The School That Hope Built

A story of Hope, Transformation, and Dedication

The School That Hope Built tells the inspirational story of how one woman’s dream of free, quality education is transforming thousands of lives and inspiring the next generation of community-focused leaders of Tanzania.  

Told by one of its long-serving staff, The School That Hope Built gives a unique and immersive experience of the 20-year journey of The School of St Jude from its early beginning of just three students and one teacher to a pioneering leader in charitable education within Africa.  

The School that Hope Built


Sharing the incredible twenty-year journey from an Australian girl's simple vision to an educational powerhouse with 350 local staff, The School That Hope Built reveals how St Jude's is breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty one student at a time.

Purchase of the book alone is non-tax deductible, but 100% of profits support the work of the school. Price includes AU$9 shipping.
Want your purchase to go further? Round up the price of your book with a tax deductible donation of AU$16! Price includes AU$9 shipping.

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An extraordinary account of Gemma Sisia's twenty years as the founder of St Jude's, a school that is changing the lives of some of the poorest children in Tanzania.

From humble beginnings, with just three students and one volunteer teacher, St Jude's now provides free education to over 1,800 Tanzanian school students and supplies more than 10,000 government school students with volunteer teachers each year.

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About the Author

Madeleine Kelly moved to The School of St Jude shortly after completing her university studies in Australia and spent the next six years at the school. She first joined the Marketing team before transitioning into the role of Alumni coordinator where she helped launch the school’s Alumni Association. Later, she began her second role as a Communication and Editorial Specialist, a role she took concurrently with her Alumni Association work. 

Madeleine began writing a new book about the school in June 2021, a process she described as ‘sometimes challenging but incredible gift’. 

Learning Resources

If you are a teacher or a book club member, we have prepared an extensive resource with ideas to get you started reading the book: The School That Hope Built.

Interested in Supporting the School?

You can support the school by pre-ordering your copy of The School That Hope Built from our website. All the proceeds from book sales on our website go back to supporting the school.

Other ways to support are by sharing our story, donating, and sponsoring a scholarship for a student. Just follow any of the links below to get started.