Africa's Children in Education

Newsletter: March 2020

Dear Supporter(s),

It was on one of our trips to Tanzania in February 2012 that Frank, now Arise School Manager, took us to meet his parents at their family home in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. They showed us round their land and told us of their vision – a school for the poorest children in the community who would never have the opportunity of an education. We decided to try and build just one classroom.

It opened in January 2013 with one teacher and 11 children.

Arise School was born!

With your support, in January 2020, Arise became a full school of 400 children. There are no vacancies! The school now has 10 classrooms and 14 teachers, supported by a further 14 local staff. There is a school kitchen, already extended once to provide sufficient capacity for the number of pupils; two toilet blocks, one with showers; an office, a shade area providing an outdoor covered space for pupils and staff, and a newly completed, spacious staff room which the teachers are enjoying settling into.

Through your efforts, electricity and WiFi have been installed and a generator purchased for backup. A well has been built and irrigation system installed to utilise some of the school’s land to grow fruit and vegetables. Hard earned funds paid for a water filter to provide drinking water for domestic purposes, saving on the cost of metered water. Chickens and goats provide eggs and milk for the children. The result of a very generous one-off donation, ten houses have been built for rent and are now bringing in income.

All of these projects are aimed at Arise becoming self sufficient and, eventually, self sustaining. To this end, the ACE Sponsorship Scheme has been closed to new children and Arise School is assuming responsibility for sponsoring the poorest local children through the income it has begun to make.

However, the backcloth to this in Tanzania is one of rising costs, increasing Government taxes and the drop in the value of the pound. Reluctantly, our Management Committee has decided that an increase in the cost of sponsorship for children in the ACE Sponsorship Scheme is necessary. From May 1st, the cost per child will rise from £16 to £18 per month. We appreciate that this is not a good time given the Coronavirus situation and will write out individually to all our sponsors shortly. Meanwhile, we wanted to give you advance notice of the change.

Through the British Council’s “Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning” programme, a very successful teacher exchange took place recently with two teachers from Cronton CE Primary School, Widnes, spending a week at Arise School. There was much sharing and learning between the schools to the advantage of all the pupils and teachers concerned. Two Arise teachers were excitedly looking forward to their exchange visit to Cronton School in June. Coronavirus means this is now unlikely to take place as planned. We very much hope an extension will be granted to enable it to happen once restrictions are lifted.

In early March, we were delighted to learn the brilliant news that a grant application to the British and Foreign School Society (BFSS) had been successful. This 3 year project will bring the benefits of ICT to Arise and the local community. A Computer Room will be built and equipped with desks, chairs and 20 computers. It will enable pupils to learn computer skills and sit their national ICT examination. Teachers will be able to access online resources to inform their teaching and the school improve and develop its data systems. Other local schools will have free access to the resource, as will young people and community members wishing to develop their ICT learning or use the resource. This will be a huge step forward both for Arise and the community. We are indebted to BFSS for making it possible. When the first classroom opened in 2013, never in our wildest dreams did we think that Arise School would come so far!

Finally, our ACE website is being updated and we do not currently have an online donation facility. If you would like to make a donation towards the work of ACE, the bank details are below:

Barclays Bank

Name of Charity: Africa’s Children in Education

Account Number: 03910431

Sort Code: 207445

Thank you for all your ongoing valued and valuable support.