Recruitment Experience of Sr. Clara Kown

by | Mar 25, 2024

“One day, my father said that he will go out and look for money, but he never returned. Afterwards, we just heard that he is already living with another woman in another village. I will study hard to become an engineer someday so that I have the means to help my mother and my young brothers.” -Joseph

From May 1st to 7th last year, I went to the southern regions of Tanzania, (in particular, Mtwara and Ruvuma regions,) to accompany our two Filipina Sisters, Sr. Bernadeth and Sr. Marchery to give exam and interview some candidate students who will join our first batch of boys in Dodoma.

I was curious and a bit excited, for the first time I would be joining the recruitment, though I knew, because of language barrier, my mission is more likely to see only the living conditions of the children and especially their health backgrounds, so that I can be of better help to them in the Clinic, when they come to the Sisters of Mary School.

“Here in the Sisters of Mary, I was able to find good circle of friends where I can communicate with and to play football also. I am surrounded with people who are very joyful and understanding as well. In the future, I want to become a doctor in order to help my village especially those who are poor and cannot go to hospital.” -Japhet

For the first time, I got to ride the bus for 12-hours straight. It was not easy, but what came next was even more frightening to me, because when we got off the terminal, we took the “bajaji”, a small cab with three small motorcycle wheels, and then, at a certain point we got down and rode again a “piki-piki”, a single motorcycle. It was a shame because besides my fear I did not even know how to ride it. But somehow, with the courage of the two younger sisters who were travelling with me, I made it. After several hours, we arrived at the cathedral in the mountain region where we would be giving the exams. Through the kindness the of the priest, he let us stay in the parish house for two nights since we still have to visit the houses of the children who took the exam.

When we visited the children’s houses, we rode the “piki-piki” again because that is the only vehicle available so that we can go in further in the more remote villages in that mountainous region. I saw many malnourished children living in very small, hut-like houses. I was moved to see how the children are so motivated to study, having to wake up very early and to walk long hours just to go to the village’s primary schools, and most of the time, they go with empty stomach. By then, understanding those children’s daily sacrifice of going to school hungry, and the difficulty of having to walk long hours everyday just to learn, I could not think anymore of how painful and fearful it is to ride “piki-piki”. I am very thankful to God for letting me see the reality and very poor condition where our children are coming from. And I thank God everyday when I see them studying happily now at our new Boystown here in Dodoma.




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The children at our schools come from the poorest of the poor. Each child has their own stories of what their life was before coming to our schools and how their lives are being transformed by the Sisters of Mary programs.  Read the moving stories of our children in their own words. 

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