"Do not try to satisfy your vanity by teaching a great many things. Awaken people's
curiosity. It is enough to open minds, do not overload them. Put there just a spark. If
there is some good inflammable stuff, it will catch fire." - Anatole France
Mambo! Its great being back in Arusha again, I’ve really missed it! After arriving in Dar on Tuesday arvo, and catching the usual 12hr bus (still just as entertaining as I remember) to Arusha on Wednesday, Blandina picked me up from the station and dropped me to the guest house next to Haradali School where I am staying with Lachie Miller (YES ARUSHA LTD is his programme, check it out!). Of course the usual power and water issues were to be expected, it’s been bucket showers and candles since I got here. Asante Sana Mt Meru hotel for letting me use your internet all day to finally catch up on work! Thursday morning Blandina and I met with one of the teachers at Shepherds Junior Kimondolu Campus to talk about one of our boys and get an update on entrance grades for next year. After a long lunch meeting (my first chipsmayai in 2 and half years!) to catch up on all our notes, it was off to see the Nichodemu Family to assess their food situation and see what they need for the holidays. Their new house is looking good; they have their own little backyard area and a few baby chicks running around. Yolanda’s cousin Rose is now living with them also – she is a lovely girl. All the kids are looking really great and healthy. Michael has moved back home, and uses the money he earns from transporting goods to buy things for his family – they now have a new bed and small TV, Asante Michael! Then it was off to Blandina’s house in Sakina to finally meet little Kemmy – she is GORGEOUS. And very entertaining! Blandina and I planned our schedule for the next few days, and I made my way home at […]
Hello everyone, I hope you all received the updates and photos! Please email me if I’ve missed you out by accident, or if you’d like to ask any more questions:) I will be returning to Arusha on the 28th November for approximately 3 months. I will be visiting all of the children during this time and sitting down with each of them to chat about their futures and help set some goals. If you’d like me to take letters and/or photos to your sponsor child, feel free to email them through and I will print them and take them with me. I’ve got a few already – thanks guys! The kids really love receiving messages from you all. For those of you that would like to give your child/ren small gifts and the like, I am happy to do this for you in Arusha. It is much easier to transfer money into the ACE account (or through the fundraise page) and then buy products in Arusha, then it is to take them over. In saying that, I am happy to take over small gifts, if they can be posted to my address in time. Please email if you’d like me to do this for you, or if you have any special requests while I am over there – extra photos etc. Thank you all so much for your support! Mary
Update Part 3 Vinnie also met with Mama Lucy at the Shepherds Nursery school. She was very welcoming and had only praise for Blandina. ACE and another programme called Epic Change are the only 2 sponsor programmes to work with Shepherds. Epic change sponsored a young boy who graduated grade 7 with exceptional marks and is now attending school in Florida. This just goes to show – it you work hard enough you really do attract great opportunities! Junior School is in its first year of new uniforms (a red sweater that is SO cute!). Shepherds currently has 2 streams for each class up to Grade 4, and plan to have the same happen for grades 5,6 and 7 within 2 years. There is new construction taking place to enable this. Shepherds have also started up a computer programme. They currently have 20 computers in their lab for studies starting at grade 3 and have internet at the Nursery school. We have suggested to both Haradali and Shepherds the idea of starting up communications with sponsors and their children via email direct through the school. Shepherds Secondary School has 35 students this year and will have a new class next year and so on. They already have a high reputation for their biology laboratory and their computer programme. We have three Shepherds students graduating next year, and would be granted 5-10 minutes at graduation to speak if we attend. Any sponsors able to come along are most welcome – keep watching this space for more info on the 2014 ‘Sponsors Trip’. Shepherds is a great school, it’s clean, disciplined, has good governance and good plans. That’s all for now, thank you all so much for your commitment and dedication to the education and health of these children – it is […]
