Whether our visitors are touring one of our beautiful campuses, or participating in interactive class activities, such as art, music, PE or in the library… a visit to The School of St Jude is always an unforgettable experience.
Faraja Nayalandu, a prominent social entrepreneur in Tanzania who is passionate about promoting systemic transformation in digital learning in primary and secondary education in Africa graced St Jude’s with her presence to get a first-hand experience on how the school is changing the lives of 1,800 students and their families.
Greeted by Odemari, a cheerful and enthusiastic host from the Visitors Team, Faraja was led to the Visitors Lounge to learn about the school’s history.
The Visitor Lounge is a hub of activity and information. The eye-catching timeline provides an overview of significant events in St Jude’s history. Within a few walking paces, along the back of the room you can see the progression of the school community.
Faraja, who is well-known for developing social and educational programs in Tanzania, took a brief tour of Sisia Campus, stopping by the library, computer labs and the science class.
“I’ve visited Smith Campus before but I never thought Sisia Campus would be this big,” said Faraja with great delight.
To show her around the girls’ school, Irene, Form 4 Head Girl, was excited to lead the tour and meet Faraja, who is a role model to many students in Tanzania.
On entering the computer lab, Faraja received a warm, cheerful greeting from the overjoyed students who were delighted to meet a local legend.
Faraja told Irene, “I went to a boarding school as well. I used to love being part of the student government. Being a school leader gives you the confidence and the skill set needed to lead others even after school.”
The tour didn’t end at the girls’ school; Faraja also had a chance to visit and have a chat with Vivian, Beyond St Jude’s (BSJ) Manager.
“The Beyond St Jude’s program is an eye-opener for me. I didn’t know that the school has such a wonderful program for the graduates,” Faraja said.
She further suggested, “I truly believe the program paired with digital learning can equip the students with all the necessary tools to also be able to give back to the community as they do in their Community Service placements in the government schools.”
BSJ is an optional, yet popular, scholarship program for the Form 4 graduates (O Level) and Form 6 graduates (A Level). It is comprised of two parts; the program enables graduates to give back to their communities in an educational context as volunteers through a Community Service placement as one way of giving back in appreciation for the free education they received at St Jude’s. Those who successfully complete their Community Service placement may then be eligible to receive a BSJ scholarship to pursue higher education, enabling them to become the future professionals that their country needs.
Advising the students, Faraja said, “To be an entrepreneur is not easy, but like anything else in life you have to work hard to reach your goals make your dreams come true. I was never good at dancing, acting or singing in school, but I was always a bookworm and loved the concept of how technology can transform lives. I built on that and here I am today.”
“I enjoyed my visit so much today and meeting the students. I promise to come back and bring my children along so they can have the same experience.”
A visit to St Jude’s can open your mind; from inside the classroom to beyond the school gates, you’ll see first-hand how St Jude’s is fighting poverty through education. The enthralling itinerary comprises many activities, including a visit to a student’s home, allowing visitors to create a memorable experience and showing them the difference the school is making in the lives of students, their families and the wider community.