students at St Patrick’s Primary, Blacktown, last month. While it was a welcome trip backn home to Australia for Kim Saville, co-founder of the school and its Director of International Relations, for Felix Mollel who works in the school’s visitor centre it was his first trip outside of his homeland Africa.
Early in 2002 when Kim was looking for a new challenge after a career in theatre, film, publishing and television, she travelled to a village in Tanzania to join Gemma Sisia in her work to establish a school for disadvantaged children. As the school prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary, it now provides a free, high-quality primary and secondary education to more than 1650 of the poorest, brightest children of Arusha region. The first graduating class will leave the school in 2015.
Educating poorest families
St Jude’s is a non-denominational Christian school with an annual intake of 150 from thousands of hopefuls. Entry is dependent on passing the academic test and meeting the means test for poverty. Only those children from the poorest families are eligible.
Classes are conducted in all subject areas in English and in Swahili – the local language.