Sunday, April 7, 2013

Rudisha Foundation School Visits - Day 1

During my stay in Moshi I had the opportunity to visit seven schools in four days. For those who are not aware, Moses, Martha Msuya and I have started the Rudisha Foundation, which sponsors children in Moshi, Tanzania. Without donations and sponsorship these children are unable to attend school due to lack of funds for tuition fees. Unlike Canadian schools their education is not free.  

Over the next few blogs I share with you my experiences which taught me so much about being happy and grateful for what you have. On the 18th of March we visited three schools, it was a day of holding back tears to say the least! 

Rudisha Foundation
Mr. Mlinga, Amanda, Martha
Hasani Rashidi is nine years old and attends Langoni Primary School. His school was the first on our agenda for the Rudisha Foundation school visits.  Martha, Abasi (Hasani's older brother) and I  arrived at the school to met with the head teacher, Mr. Mlinga.  He was more than happy to show us around the school and have us pop into Hasani's classroom. I greeted the children in Kiswahili as I snapped my photos along they way, they all  loved getting in the photos!

Langoni School covers grades 1-7 and has a total attendance of 859 students.  There are 60 students in Hasani's grade two class, and one teacher!  The school covers all standard subjects taught in Kiswahili and English is offered as a daily class as well. We were happy to hear that Hasani is doing very well in class, he is dedicated to his work and most thankful for his opportunity to be in school.  They were hard at work when we arrived so I tried to cause as little disruption as possible with my camera and questions. His teacher was delighted to fill us in on his work and behavior.  I had the chance to look over his workbooks and saw many red check marks for a job well done. 

During our tour of the school Mr. Mlinga expressed his gratitude for what Rudisha Foundation is doing for children in Moshi. He asked me if I knew of any volunteers that would be willing to come to Langoni School.  Their doors are always open to those who are looking to give back while at the same time experience a new country. 

As we continued talking he also expressed the schools current goal, to incorporate IT classes into the school.  To do so they would need computers and volunteers to teach their teachers how to operate the computers and to also help them in designing an IT curriculum.  As my back ground is in teaching computers I knew there was some way I could try and help out. Besides finding funds for children's school fees, Rudisha Foundation is now on the look out for laptops for Langoni School. Our goal is to eventually have enough computers to help all of the schools our children attend, but for now we will start with Langoni Primary School.  To date, we have had one generous donation from Megan Matheson Hamilton and Dance Nova Scotia. The email has been sent to Mr. Mlinga to let him know of the good news.  It would be great to have five more computers, one for each grade!  I will take the laptops to Langoni school and give the teachers a "computer 101" course and will also create curriculum and lessons so the children can learn as well. 

We made our way from Langoni school to Mt. Kilimanjaro Foundation Kindergarten to visit Ally Rashidi, Hasani's and Abasi's younger brother. Ally will soon be six years old and attends school with over 200 other five and six year olds.

His class of 55 students and two teachers was a buzzing classroom, they were learning their phonics for the day, English sound "og".  Ally was a bit shy, as most five year old would be, but thanked me for helping so he could go to school. His friendly teachers let me know that he was doing very well with his lessons.

The children were so excited to give me a thumbs up and say "poa"  (cool in Kiswahili). They attend class from 8:00am until 3:00pm and cover math, English, Swahili, music, manners and discipline and arts and crafts.  The children sang us a lovely song and did a little dance for us.

All of the children loved having their pictures taken and then checking the display screen to see what the pictures looked like, we had a fun time! 

The last stop of our day was to visit Elizabeth Mamuya, this little five year old has lots of spunk now that she gets to experience school. She had been over visiting at Martha's house two days prior and was showing me how well she can write her ABC's and the new words she has learned in English. She was excited that we were going to visit her at her new school and see her with all her new friends. 

Elizabeth attends Moshi Catholic Day Care Centre. In 1985 the centre started with 50 kindergarten students and now have a total of 250.  There are 107 students in her class, and if you can believe it just one teacher.  They cover English, math, art, science, games, religion and music.  I was filled with joy seeing how happy the children are in a classroom with limited supplies. 

Sister Martha was very welcoming and happy for what we are doing with the Rudisha Foundation.  She is responsible for the direction of the daycare centre and ensures that all of the children are well looked after and are learning everyday. 

The cost for Hasani's school is only $20 Canadian dollars a year, as is Ally's school. Both Hasani and Ally were enrolled into local Kiswahili schools.  Elizabeth's English speaking school is $200 Canadian a year. We would love for all children sponsored by the Rudisha Foundation to attend English speaking schools, with your support we can help make this happen. 

To learn more please visit TemboTours Sponsorship page or contact me for details in how you can help make a difference in a child's life. 100 % of your donations go directly to the child, there are no program fees and we ensure every cent you donate goes towards the child's education.

Please enjoy our video of the visits to the schools and keep watching for the next blog on our visit to Noel's and Julieth's (Julianna) school. I won't keep you waiting too long! 

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