Raising money for The Heri Special School at Mporoto, Tanzania
MONEY RAISED SO FAR: £1,222.00 - THANK YOU ! CLICK HERE TO DONATE
Our new management team has now completed its first full year in office, leaving us constantly in awe of what our much loved Mark Roberts and Egha Egha achieved for Heri Special School in the last years of both their lives until 2015. From bare earth, Egha and Mark realised their dream of building a pioneering special school deep in the rolling countryside of Tanzania, and named it “Heri”, meaning happiness in Swahili.
Mark single-handedly persuaded a small and truly wonderful band of supporters to fund the building of Heri Special School. In 2005, Mr Egha began laying the foundations for his school at Mporoto, in the south-west of Tanzania. Over the ensuing years, the school buildings and facilities steadily took shape, thanks to The St Jude Foundation and its’ generous supporters!
Now, in December 2016, there are 51 pupils in all, of which around 20% are disabled, with the remainder being able-bodied primary children. These younger children interact very well with the older disabled pupils. All pupils attend the school for free, as their parents cannot afford to pay school fees.
In Safina Egha (daughter of the late Egha Egha) we are truly blessed to have such an outstanding Head Teacher at Heri School. Safina, her younger sister Anna, and 6 other teachers, work with great care and attention to provide an education that these little children would otherwise not receive.
Safina has confirmed that Heri School is getting closer to achieving official recognition and registration by the Tanzanian Government. The inspectors have been to visit again recently and have encouraged Safina to continue making the remaining improvements. Safina and her team are working their way through the list slowly but surely, towards the aim of school registration. The rate of progress is very much dependent on the amount of financial support the school receives from The St Jude Foundation.
So far this year we have sent just over £2500 to the school. This money has been or is currently being used to build covered concrete walk-ways alongside the school buildings, and to carry out urgent repairs to the rusty iron sheets and damp ceiling boards above some of the classrooms. The entrances to the classrooms have now been made wheelchair accessible and the planting and painting has also been completed. We have also sent our regular annual payment of £1400 to the school, which Safina uses to pay her teaching staff. Please have a look at the recent photographs which show many of the pupils and staff, as well as some of the recent building works and other activities.
The items that are still outstanding on the school inspectors’ list are: building the school playground; purchasing and fitting fire extinguishers around the school; and building a covered way from the school to the toilet block. Safina has also requested funds to be able to provide the following: more desks; shoes and uniforms for the pupils; a strong metal cupboard that can be locked to keep valuable items safe; carpentry tools; and sports equipment. It is also expected that the school buildings will require further repairs and maintenance over the coming year, as they are subjected to heavy rainfall during the rainy season.
Making the aforementioned (and very beneficial) improvements to Heri Special School, will cost between £3,000 and £3,500. If you feel able, a donation to The St Jude Foundation towards these costs would be extremely welcome. Please click here for ways to donate. All donations received will attract a 25% lift in value through Gift Aid.
A couple of personal bits of news, namely that Dylan and his partner Emily had their first child in July named Josephine, who is also Neville’s first grandchild. For myself, I have recently retired from my position of Executive Headteacher at Drumbeat School and ASD Service, to take up a challenging but exciting part-time role with Bromley Borough Council, liaising with the families of vulnerable children who for one reason or another find themselves out of school.
Lastly, we send you the very warmest of wishes to yourself and family for a peaceful and loving Christmas.
Dr. Vivian Hinchcliffe
Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The St Jude Foundation