Thursday, January 29, 2015

Help me help Itiso students further their education

I have been wanting to give more back to the community that took me, cared for me, and at least humored my crazy ideas. (Girls' empowerment? If you say so, lady...)

Someone in my community in Tanzania helped me set up a scholarship fund for kids from the village who want to attend A-level schools. The village has only an O-level school (lower level high school, for those unfamiliar with the British system), requiring the students to attend a boarding school if they wish to continue their education. This is obviously costly, more costly than most families can afford.** This first year I only anticipate being able to support one student and I hope to continue supporting him and adding a new student next year, etc.

This first student has been selected and accepted into a school following his O-level exams and is waiting to start -- as soon as his fees are paid. With the various fees, tuition, supplies, uniforms, wire transfer fees -- all told will come to $370. If you would like to contribute, you can donate through Friends of Tanzania, as US-based nonprofit (so it's tax deductible!). Be sure to indicate that it is for the Itiso Scholarship Fund as shown under Designation below. [Check out the red circle!]  Normally I'd be able to raise this without begging on the internet, but the semester has already begun over there and the sooner we can send the money, the sooner he can start school!

Thanks in advance to anyone who chooses to donate to my project!  If you leave your contact info, I'll send you a note! :)

**Why this? In my experience living in the community, kids will bomb exams when they don't think their parents can afford their continued education. I saw it, teachers at every educational level saw it. It was an unspoken way for the kids to relieve their parents of guilt for not being able to pay for schooling. After the secondary school was built in the village and youth no longer had to go to boarding schools, bringing the price of it down, primary school exam pass rates jumped. But pass rates for the secondary school are still dismal. That might be because the school is lousy, but it might not be. I want students to use the promise of a scholarship to try to excel and not lower their expectations because of their perceived financial circumstances.