Tumaini Tanzania has always been driven by local needs, rooted in local relationships, and guided by local leadership. Students in Sakila created the organization by seeking out academic support--not only for themselves, but also for the neighbors they knew most needed help. When American families offered to provide scholarships, Tanzanian parents and grandparents insisted on matching the funds as much as possible, selling their crops and livestock despite having little to spare. For over ten years, local teachers have sacrificed evenings and weekends to tutor and encourage our students, while local administrators have identified and orchestrated systematic initiatives to strengthen education in the region. And as we celebrate our oldest students' graduation from university, we also celebrate their commitment to their community as they return to Sakila to mentor the next generation of Tumaini scholars.
These local efforts are spearheaded by four talented, hardworking, trustworthy, and selfless individuals: Mr. Msoffe, Mr. Mayo, Mr. Kiwale, and Mr. Mafia. Msoffe is the headmaster at the Sakila Secondary School; Mayo and Kiwale are senior teachers at the Sakila and Nkoanekoli Secondary Schools, respectively; and Mafia (Emmanuli) is a Tumaini graduate from our first class of scholars who is now working in nearby Arusha. Each of these men dedicates his time and personal resources--on a completely voluntary basis--because he cares about this community and understands the power of education to uplift its children.
Our local partners really stepped up this year when, for the first time in over ten years, Tumaini's American Board members were not able to travel to the region. On their own initiative, Msoffe, Mayo, Kiwale, and Mafia organized the annual workshop, bringing together all the students and parents of Tumaini for a series of conversations about how to continue to strengthen our organization. The picture above shows Mayo addressing the group, joined at the front of the classroom by two parents whom the group appointed to be chairman and secretary. I've included a few pictures below of some of the students and parents who participated in the event.
I am so very grateful to these local partners for leading our organization with commitment and integrity, and I am thankful for the example they provide to our students. Would you consider partnering with these Tanzanian friends as they kick off a new semester? As always, we would appreciate--and put to direct use--any donation you could make.