Eager new secondary student Thobali has a very personal reason to study hard after joining The School of St Jude this year.
“When I was very young my father told me my uncle was going to be a pilot but he got in an accident and died. I want to do my family proud by following in his footsteps,” Thobali said quietly.
The 13-year-old has moved from sharing a single room home with his family of five to living and studying at St Jude’s Smith Secondary Campus and boarding house.
His new learning environment is also a world away from his previous
government school where he was only educated in Kiswahili, had to contend with class numbers of over 60 students and walk long distances to attend school every day.
“There are many more facilities to learn here, at my old school there wasn’t a library and there weren’t many classes,” Thobali reflected.
For the first time Thobali will now have the chance to become fluent in English, while studying twelve subjects over the next two years, before narrowing down his subjects to help him fulfil his dream of becoming a pilot.
“To get into university and study aviation I need to do well in mathematics, geography and physics so the lab here will become my third home,” Thobali laughed.
Joining him is fellow classmate Beatrice, who until this year lived in the expanding poverty-stricken area of Pekas, on the outskirts of Arusha city.
To support the family, Beatrice’s mother works as a cleaner and her step-father works as a causal in a local beer company.
Like many Tanzanian families Beatrice’s family rents their one-room, cement block home which has no internal plumbing. Instead, clean water needs to be collected from a nearby well multiple times a day. The power supply at the family’s home is also very unreliable so their meals are prepared indoors over a basic kerosene-fueled stove or charcoal.
“We always used to walk past the The School of St Jude and dream that I would go there one day. We used to hear about how well all of the students are looked after, so when I was invited into the school my parents were so, so happy,” Beatrice shared.
Beatrice is flourishing in her studies but has also jumped at the chance of participating in the extra-curricular activities, like netball, something all students are required to undertake in order to further their develop their skills and interests.
With the door to higher education and a more diverse life now well and truly open, Beatrice now has every hope of securing her dream job of becoming a doctor.
With wisdom and insight beyond her years, Beatrice spoke of her ultimate goal.
“I love physics, chemistry and biology because they will all help me become a doctor. I want to help people but right now I feel so happy. I like to read books in the library, I like my classes and I like the playground, I love everything,” Beatrice explained with an infectious smile.
Even getting to this point and starting secondary school is a high achievement in itself for Thobali, Beatrice and all of the Forms 1s.
Passing their Standard 7 national exam at the end of primary school is not the norm for many Tanzanian children. It is estimated that only 30% of secondary school aged Tanzanians are receiving an education.
A free, private education at The School of St Jude however, gives this duo the chance to skyrocket into their bright futures in aviation and medicine.
“We want to say thank you to all the people who help keep St Jude’s running and God Bless,” the two Form 1s echoed.
Help St Jude’s fight poverty through education so that students like Thobali and Beatrice can achieve their dreams: become a Form 1 sponsor today.