Happy Holidays!

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Photo: Martha Mbalwa, a 2014 graduate of the Tukuyu School of Nursing. The patient with her delivered the first of the two twins at home. Due to difficulty in delivering the second child, she was transferred to a hospital setting where Martha delivered the second child.

 

Hello everyone, 

This year is rapidly coming to an end. It seems like it has just flown by! Everyone involved with the Tanzania Nursing Scholarship Program would like to thank you for your support during 2014.  We had two fundraisers this fall to benefit our nursing student sponsorship program and one of our Board members raised money through a tag sale. Additionally, many individual contributions were received.  Thanks to all for your generosity during the past year.

This is a season for giving, and there is no greater and more lasting gift than the gift of an education–the gift of a profession. We wish all of you Happy Holidays and a bright New Year!

A lot has happened this year with our sponsorship program. We would like to recap some events over the past year:

  • My husband Tony and I visited Tanzania Feb-March 2014. During this visit 15 students were chosen for sponsorship at the KCMC School of Nursing (located in Moshi) and 8 were chosen at the Tukuyu school of Nursing. (See the map below for the school locations)
  • This fall marks seven years of sponsoring nursing students in Tanzania. At this time a total of 46 sponsored students have graduated and are working in the community as registered nurses.
  • We currently sponsor 36 students and 21 students will graduate in 2015

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Photo: Tanzania Map indicating school locations

 

School fees continue to be a challenge. During the seven years of our sponsorship program annual school fees have risen from around $300 to $700 per year. This is a staggering amount of money for peasant families. Our concern has been that the very poorest girls would just not show up at school. So far they still manage to bring enough money to start school but then their focus shifts to worrying about raising money for fees rather than focusing on their studies. Our sponsorship has allowed these young women to complete their studies. It is really heart breaking to learn of the struggles these young women and their families have experienced to complete their secondary education. There are very few opportunities for women to earn a good wage and attain professional status in Tanzania. Upon graduation, the salary for a registered nurse ranges from $325-$500 per month. This is in contrast to the annual cash income of $300 per year for a rural family.

This year has also brought several dedicated donations that have allowed us to assist the Tukuyu School of Nursing. The school did not have a computer lab and their library

contained very few textbooks. We were able to provide:

  • Ten refurbished computers, a laser printer, equipment to create a network, installation and training
  • 57 new reference books (23 titles) for the school library (we learned that textbook have become expensive)

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Photo: New reference books for Tukuyu Nursing School

Our current plans for 2015
My husband Tony returns to Tanzania on February 15 for 5 weeks. He will meet with currently sponsored students and select new students at both schools. In addition:
  • Tony will be visiting a secondary school for vulnerable young girls in the Morogoro area. We are looking to partner with them for sponsorship of some of their graduates in nursing school.
  • Tony will work with two of our sponsored students to design a presentation about nursing as a profession, the requirements and the process for admission into nursing school. This will be used to expose students at the secondary level to the nursing profession.
  • Tony will be evaluating the usage of the Computer Lab in Tukuyu by students and staff and consider possible expansion.
  • We are working with a university in Massachusetts  to bring an instructor over from KCMC  for a term

For the students, the highlight of Tony’s visit will be taking the students out to dinner, small gifts and small prizes.So now let’s go on to the really important people—those lovely young students. Students recently completed their term break and they have told us about their activities:

Mapamba, who is now a third year student in Tukuyu, tells us:

Mapamba SubilagaI hope your ok. thanks for your contribution and your prayers. I have passed ma exams and now am in NTA LEVEL 6. During short breather I did some activities like construction of a new pit for waste disposal because after arrival at home I found a pit for waste disposal is full and no one to construct the new one. I decided to construct myself and I used 3 days for that work. I did it in the first week. In the second week I visited a primary school and at that school I did assessment of the body hygiene and tooth care. I found many children suffering from tooth ache and decayes. I provided health education on tooth care and prevention of tooth problems. I told the pupils to avoid eating food which contain high amount of sugar like sweets, taking sugar crystals. I also advised them to brush teeth after every meal. The pupils understood and the teachers were very happy.

 Note: In rural Tanzania there is no municipal pickup of waste. Typically, a peasant farm includes a pit for disposal of waste materials. The typical pit is about 4 ft. by 4 ft. square and 6 ft. deep. Once it is full it is covered and a new pit is dug.
Rachel, who is now a third year student in Tukuyu, tells us:
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Hello my friend am so happy because I was return to school after finish my breather with a powerful desire to continue my studies and accomplish this year with a good performance. When I was at home am doing some health activity in our village in a few houses. I provide health education about environment sanitation and how to use insecticide nets in prevention of malaria. Most of people in our village they use those nets negatively. They use them to keep their chicks so that is bad because in our country we have program which gives insectside nets  free to all pregnant women and children under five. So I provide health education that nets help to reduce number of people suffering with malaria. Also I provide health education about importance of hand washing before eating and after attending toilet. Those are the thing I was done at home. THANK YOU
Note: Treated mosquito netting is distributed widely and is the result of various foreign aid programs. They cited incident points out that there are other unintended uses.The student curriculum places great emphasis on learning to address public health issues. The students tend to absorb this information like sponges. As you can read in the above student emails, they are proud to share this information with family and neighbors when they are home, as well as patients in the clinical setting.Students who graduated from KCMC School of Nursing last summer have received their national examination results. Here are a few notes of appreciation from them:
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Jema tells us: Dears I have got two good news to share with you!
Good news that I would like to be the first to speak is I passed my final examinations by the Grace of God, and the second one is Am working in contrary with Hindu Mandal Hospital in Dar-es-salaam I started since November of this year, am working in medical and surgical ward in ICU department. Thank you all my friends for what great and of value help you provided to me!
I love you all!!

6Rosemary: She has also passed her National Exam

Hello my friends. Hope you are fine and you are continuing well with you are active ties. On myself am fine and am continuing well with my activities. First of all I would like to thank this scholarship organization for supporting me in my study. Be blessed. Also I would like to tell you that I am passed well my final exam. Now I am at kcmc hospital. I decided  to  remain  to continue  working  as  temporary  while  waiting  the  post. Thank  you very much. I would like to thank this scholarship organization for supporting me in my study. Be blessed.It is so encouraging to read of these successes by our students. We want to thank you for being part of our family and helping to make dreams come true.Heri za Mwaka Mpya (Happy New Year)

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions below!
Linda van Werkhooven, President
Tanzania Nursing Scholarship Program Inc.  

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