If you have been reading my blogs from the beginning (and that’s what all the cool kids are doing) then you know that Carpenter’s Kids is a program started to get vulnerable kids through Primary School. The 50 most vulnerable kids each from over 100 villages were chosen by a committee in their villages to receive the supplies they need to go to Primary School. Although the schooling is free, the uniforms and supplies and shoes and breakfast are not.
So last week was The Week for the Distribution to the hundreds of students who are now able to continue their education. It was the busiest week I’ve seen anywhere in a while. Each student received all their necessary supplies; the usual things and also blankets and other things they may need if they live in a residential program due to distance from their homes.
Primary School here is similar to kindergarten through sixth grade in the US- 7 years of schooling. Then there is a National Exam students must take and pass to go on to Secondary School; students with A’s, B’s, and C’s can go, based on the Government Policy, to Secondary School. If they get a D as their average score, they can go to Vocational School. Carpenter’s Kids’ policy is A’s and B’s can to go on to Secondary school with the monetary help provided. Most of the money for this is provided by a single generous donor, with the rest coming from links in the US, UK New Zealand, etc who have chosen to help their students continue with their education. The generous donor has also promised to pay for University for the students who continue to do well, and in fact there are three CK’s in University and a fourth student, from Mwitikira, who did well through Vocational School, is now working for the government teaching art!
I do have some great pictures but they are on a memory card from a camera, a new idea I had for making pictures easier. I have been trying to download one picture for one hour and 24 minutes. I will put them on Facebook and when Daudi, our Computer god returns, maybe they can even get on here.
The point, which I think can be made without photos is this: When Tanzania achieved independence in 1963, I read they had 11 people with PhD’s. Those days are changing and it’s great to feel that Carpenter’s Kids will be part of it. A small part, of course, because the kids, their guardians and supporters, and their teachers are doing the heavy lifting. But it’s nice to see the realization of the dream of an education alive on so many faces.