Rainy season has begun in Tanzania, and we are already seeing new growth on the fruit trees we planted last fall. The girls are also growing and changing on what seems like a daily basis. There are many needs to be met, and education is key.
In Tanzania, the class sizes are very large and mostly taught in a lecture style. There aren’t enough teachers to cater to the needs of individual students. In addition, most of our girls come to MGRC having never been to school and only speaking Maa, the Maasai tribal language. The primary schools are taught in Swahili, so learning that language is their first hurdle. Once in school they must also learn English, which is the language used in the secondary schools. As you can imagine, that is a lot for a new student.
I want to make sure that each girl at MGRC is working hard and receiving the help she needs to be successful. But managing the schooling of 60 girls is quite a task! Which is why I was very excited that we were given an Education.com membership. It is an online learning program that allows us to track each girl’s progress and identify the areas where extra help is needed. It creates individual educational programs for the girls, and provides weekly testing and tracking to identify areas that need extra attention.
I think this individual approach is what sets us apart at MGRC. We are working to help each girl create a plan for her life. For some, the plan will include remaining in government schools throughout her education. For others, a slightly different, more hands-on approach is needed.
This is why we are creating a vocational school where the girls can learn job skills. We will go beyond the basics, to make sure that they are able to apply those skills to running their own businesses or finding viable job opportunities.
“For African societies, no issue looms larger than employment. Only vibrant entrepreneurship and thriving small businesses can hope to provide the millions of jobs that are needed.”Richard Attias
I’m feeling the urgency to get the vocational school up and running as we have a lot of girls nearing the age of 18. As we are a children’s home, 18-year-olds are unable to remain unless they are enrolled in school. Having the vocational school will allow the girls to remain at MGRC where they will continue to receive care. It will give them much needed stability and time to prepare for their next steps in life.
I am blessed to have the opportunity to help these girls reach their full potential and thankful for all who have chosen to be a part of that mission.