Update Part 2 Haradali School is going well. The owner, Mr Simon Severua has recently resigned from his job to concentrate solely on Haradali. They have done a lot of work on the grounds and it is looking good. There is good progress with their future building plans, despite the number of children they host in their school, and the atmosphere feels vibrant and positive. There is a big new building which has 2 large dormitories and new bathrooms, along with an upstairs dining/kitchen hall. There is also a new Baby Block, and the whole school is now surrounded by fences and gates. There is a new administration building with a reception area. 7 new teachers have been employed and they had also just a big Government Inspection where they scored well. Haradali is working on installing disabled access where practical, and have also established an ‘integrated class’ for the children with a larger age and/or ability disparity. It is a class of max 25, where the children work in groups of four. This really accelerates learning so they can catch up to their classmates and improve their grades faster. Next year will have two integrated classes, increasing by one each year. There is no government subsidy provided for the school, however they charge for exam fees, inspection costs and regulations. Along with Teachers’ salaries having been mandatorily increased this year, and with a payment record of 65-70%, there is a strain on Haradali finances and resources at the moment. They are doing well, and have a current roll of 870 students. Academically, Students from Haradali have proven to do pretty well and are often at the top of their game when they move onto secondary school. A Computer lab is now established; and when classes go to the lab […]
Update Part 1 Hi everyone! Thank you all for your patience while we get the individual Updates out to everyone, here’s a comprehensive rundown of Vinnie’s September visit. Shepherds School was simply gleaming. They had their year 7 Graduation the day before Vinnie visited so there had been a big celebration for that. Shepherds have just added an extra cost to their yearly fee so that tea and milk are now supplied in the evening. We are working with Shepherds to accommodate this cost in our programme. The Shepherds boarders were all so happy to see Vinnie and Frankie, to all their sponsors – you can feel so proud of how good their English is now! The new boarding students are doing so well, especially Helena and Faraja Jophert, they are so confident and full so smiles now. This is such an improvement to a year ago. Maulidi Rajabu didn’t stop talking the whole time, and they all took some great photos on the camera which are up on the Facebook page. Its great seeing the changes in the kids now that we are 3 years into the programme, the progress is just fantastic, so thank you to you all! Several of the ACE kids have living situations that have changed and now really need the help of boarding facilities, which we are looking into, and aside from a few bits and pieces needed here and there, new uniform or boarding supplies, all the children are doing fairly well! We have had a new student added to our roll – Queenie Listono who now goes to Haradali Prep. Thank you to her sponsor Kerry for your support and commitment. All of the year 6 kids in Haradali, Shepherds and Davis were asking whether ACE and their sponsors would be there […]
Hello there, Am thrilled to advise that I am just back from a marvellous visit to Arusha. We will be in touch with all sponsors re their children, and there will be many photos to look at both on Facebook and the Gallery page here. Haradali and Shepherds schools were thriving, with good building and progress programmes, and buzzing after the recent graduation of year 7 students. Haradali made the National grade in both netball and soccer, ( that’s local, then district, then regional, then national !) and there was an ACE child in each team, Florah Ezekial for Netball, and Baraka Omori as striker for the soccer team. Well done ! I was privileged to be able to take with me letters that some sponsors had written to their children. The children were thrilled, and will treasure them as a special contact with the person who enables them to attend school. Any time you can find to correspond with your sponsor child is hugely beneficial for them. It was also apparent that we need to spend some more money on full physical health checks as the children mature. Many of them could really benefit from a supplement programme also. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries, meanwhile enjoy all the photos ! Cheers, Vinnie
Hi there all, Just to let you know that I will shortly be in Arusha for a few days from September 19 – 24th. This is in order to support Blandina in her on-going marvellous job of looking after all the ACE kids, to meet with the schools and assess progress, as well, of course, as getting the chance to see how everyone is growing . I hope to take lots of pictures for you all. If anyone would like to take this opportunity to write their child a letter, and email it to me, I will be able to take it with me to give to them personally. The children are all on holiday for another week, they go back to school September 2nd. Many of them have continued with extra tuition during the break to ensure their grades can be kept up. New reports are also available on the Haradali website, if you use the number and password that you have you should hopefully be able to access these. Let Mary or myself know if you have a problem. There will be some changes at Haradali School for the new term, three new teachers and a new Principal, but the owner and overall manager, Mr Simon Severua, is still very much in charge and we have great confidence in his abilities and intentions. It will be a very good opportunity when I am there to see how the school is doing overall. As always, thanks for your support for your children, and I look forward to being able to post good news and pictures of them all. Cheers, Vinnie P.S. Remember also to check regularly the ACE Facebook page for updates and photos.
