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Fighting poverty through education in Tanzania

Fighting poverty through education in Tanzania
Fighting poverty through education in Tanzania

The School of St Jude in northern Tanzania fights poverty through education. You won’t find it highlighted in glossy travel brochures but it’s a memorable destination and a worthwhile experience. While not the journey, it can be a fulfilling detour.

The story of St Jude’s has been told through its inspiring and indefatigable founder, Gemma Sisia OAM, a finalist for Australian of the Year and twice featured on ABC TV’s Australian Story. Gemma tells me how, as a young backpacker in East Africa, she was appalled by local government schools and “naively” wondered why these kids “born with the same brains as you or me” didn’t have a quality education.

(Most Tanzanians receive only primary schooling, which is conducted in Swahili. Only exceptional, or rich, children are taught in government secondary schools — in English.)

To make sure parcels arrive and incur no expenses for the school

  • Please do NOT register or insure any mail as it costs the school at least USD $25 in taxes at our end.
  • Mark all parcels as being “second-hand goods” or “personal gifts”.
  • Ensure the description of goods written on the parcel matches the actual items inside as customs and postal staff frequently inspect contents of parcels.
  • Please label all parcels clearly with the first and last name of the recipient and your full name.
  • Please put the value of the package at no more than US$10 (the lower the better).
  • Ensure that your parcel is LESS THAN 2KG. We have been advised that parcels less than 2KG are technically tax-free regardless of content, but this is not guaranteed by all postal workers.
 

Tax-free items include books, personal goods and anything that is not new. Used goods, used clothes, etc…(please remove labels and packaging from all items before sending them)

Keep in mind that parcels sent by airmail can take up to four months to get here (sea mail is even longer – often 12+ months!), so don’t worry if it takes a while for us to let you know the parcel has arrived.