Posted by Jitka Cymbal
It has been less than a month since we returned from Tanzania.Our club participated in a international global grant project together with seven other clubs. Prior to the trip I didn’t know what to expect. I knew the Orkeeswa School is a British style high school located in a rural area of Monduli hills near Arusha. I knew that the children are from Masai tribe. What I didn’t know is what it really meant. Some Massai to this day lead nomad life. They are moving with their families and livestock (cows, goats, sheep and donkeys) to good grazing lands. That is slowly changing. Some of the families are now staying in one location and beginning to farm their land. What impressed me was the commitment these children have to the school.
They not only walk many hours each day to get to the school in heat and dust most of the year, and mud during rainy season. Most are required to help at home with getting water (water is carried some times more than one mile), wood for cooking and cooking family meal before they can study. None of their homes have electricity. Very few have solar light donated to them from sponsors of the school. They are extremely polite, friendly, happy and committed. With limited resources their achievements are many. Academically they are at top ten percent of all Tanzanian Children, this includes very prestigious private schools. They participate in sports after school and over the years they filled one room with trophies. All this with donated uniforms, books, volunteer teachers and donations from many people to provide all supplies and their meals during school year. Being able to spend five days at the school, talking and interacting with the youngest (six graders) who are learning English so they can continue their studies and eleventh graders who are waiting for their A-levels score gave me some insight into their life. This school not only changing their lives it also influences their families by bringing some of the knowledge home to their families. I truly appreciate this opportunity. Even eating rice and beans or beans and rice, staying in place with some times no running water, and sometimes no power didn’t get close to their living conditions. They are example to all of us. To do so much with so little. Thanks for the opportunity. Jitka