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Student Selection 2017

Smarts and a smile are always in style!
Smarts and a smile are always in style!

Every year during spring, hundreds of determined youngsters vie for one of 75 places in St Jude’s primary school.

Across two recent selection days, more than 1,700 invited government school students lined up for a bright future at the gates of Sisia primary campus! 

Their tiny fingers, wrapped around pencils, invitation letters and identity documents, grasped tightly onto a beacon of hope: the possibility of an academic scholarship gifted by St Jude’s.  

Successful applicants will join St Jude’s cohort of 1,800 future Tanzanian leaders next January. 

With access to a free, high-quality education, our students hold the key to freedom from poverty, for themselves and their families. 

Holding onto hope: Academic Deputy, Sebastian Gitbang, assists hundreds of determined students.
Holding onto hope: Academic Deputy, Sebastian Gitbang, assists hundreds of determined students.

Community Relations Manager, Charlotte, has overseen the complex, yet vital student selection process since 2014. 

“We must be sure the selected students are both bright and disadvantaged. That’s how we can help families in greatest need.”

It’s no secret that St Jude’s academic scholarships open the gateway to possibilities and are competitively sought. Our Community Relations team is well-versed in overcoming challenges.

“There are always surprises on selection days. This year, we had a 10-year-old trying to sit the test meant for six-year-olds. People will go to great lengths to come to St Jude’s.”

Lining up for a bright future: The stakes are high for St Jude's applicants.
Lining up for a bright future: The stakes are high for St Jude’s applicants.

Tales of joy and triumph however, outweigh tricks and challenges. For staff, selection days are a chance to see the immediate impact of St Jude’s.  

Beyond St Jude’s Coordinator, Vivian, has helped with student selection for three years, and considers selection days a career highlight. 

“My job this year was to supervise thousands of parents waiting at the gate.”

“Some parents waited for eight hours. At the end, when students who progressed finally came out, they were scooped into the arms of loved ones, cradled like babies, thrown in the air, and they wept tears of joy.”

“Seeing such pride was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I really understood the effect St Jude’s has on people in my own community,” Vivian explained. 

 Pride and joy: Many parents waited all day for good news.
Pride and joy: Many parents waited all day for good news.

Out of hundreds who underwent academic and document tests, 253 students have progressed to the next selection stage: poverty checks. 

St Jude’s staff will crisscross the Arusha region until December, assessing prospective students’ homes against strict selection criteria. Poverty checks help us to ensure academic scholarships are reserved for severely underprivileged students.  

When 75 excited new students step through the Sisia primary campus gates again in January, they’ll know the pencil they grasp is their beacon of hope; that, because of St Jude’s, they can write the future of their dreams. 

Open the gates to a bright future for new St Jude’s students. Become a sponsor today! 

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.