Hi there to all sponsors, children, and families who follow the ACE programme updates. Hard to believe that already the year is over half way gone ! Most of the children are getting ready now for a break in August after the long ‘winter’ semester, and it is good to be able to report that the children will reach the vacation time with nothing more serious than a few coughs, colds and such like. Well done to Bridget Robinson, who spent a week in Arusha visiting her sponsor child in June, as well as spending time with Blandina as she goes about her daily requirements looking after the ACE children. Bridget was able to see first hand the extreme circumstances that some of the children live in, and as a result has increased her sponsorship to enable her sponsor child to enter into the boarding facility, thanks so much Bridget. I can’t emphasise enough the difference it makes for these children when they board. Regular meals, warmth, good sleep, structured tuition time and homework supervision means they make huge progress with their learning programmes. Congratulations, to Jessica and Matt Woolf, who got married on June 28th. Jessica and her family sponsor two children in the ACE programme, and Jessica and Matt arranged for their wedding guests to make donations to the ACE programme in lieu of wedding gifts, which was an extremely generous and very much appreciated gesture. Many, Many thanks. Thank you once again for all your support, and enjoy the pictures and letters as we are able to get them through. Vinnie and Mary.
I met someone today. Her name was Aminata. She is a woman from Sierra Leone, former raped and abused refugee. She was outside Paddington central, my local supermarket/go to for everything place on my street. She had a stand just by the bus station, and I could see people doing their usual, “I’m very busy and can’t stop sorry” walk past as she tried to get their attention. I myself have played this game sometimes when I feel too guilty to stop and say “I simply don’t have the money but I really do care more than anything”, because who will believe it when it’s an excuse they hear every day? She was volunteering is UNHCR for refugees in Syria. As I rushed past her (my ‘to do list for the day was more than up there on the hectic scale, as I was returning to NZ the next day and had a lot to organise) I heard her call out to me. I stopped only 10m away at am ATM, and then returned and looked her in the eyes, feeling patient enough to maybe take a pamphlet and listen for a few minutes. That all changed when without saying anything, we both knew I was the person she had been waiting for finally, someone who understood, and I knew I was meant to meet her. Our mutual desire and love of Africa, despite its downfalls was clear in in one second of our gaze. We were sisters of a continent in strife. We traded personal details and promised to keep in touch. I stood there in my running gear, freezing yet warmed in the chill of the early morning sun (and would happily have done all day) as she described to me her reasons for volunteering for such an […]
Hi there all, for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere hopefully spring is starting to kick in, for the rest of us in the South it is winter that is arriving……. In Arusha it has been very, very wet. This has created quite a few difficulties for some children getting to and from school, with roads washed out and impassable, as well as being extremely muddy. Many children have had coughs and colds, as their home environments are often not waterproof. However the children in the boarding facilities have been dry and able to continue their studies uninterrupted. ACE is pleased to announce that Blandina is now in a situation to start implementing the ‘Pastoral Care’ programme that is so crucial to the children’s development. This involves her spending a morning with the children outside of school time, (usually a Saturday) where they talk about their goals and aspirations, learn about caring for each other, confide in Blandina any issues they may be having, and take the opportunity to also write to their sponsor. (Which is scanned and emailed to you.) Over the next few months we hope to get letters from all children, to all sponsors. After a break the children are all now back at school for the second semester, see attached some photos of them returning to class. Thank you for your commitment to the children, and we look forward to your continued support. Kind Regards, Mary and Vinnie Duncan