The Tumaini Trust

The Tumaini Trust was founded by me, Kath Jenkins, to arrange sponsorship for my former pupils in Tanzania to enable them to attend Secondary School. Tumaini is the name of my star pupil whilst at the Mshiri Primary School and is also the Kiswahili word for “hope”.

I took an 8 month sabbatical in 2002 and taught English at two Primary Schools in the Kilimanjaro region. At that time my pupils were 10/11 years old and in the 4th year of school. I have returned to Kilimanjaro each year to arrange activities for them during their Christmas holiday. This has ranged from taking a class of 30 children on safari to Lake Manyara to simply drawing pictures and making colourful calendars and New Year cards.  For most of the children the safari was the only chance that they have had to experience the fantastic wildlife including elephants, giraffes and hippopotamuses living just a few hours by bus from their homes. The children love the opportunity of being creative with many of them not owning colouring pencils or felt pens. The chance to use glitters and glue is a huge novelty and creates great excitement with most of the children returning home with glitter “accidentally” covering their face and hair.

These pupils left Primary School in October 2005 and would not have been able to progress to Secondary School for financial reasons. Primary education is free in Tanzania but Secondary Schooling is not. Pupils have the opportunity of sitting a State examination to attend a State School which attracts a nominal fee although very few pupils are actually selected so most cannot continue their schooling after the age of 14/15 years.

Unfortunately no State School was available for any of my students in January 2006 as the school was in the process of being built. Private schooling was therefore the only option but as most parents are subsistence farmers and have no real income the fees are simply unaffordable.

Annual fees for boarding school are approximately £450. Boarding School is infinitely preferable to day school as the children can concentrate on their studies given that very few, if any, have electricity at home. It becomes dark all year round by 7pm and day pupils generally walk for hours each day to and from school.

The Tumaini Trust originally assisted 15 children: 12 at a private boarding school and 3 at a vocational training college. The 3 students studying at the vocational training centre have now completed their education having received tutoring  in carpentry. This has given one young man in particular a great boost. He is undoubtedly bright and a talented artist but was never able to reach his potential as he is deaf so was always put to sit at the back of the classroom. This meant that he was not even given the opportunity of lip-reading during his lessons. Whilst it was hoped by his teachers at the Vocational Training Centre that he would work at the School with them, he has decided to set up his own business instead.

The students who attended Secondary School have now sat their O’level exams with varying degrees of success. Half of the students progressed to A’level studies and are now at university, with some students still receiving some assistance from us.

I returned to Tanzania for 3 months in 2007 to teach more 10/11 year olds English. These students left Primary School in October 2010 and in January 2011, 11 of my pupils were enrolled at a private boarding school, Vunjo Secondary School, to commence their O’level studies. So far, one of these pupils have a sponsor, so their fees have been funded from the proceeds of the 2010 Kilimanjaro climb. Further pupils have been enrolled at the local government school.

In January 2011 I returned to Tanzania for 3 months with my husband Huw, to teach English to standard 4 pupils. I hope to continue to support those students by taking them on safari next year and providing any resources that they  may need to further their education. I also hope that many of them will be sponsored through secondary school when they are ready in 2015.

The Tumaini Trust will continue to help these students through sponsorships and donations so that they may have the opportunity of achieving their potential.

Thank you very much for your support. Your assistance really does give the children hope to achieve their dreams.

Asante sana

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