The mission of The School of St Jude is to educate disadvantaged, bright students from the Arusha District to become moral and intellectual leaders in their country and for St Jude’s to thereby demonstrate educational leadership in Tanzania.
Poverty in Tanzania is endemic. Ranked 199 out of 229 nations in the world for GDP per capita, as a nation Tanzania is unable to provide its children with a quality education. The government school system is overstretched, under-resourced, and produces poor educational outcomes for Tanzanian society.
St Jude’s provides a free, high-quality education to children who — due to poverty and social pressures — would otherwise be unlikely to complete their schooling.
Drawn from families who often live on less than $1.25 per day, the pupils of St Jude’s are shining examples of what students can achieve when they are given the opportunity to receive a quality education.
Since 2002 we have added 150 students to the school each year and in 2015 the first senior class from The School of St Jude will graduate from Form 6. We are working towards a model that supports our students through tertiary education and completing the mission to create the next generation of Tanzanian leaders.
St Jude’s has an amazing story, read on to understand what makes us different.
Fighting poverty through Education & Resilience in Tanzania. The way we do things at St Jude’s is different. With generous and ongoing support from individuals and institutions around the world we have built an exceptional educational institution and the largest charity-funded school in Africa of its kind. Every single one of our students was chosen because they combined academic promise with a desperately poor background and a great attitude to work. We feed them, house them, educate them, and do everything possible to ensure our students’ wellbeing and future success. As a result we have three campuses filled with happy and healthy children in a country where children frequently drop out of school.
Everything we do is for the children, and to produce successful academic and welfare outcomes. Each child we invite into the school represents another family who has the opportunity to escape the cycle of poverty. Due to resources we are limited to 150 students each year so in order to ensure we are selecting children who meet out criteria, each year we run a rigorous student selection process.
Our policy is to accept only one student from a family. This means that 150 families each year will benefit from having a well-educated child who can then assist them in the future.
Two boarding facilities for over 1,400 students
A range of welfare, educational, and nutritional benefits are achieved by the provision of boarding facilities. As of Grade 5, St Jude’s students begin boarding at the Moivaro Campus and continue through secondary school at the Smith Campus. Students are provided with their own bed, mosquito net, breakfast and dinner along with running water and consistent electricity. Boarding parents supervise our students and provide extra homework sessions and extra curricular activities.
Unfortunately, childhood malnutrition is common in Tanzania, but at St Jude’s our team of 43 Tanzanian cooks and kitchen staff work hard to produce nutritious meals, with a menu featuring seasonal produce which often comes from our school gardens and plantation.
Dishes include rice or ugali (maize), with beans, lentils, cabbage, okra and other vegetables.
With over 2,000 mouths to feed every day at lunch, and approximately 1,100 who eat breakfast and dinner at boarding — the school goes through a mountain of vegetables, fruit, rice and maize. St Jude’s sources all its produce from local suppliers with our Purchasing Team visiting the local markets several times each week to ensure that all food is as fresh as possible.
In addition to our healthy meals, our students also receive an annual medical check from volunteer nurses and doctors, checking eyesight, monitoring height and weight, and looking for any potential health issues. In addition, students receive education on simple matters such as nutrition, asthma and dental hygiene.
St Judes’s also has a Welfare Team with five full-time medical officers, based at each of the three campuses and the two boarding campuses. The Welfare Team work within the school community to identify and help with any problems at home or at the school. In the past the Welfare Team has helped with problems including abuse, lack of food at home, alcoholic family members, or neglect. The school, parents and Parent’s Committee work closely together to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all at St Jude’s.
The School of St Jude is facilitating changes in traditional community mindsets. In Africa, girls are often considered second class citizens and many families believe that it is a waste of time educating them, putting a lot of pressure on girls to drop out of school.
St Jude’s firmly believes in the education of girls. The school does not discriminate when selecting students although over the years St Jude’s has educated more female than male students. Our female teachers and leaders are strong role models, and the school’s welfare team works through any issues of discrimination, both with the students and their families.
Equally, St Jude’s does not discriminate along religious or tribal lines, and has students of Christian, Muslim, and other faiths coming from 35 different African tribes.
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