2004 - working in a rented building 2005 - laying the foundations 2006 - the walls are built 2007 - building the roof 2008 - water supply fitted 2009 - the recently built toilet block
(coat of paint to be added!) 2010 - a teaching session in progress,
the floor of this classroom has not yet
been plastered November 2010 - plastering of this
classroom has now been completed June 2011 - completing the plastering of
the school walls May 2012 - "nursery" class taking place in
one of the painted and decorated classrooms October 2013 - flood damage to
the school grounds October 2013 - building the defensive wall
against future floods

Heri Special School

Working with the St. Jude Foundation
registered charity no. 800451

Please help us to raise money for The Heri Special School at Mporoto, Tanzania

Tanzania, in East Africa, is one of the poorest countries in the world. Although the Tanzanian government's policy is that all children should be entitled to primary education, this does not, in practice, extend to handicapped or disabled children, who are mostly kept at home; in many cases their families are ashamed for them to be seen. This was the situation a few years ago at Mporoto, a large village near the town of Mbeya in the south-west of Tanzania.

Then one day a teacher called Egha Egha visited Mporoto and was so distressed by what he saw that he made a big decision, – to leave his teaching job and set up a special school for the disabled children of Mporoto. For the next few years, with great difficulty, Mr Egha kept the school going, using various rented buildings (one of which was destroyed by a storm!). The school received no state support, and the pupils parents were too poor to pay school fees; so Mr Egha started a small farm to provide funds for the school, growing maize and other crops and vegetables for sale, with the help of the pupils' parents (this work continues today.)

Mr Egha calls his school "Heri Special School”, “Heri” is the Swahili word for “happiness”.

In 2005, with the support of the St. Jude Foundation, Mr Egha began the task of providing a permanent building for his school at Mporoto. A piece of land was bought, plans were drawn up, and work began on laying the foundations of the building. Since then, the building work has continued slowly but steadily; the rate of progress has depended (and still depends) on the ability of the St. Jude Foundation to raise enough funds to keep the work going. The photos to the right show the development of the building since 2005.

Recent News & Photos

November 2013

I have not written to you recently about Heri Special School because the school has been coping with two major problems. Firstly, it was hit by abnormally high rainfall which flooded part of the school site and threatened the school building. To protect the building and its foundations, it has been necessary to build a defensive wall in front of one side of the school; this has now been completed at a cost of £1,250. Fortunately we have been able to meet this bill with the tax rebate which we receive each year from Gift Aid. You can see the original damage and the new wall in the photos - click here. We hope it will be adequate to protect the building in the event of any further abnormal weather. The rainfall also brought large hailstones, to the excitement of the children, who had never seen such things before: they ran around among the hailstones, picking them up and eating them! “A good time was had by all.”

The other problem has been the health of Mr Egha Egha, the head teacher: first, he was injured by a cow, which the family keep to provide milk; the cow unexpectedly kicked him in the leg quite badly, and he had to spend some weeks in hospital. Secondly, Egha has had pneumonia, again needing a stay in hospital, where he still is at present, though he is getting better. During his absence, one of Egha’s daughters, Safina, who is a qualified teacher, is in charge of the school.

In my next letter, I hope to be able to tell you that Egha is fully recovered and that we can resume the gradual process of improvement of the school’s buildings and equipment. As always, any donations to help this work will be gratefully received at any time.

Thank you for all your generous support. Many thanks, too, to our kind (unpaid) helpers, who keep the work of the St Jude Foundation going, year in, year out.

I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Yours sincerely,
Mark Roberts

January 2013

We are very pleased to announce that during the course of 2012 we received a total of £11,737 in donations. The money has mainly been spent on: provision of covered way outside classrooms; installation of ceiling boards in classrooms; painting and decorating (internal and external); purchase of furniture; purchase of wheelchairs, books and classroom materials. Thank you to everyone who has helped to raise money for the Heri Special School. We look forward to another great year.


The St. Jude Foundation will be very grateful for any contributions, large or small. The Foundation has no paid staff and no office or other administrative expenses to meet; all those who help run the Foundation give their services free, so all money donated goes in payments to the project in Tanzania.

To make a donation please see our donations page

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If you have any enquiries please email us at info@thestjudefoundation.com

Mporoto is near Mbeya in the South West of Tanzania