In late 2017, the Sisters of Mary accepted the invitation of the authorities in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania to begin a new education program in the country.
Poverty in Tanzania is severe and particularly impacts children, who suffer from chronic malnutrition, which in turn affects their physical and mental development. Some progress has been made in the country to reduce poverty, but the high population growth rate and lack of access to education (particularly vocational) means that the number of poor is not declining.
The Sisters began their work in the communities of the country in 2018. They saw terrible situations of poverty and deprivation amongst the youngest and most vulnerable. Without education, children, particularly girls, have little hope. Empowering these children to transform their lives through education remains an objective for the country and our charitable mission.
In 2019 we were delighted to support the opening of a new Sisters of Mary school for girls. Phase 1 of the school opened in May and welcomed 150 young girls. These young girls are now well cared for, have access to good nutrition and healthcare and are studying a full curriculum of subjects including English, Swahili, geography, history, biology, chemistry, physics, civics, agriculture and PE. They are receiving vocational training in skills needed by local industries including industrial dressmaking, bread and pastry production, as well as information and computer studies. They are thriving at school and in time they can use their new skills to get work and become independent, self-sufficient and empowered young women.
With the support of our donors we hope to support further development of the school next year with increased capacity for additional young girls in need of our care.
Anna Maria saying goodbye to her mother before heading to the Sisters of Mary Girlstown!
Some of our very first students!