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Single Mother Fights For Her Family’s Future

Single Mother Fights For Her Family's Future

Behind the happy, smiling faces of our students is often a hardworking Mama, father or guardian who is doing all that they can to provide for their families. Frank is in Standard 5 and is currently boarding at our school, with access to everything he needs; accommodation, room to study and daily meals. St Jude’s is ensuring Frank has access to the best resources to help his succeed in his studies and so is his Mum, Petrolina. 

Petrolina is an inspiration as she raises her two children on her own in a very modest home but has a determination to improve her life through studying and gaining qualifications. Initially, Frank failed his St Jude’s entrance tests twice and so his Mum patiently spent time with him to help him improve his English and other subjects. It worked; the third time he went for our school’s entrance test; he got in. 

However, when Frank and his older sister were younger, life was extremely tough as his Mama struggled to put food on the table and send her children to school. She’d often forgo food so that at least her two children could eat. On top of that she went through a traumatic period, had significant health problems and later her husband died.

Through it all, she took life as it came and proceeded on with her computing and other classes which were offered through an international NGO. She saw getting herself educated as the road to take to improve the life of her family. 

Single Mother Fights For Her Family's Future

She never gave up and now their outlook is brighter. Thanks to a nonprofit helping Petrolina, she has got her certificate in computing and is in teachers’ college, set to graduate in December. 

A sponsor is also looking after her daughter’s education and she is currently in Form 5 at a school in Dodoma.

“In the past, I had nothing, everything I was getting at that time was to help Frank and his sister,” she said. “Now, I’m a little bit better and I feel I don’t have to concentrate as much on Frank or his sister, as they’re healthy and everything.”

She looks and feels healthier too. “I had a dream, before Frank started at St Jude’s, that I would become a teacher and I thought the dream was dead and I couldn’t make it but now I see the light and that I am going to fulfil my dream,” she said. 

Single Mother Fights For Her Family's Future

Petrolina may not have much but she is not letting poverty stand in the way of her aspirations or those of her children. “My advice to Frank is to study hard so he can pass F5 and F6 and so he can keep on and go to university because I believe he will change the lives of our family,” she said.

Frank is unsponsored and needs your help to continue getting the best possible education at our school. Your sponsorship would go a long way, covering the cost of providing an education as well as providing him with a safe place to study and perform well academically. 

“I’m happy because when I enter The School of St Jude there are good teachers, many books in the library for reading and choosing and when you are in boarding, there’s time for study, play and time for reading, as well as beds for sleeping and food,” said Frank.

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.