Selemani is a gently spoken boy who loves maths and wants to be a teacher.
He has just been accepted to The School of St Jude, where he will start in grade Standard 1 in January. He was selected because we saw his academic potential and his family is unable to support his educational needs.
By joining our first primary school grade, Selemani will become part of a large ripple effect The School of St Jude has been creating in Arusha and the whole of Tanzania since 2002.
The ripple starts with a student and extends to the whole community when the school buys classroom materials, food, uniforms and other supplies locally. When we hire local teachers, cleaners, cooks, administrative staff, bus drivers and technicians, the ripple gets wider. The effect is unstoppable.
Selemani lives in a one-room mud house with his mother, father and two older sisters. There are 13 other families living in the same compound. His family buys buckets of water from a nearby tap and they have one light. At night, the entire family shares a mattress.
Selemani’s family owns no animals or land to farm. His father is a casual builder in town, finding work wherever he can, and his mother sits on the side of the road selling dried fish and cassava, a root vegetable. Each month they earn just enough to pay for rent and food. With their combined income amounting to under $3 a day, it is little wonder there is no money left to save or to pay for schoolbooks.
Until now, Selemani’s family has had little opportunity to improve their situation. Now, however, he will receive books, uniforms, medical checks, nutritious meals and a high-quality education that will allow him to go on and become a leader in whatever professional field he chooses in the future.
Over the coming weeks we will be telling you all about the ripples that St Jude’s has been creating.