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To Walk Majestically

On 8th January 2020, St Jude’s Girls’ Secondary School opened its doors for the first time.
In it Together
In it Together: Ms Yukunda leads St Jude’s secondary school girls on their first day at their new school with a call of solidarity.

A smoky mist hangs over the school grounds, as often seen after a fireworks display, only this particular mist is coming from a busy kitchen. The air is humid, carrying extra weight.

This morning is the first day of classes at St Jude’s Girls’ Secondary School.

Hundreds of students begin filing in, walking along the footpath leading into their new school, heads swiveling as they drink in their new surroundings. Some hold hands, and all are smiling. 

The girls line up outside the kitchens, where a group of men are cooking beans and rice. 

In front of them is Ms Yukunda, who will begin the day. 

“Morning girls,” she says, stretching her arms in welcome. “What is the name of this new school?” 

“New Girls,” the students respond. 

“Pardon?” says Ms Yukunda, hand to ear. 

“New Girls!” say the students, their strong voices echoing around the grounds. 

“This is a new school, a new culture,” says Ms Yukunda. “You are here to walk majestically. Are we together?” 

“Yes!”

Logged On
Logged On: The new school has two computer suites fitted with laptops.

St Jude’s Girls’ Secondary School is the only one of its kind in Tanzania, offering a 100% free, high-quality education to hundreds of girls. 

In Tanzania, females receive an average of four and a half years of education. This means that by the age of 12, most girls will have left school.

Instead of being in school, teenage girls will face pressures to marry early and remain at home, raising children and caring for the home. 

More than 1 in 4 Tanzanian girls will have a baby before the age of 19.

Education is the key to changing this current reality and breaking the cycle of poverty for future generations. 

Educated women are less likely to marry early, less likely to die in childbirth; more likely to have babies that are healthy; and, importantly, more likely to send and keep their own children in school.

Standing before Ms Yukunda, tall and proud, are a gathering of girls who have aspirations that extend beyond the confines of their home. 

A Peaceful Perusal
A Peaceful Perusal: One student eyes up the new books available in the girls’ school library.

Among these girls, at the front, stands Nasabi who wants to be a doctor and Sara who wants to study law. At the back is Yunis who wants to be an accountant, Brenda who wants to study business and Gift who wants to be a nurse. A crowd of girls, a collection of dreams. 

At their disposal is a school with brand new science labs, sports grounds, computers and a library filled with hundreds and hundreds of books.

Testing it Out
Testing it Out: Three new science labs have been built and kitted out with everything needed for practical science lessons.
Testing it Out
Testing it Out: Three new science labs have been built and kitted out with everything needed for practical science lessons.

After a brief run-down of the new campus the students are dismissed and the day begins in earnest.  

Today, these girls will sit in chemistry labs and study elements and compounds; they will sit in classrooms and learn about algebra and trigonometry; they will find some quiet time in the library and read Jane Austen and Louisa M. Alcott, or Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Buchi Emecheta.

And in all of these classrooms, these girls will be forging their futures. Futures that will help ensure the prosperity of their families, communities and of Tanzania. 

Help St Jude’s provide an education to the female lawyers, accountants, doctors and nurses of tomorrow by donating to St Jude’s 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.