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Understanding the same language: from the UK to Tanzania

This is a guest post from Sandra Ford, the wife of the St Jude’s School Director, Jon Ford.
Rachel passing on a few books to Suleiman
Rachel passing on a few books to Suleiman.

When my daughter Rachel, and her husband, David, came to visit her parents here at St Jude’s, they were excited to meet many members of staff and students.

Suleiman in Form 6 is one who she will certainly remember. After watching him lead a Form 6 assembly, over at the Smith campus, Rachel had a brief opportunity to meet him so that they could exchange their stories. She uses sign language back in the UK, while Suleiman described how he taught himself to sign to help children here in Tanzania.

Suleiman shared some of his insights into how in his younger days, at a local government school, he saw some of his peers struggling to be accepted because of the communication difficulties they experienced through hearing impairment. He was pleased when a progressive head teacher integrated the children into mainstream classes, out of the unit that was attached to the school. Initially, the uniform was different to show the children were from the unit but he eventually changed it, so their uniforms were the same as the wider school community and to help them feel more included.

Suleiman learned to sign and spent time helping some of the children overcome difficulties in learning and socialising. Today, he retains that commitment to help people out in the community, who struggle because they have additional needs. Rachel was pleased to be able to pass on some beautifully illustrated books which a primary teacher friend in the UK sent over to provide visual stimulus for children with hearing impairment. It was a great encounter!

As well as having a good heart, Suleiman is also passionate about his studies and won a prize for his soil project at last month’s Science Day at St Jude’s.

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.