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Pulling together while apart: Gemma receives the alumni donation from Irene, Class of 2017.

In the early hours of Friday morning, Enock, a graduate from the Class of 2015, emailed our Founding Director, Gemma Sisia, with an exciting announcement: he, along with 29 St Jude’s alumni who are studying abroad, had formed a group named ‘St Jude’s Diaspora’, and raised nearly AU$700 for The School of St Jude.

Inspired by our historic COVID-19 Family Care Package delivery, the alumni wanted to do their part to support the school that has given them so much, especially during this time of crisis.

"Words can't describe how proud we are of what you all have achieved," Enock began.

"We [St Jude's Diaspora] would like to acknowledge the importance of the service that the school is providing to families and the students."

"We deeply admire the compassion and commitment underlying the mission and vision fighting poverty through education, by providing free, quality education that has helped us immeasurably," he expressed.

Education means empowerment: Enock credits St Jude’s for helping his whole family.

Enock was a founding member of St Jude’s first Alumni Committee. His profound success story takes its roots in 2003, when he first earned his St Jude’s scholarship.

He was among our first cohort of Form 6 graduates. After completing his Beyond St Jude’s Community Service Year, he was awarded an external scholarship to study Economics at the University of Rochester in New York.

Enock’s family has also reaped benefits, thanks to St Jude’s. Enock shared his testimony with students, staff and supporters as a guest speaker at Form 6 Graduation in 2019.

Rising out of poverty: Enock’s father, Ephraim, learnt enough English from his son to receive a promotion at work.

“A year after I joined the school, my Dad started learning English with me. We read books I borrowed from the school library. He was able to create a few sentences. Soon enough, Dad was promoted from being a security guard to a receptionist at his overnight, part-time job,” he candidly shared.

“To be honest, it sometimes feels like my whole family attended St Jude’s. Thank you for making it possible,” Enock continued.

The formation of St Jude’s Diaspora signals a new era for The School of St Jude: our alumni are proving themselves as the moral and intellectual leaders of Tanzania.

Irene, who graduated in 2017 and now studies Radiology in Lebanon, delivered the Diaspora’s donation in person to Gemma, who was overwhelmed by our graduates’ generosity.

“The alumni’s spirit during this uncertain and worrying time fills my eyes with happy tears. It also fills my heart with great love and pride. It was my dream, when they started at St Jude’s, that they’d grow into men and women of goodwill. Last month, they fulfilled that dream,” Gemma said.

“Each one of our students and graduates comes from a background of severe economic hardship. The contribution from St Jude’s Diaspora is, therefore, especially heartwarming,” she said.

Moments of joy: Enock had an emotional reunion with his former sponsors during a visit to St Jude’s.

A donation to St Jude’s is, truly, much more than just a donation. It is an investment in young leaders, who, thanks to your support, have the power to transform their communities.

Support students and graduates to become Tanzania’s leaders of tomorrow. Donate today – your gift can change lives.

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