Friends of Lindi continue to support individuals when we can. Our USP is to help directly. All recipients are known to us or to our local partners. See below extracts from our Annual Report to Trustees and to the Charities Commission. Please consider a regular donation, however small. Our new initiative, Pounds for Porridge, is an example of how a small amount can achieve so much. Just £1.30 can provide a student with a daily meal for a week. This is often their only nutritious meal each day and contributes to more concentration at school and better overall performance.
We now have 5 directly sponsored students at Aquinas Secondary School, Mtwara.
Debora and Karishma are continuing to progress well in Form Two. In October they will sit National exams so they are having to work extra hard this year. Luckily the Education minister prohibited schools from keeping students during their long June holidays so they were sent home and able to have a break. Most parents in TZ believe that the more hours their children study the better, regardless of the quality. I have discussed the 4.30 wake ups with Sister Paula and she agrees it is too early but the parents demand it. They are kings as she needs to attract students to pay the teachers!
Debora is in the top 5 and Karishma is currently half way in the year group of 85 students.
In Form One
Hajirat (No 4/80 Division 1), Hidaya (No 34/80 Division 1) and Julias (No 39/80 Division 1) are doing amazingly well in Form One and keep their high ambitions! I
During the holiday we signed Julias and Hidaya up to a basic IT course at the vocational college VETA. This was a great opportunity for them and also meant they had something to do each weekday. The cost was £63 each for a 3-month course so they will be able to continue in the next two holiday breaks. Other students should be signed up over the next few holidays if possible. Unfortunately there is no such course in Dar es Salaam for Hajirat.
The two girls sponsored by Elizabeth in Gibraltar are also happy and making good progress. Bilgitha is finding the transition from Govmt school challenging and understandably her English is lacking so far. But she has only just started English this year and her prospects are promising. Vanessa is flying with a Division 1 and position 8 in the year – great news!
It is much easier logistically to have them all at the same school and we are happy that they are being well fed and looked after by the teachers and welfare staff. They will certainly achieve their potential and are working hard to make the most of a special opportunity.
Six girls and one boy who have been sponsored since the start of Pre-school Love the yellow uniforms!!
Joy School Lindi
Buyegi is in her final year at Joy school and is on course to achieve an A grade in the Primary School leaving certificate. She is number 3 in her class with straight A grades! We hope she will continue into Aquinas next year. She has been boarding with all other Grade 7 pupils, which allows them access to teachers if they have any problems. She has enjoyed being a boarder and it is also good preparation for next year.
It will be sad to lose our direct connections with Joy School where it all began nearly 10 years ago when we were raising money for windows and books! Joy School is now one of the top Primary schools in Lindi region.
The latest news is that children continue to attend our six libraries in rural locations. Our local representative Venance found a neighbour to supervise the new set of books, which we transported in January to Lindi. Saddiq the original librarian continues to operate and Hidaya (who lives next door) was able to access the latest longer books that we provided in December during her June holiday.
Mariam continues to build up her customer base and is able to earn a small income. She and her sister Swalha still need support from time to time. They are left on their own for long periods with little financial support from their mama. Most recently they were robbed and attacked in the night by unknown persons. The police have been informed but I have not heard the latest progress, if any.
FoL supports Swalha with uniform and school food programmes. I am working to formalise this with the school and would like to launch a campaign “Pounds for Porridge” at our next fundraising event. With the improving exchange rate it costs 4000 shillings or £1.26 a week for daily porridge per student. So many children only have one meal a day and this has an impact on their health and learning at school.
One of Mariam’s customers after a makeover!
Arafa has started at the Vocational College in Lindi to study to be an electrician. She is from a very poor family and is being supported by some teachers from her old secondary school (who are not rich themselves!)
We have been asked to support her with transport to the college. At 50p per day this will help her to learn a trade and eventually earn a living.
Home for Arafa and her brother:
The nursing student has had a blip in his studies. He has had to retake one module as he failed the end of year exam. We withdrew support at that point, however his family have found some money for the retake fees. If he passes we have agreed to sponsor the final year as promised.
Wonderful news from Manzi, the Vet science student from a very basic dwelling in Chikonji, rural Lindi. We have been helping him since he was 14. He has managed to get onto an internship programme in Denmark. He travelled to Bredebro in Jutland in June and has been sending excited photos of him on the plane and standing in “a street in Europe”! We have supported him with contributions to his visa and some warm clothes to wear. Sue and I plan to visit him in October this year and will be scouring the charity shops for more warm clothes ready for the Danish winter.
Fadhila has been investigated for her hearing loss with no sign of a solution so far. She has, however, started at Matumbulu centre for the deaf near Dodoma, the capital of Tanzania. It is a basic but caring centre where students are taught suitable skills to equip them to earn a living. The deaf are marginalised in Tanzania and her future would otherwise have been very bleak. There are possibilities to equip the centre with more facilities such as laptops and learning devices when funds permit. The director of the centre has promised to take her to a clinic in Dodoma where she may be able to find a suitable device to help with her hearing. Watch this space. We still have the support of Elizabeth and Robert in Gibraltar if needed to fund any solution.
Pounds for Porridge
Following contact with Angaza secondary School in Lindi we have identified a real need for help with food for the poorest students. Two teachers who worked with us in 2107 are now providing a meal for students half way through the school day. It is nutritious and encouraging them to attend school as well as concentrating in class. 4000 Tanzanian shillings or £1.27 can feed one student for a week! We have started with 5 girls but would love to expand the programme. A one off donation is great but a monthly donation of just £10.00 can feed 2 girls for a year. We are concentrating on girls, as they are the most likely to drop out of school if a family cannot pay for school equipment and food. An educated girl will be an educated mother. This influence will continue to multiply through generations.
Music night is on for October 28th 2023 - get your tickets here
Helen is still planning to cycle in Cambodia but this has been delayed until 2024. She is very committed and sorry it has been delayed. We are very grateful for the offer whenever it happens.
James Packer is still on for running a sponsored marathon in Japan in aid of FoL.
Christmas cards are in the making.
Many thanks for all your support in UK and in Tanzania. Venance and Ramson continue to be invaluable and Happiness has been the go-between for contact with the schools and parents. Madam Regina is the link teacher at Aquinas who has daily contact with the children there. Let’s try to keep making our small contribution to alleviate big problems. It’s making a huge difference to individuals in a way we cannot fully envisage.
Steve and Sue Scorer and the Trustees of Friends of Lindi
27th July 2023