EASTER GREETINGS from East Meru Community School where so many exciting developments have been taking place, thanks to you, our donors and sponsors. We had a great start to 2017 with our 6th new Prep class, the completion of our 6th classroom and the very exciting news that all of our Standard 4 children had passed their first ever national exam enabling them to move on to Standard 5. For more on this, and all our other news please read on!
AN IMPORTANT NOTE TO OUR SPONSORS
At the beginning of 2017, all schools in Tanzania were required to fall in line with government school term dates. This means that we now have two 20 week terms instead of 3 terms of 14 weeks each. As a consequence, we will now be producing two reports each year instead of three (in June and December), but at the end of each half term (in April and September), we will send you a drawing from your sponsor child and hope you will enjoy! We thank you for your understanding and please do let us know if you have any questions.
OUR NEW PREP CLASS
We are very happy to report that we were able to start the year with 26 new children, and we thank and welcome all of our new sponsors to our rapidly growing EMCS family. As usual, we were very grateful to our recruitment team who spent a week hiking through the hills making some difficult home visits and some tough decisions.
OUR NEW STANDARD 5
In November 2016 our Std 4 class sat their first national exams, which determine whether they can progress on to Std 5. We were so pleased to learn that the WHOLE class had passed. Given that we do not select according to ability we are very proud of our children and teachers and are now very hopeful for them as they begin their preparations for the end of Primary exams in Std 7, an exam where the national pass rate is currently only 67%.
We are very grateful to our donors and supporters around the world who enabled us to complete the build of our new Standard 5 classroom in time for the start of the new school year, and to all of our donors who responded to our text book appeal at the end of last year. This means that now our Std 5 children have a very conducive learning environment which is so much appreciated by them and their teachers. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
January: We hosted a wonderful team from Hope without Borders USA who taught the children about oral and menstrual hygiene, and donated water filters, books and stationery. We hope this was the first of many visits!
February: We were visited by a team from Teacher in a Box, another wonderful initiative, supported by the Rotary Club of Brisbane Planetarium. They donated a laptop complete with educational materials, projector and speakers, something which would have been unthinkable a year ago when we didn't even have any electricity, and they provided training in the use of the equipment.
March: We were very excited to welcome a group of EarlyActers (the Primary School branch of Rotary) from The School of St Jude in Arusha. In partnership with an organisation called Solarbuddy they learnt how to assemble solar lights which they were then able to donate to us. What a great project! Solar lights are so vital for the older children as they need to do homework in the evenings.
We thank all of our visitors for coming to see us and for all their support. For more on all of these stories, please visit our Facebook page.
Over the last few months we have been so grateful for some innovative, inspirational and engaging fund raising activities, all in support of our work here in Maruvango. Many thanks to all of you for continuing to show such an interest in our project and for helping us to raise awareness of the work that we do.
If anyone else would like to fundraise for us, we now have an online fundraising platform which makes the process so much easier! Please see our BT MyDonate page.
OUR LATEST PROJECTS
Thanks to all of our various fundraisers, appeals and donations we are now in the process of completing our much needed hand washing facilities. We have also been able to purchase 3 new water tanks to attach to our newest buildings, we have a new solar powered security light, a flag pole, netball hoops, and a new toilet facility for wheelchair users!
OUR UK CHARITY
During 2016 we founded the UK charity Friends of East Meru Community School which enabled us to set up our online fundraising page via BT MyDonate. This has made it much simpler to process donations from all over the world, and to claim Gift Aid on all donations from UK tax payers, including sponsorship payments. Thank you so much to all of our UK sponsors and donors who have made the switch and if you are a UK tax payer, and haven't yet transferred your standing order, please consider doing so - it basically means that a £20 monthly payment becomes £25 and that £5 can make such a difference! For further information please visit the Sponsors page on our website or check out our BT MyDonate page. (This also includes our food sponsors) THANK YOU!
We also have to report the very sad news that Nigel Keighley, the Chairman of our charity, pictured here with his wife Pat, passed away last month following a tragic hiking accident in Spain. Nigel was a huge supporter of EMCS in so many ways and his association with our project attracted many of our current sponsors. He was always prepared to give anything a go if he thought it would benefit the staff and children at the school. He will be sorely missed, and our thoughts are with his wife and family at this time.
If you would like any further information about any aspect of our project, please do get in touch, we would love to hear from you!