The following is an English class assignment from one of our students:
“My name is Monica. I come from a village in the Rukwa Region of Tanzania. I am twenty-two years old. My father’s name is Thomas and my mother’s name is Gaustensia. In our family we are six children, three sisters and three brothers. Our firstborn is a brother and his name is Exavery. The lastborn is a sister. Her name is Sarah.
In 2005, I was 14 years old. My father died. I was so sad and so crying, but it was a big challenge in our family because in everything, we depended on our father, for example: for food, shelter, clothes and school fees. Every one was so sad.
After one month, we all came together to decide what can we do in order to continue with our studies and to have basic needs. It was so difficult to conclude what we can do, because every one did not understand what he/she could do in order to get money, especially for school fees. After a long time, we concluded that all brothers must go to town to find any kind of job, which could help him to get 10,000 shillings per day. (about $6.35) All of the sisters must have a garden of fruits and vegetables. Every day we must go to the market to sell fruits and vegetables and come back home with 5,000 shillings per day. Every one was bold and earnest for his or her job. It helped us so much. At the end of the day, every one continued to study.
When I finished secondary school, I wanted to continue my education. I went to my oldest brother, who was working in a regular job and gets money every month. I asked him to support me with school fees. He said he would not, because I am a girl. I was so sad and went home to tell my mother. She told me not to give up and that I should try again. I talked with my friend Namsemba and she told me about Irente Children’s Home, where she was going to study. It sounded like something I would like to do. So, I went back to my brother and this time he said “yes”.
Now I am a first year student at Irente Children’s Home. I am here to learn how to care for the children. I believe that after my two years here, I will get employment and I will get money every month. I would like to conclude that after I am working, I shall help my mother so much and all people who have problems like I had. Thank you.”
Monica’s story is not unlike that of our other students, with the exception of her father’s death. Many people here live from day to day, earning what they need for each day’s existence. Education here is not cheap. Money is needed for uniforms and school expenses even at the “free” government schools. But education here is called “the key of life” and the “golden opportunity” to advance yourself and your family.
Please pray for all students and their families who struggle to pay the fees due each term.