…these facts about Tanzania:
►The country is a little more than two times the size of California
►The population just under 43 million people
►It is currently home to over 500,000 refugees
►Life expectancy is 52.85 years
►5.6% of the population is infected with HIV/Aids
►It is one of the most peaceful religious melting pots in the world with a population that is 35% Muslim, 35% Indigenous, 30% Christian
►Swahili and English are the official languages
►Gained independence from Britain in 1964
►Ranks near the bottom at #202 out of 228 countries in the world with $1500/GDP per capita
►Only 57% of children ages 5-14 attend school;of the 57%, only 87% reach Grade 5
►Less than 21% of all students even get invited to enter Form 1 (high school)
Under government mandate all public school institutions teaching the U.S. equivalent of grades 1-8 teach classes in Swahili. Ironically, all high school classes are taught in English. Let’s look back at the numbers for a moment. Out of 100 school age children in Tanzania, only 21 of the children make it through what we would call Grade 8 and get accepted to high school. Of these 21 students, only 7 of them actually received a passing grade on the English portion of their National Exam. The other 14 students entering Form 1 (high school) have a small – if any – chance of completing high school due to the fact that they can’t even truly understand what is being taught to them in English.
To state the obvious, it doesn’t make sense that the government mandate be to teach classes in Swahili to the younger children and in English to the older children. But I digress. I’m obviously not going to change any Tanzanian government regulations today. Instead, I am sharing this insight with you to emphasize how important schools like Good Hope in Arusha are to the underprivileged orphans in Tanzania. As an outsider it is easy to look at some of the obvious benefits: the school rescues orphans from the streets, provides an education and a family-like atmosphere that nurtures the children. Thanks to the help of JustUsFriends the kids are even able to receive medical care to ensure that they are healthy enough to stay in school and to protect them from life-threatening, yet treatable illnesses, like malaria or the flu.
Here is something I bet you didn’t know: privately funded schools supported by friends like you provide children who were born with nothing, the best chance to create a bright future for themselves. You see, unlike the government run schools, Good Hope and other private schools like it teach the students English from the first day they walk into the classroom. JustUsFriends is proud to partner with an organization like Good Hope that is committed to setting the orphans it serves up for success. Like you, I am just another friend and supporter of JustUsFriends. The only difference between you and I may be that I have had the fortune of visiting the country of Tanzania and witnessing the work Good Hope Orphanage does with my own eyes.
The message of this post is simple: I thought you’d like to know JustUsFriends isn’t in the business of building clinics or schools or orphanages, just to build them. Instead, they are dedicated to the careful selection of viable projects that show true potential – projects that can truly change lives.
Thanks to you, JustUsFriends, Ally, and Good Hope, the orphans have a better chance than most Tanzanian kids to be one of those 7 out of 100 children. They have a chance to beat the odds.