On behalf of our Board members and all of the Tanzania Nursing Scholarship Program students, we want to again thank you for your continued support and well wishes. I want to share with you a “thank you” from a newly sponsored student at Muhumbili School of Nursing in Dar es Salaam. We do not solicit these responses, but many of our students write to express their deep appreciation to those who assist them. The support TNSP offers is a gateway to a new life and an opportunity to fulfill their dreams.
“I am Concesa, a student Muhumbili university second year in Nursing diploma coarse. I hope you and your families are all doing fine. I would like to express my sincere thanksgiving to you and all supporters for sponsoring me. As days go on I get to see how vital this is. My family is facing a crisis financially but I am thankful you have lifted a huge load off their shoulders because my school fees were the most costly expense to them. Thank you so much for this. I can’t give you anything in return for this, but I pray God he blesses you and your families more. Thank you for everything and I promise to use this chance to positively reach my dreams and help others this way. ASANTE SANA (THANK YOU VERY MUCH).”
During Tony’s recent visit to Tanzania he selected six students for sponsorship at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center. We would like to introduce them to you and tell you a little of their story. This information comes from autobiographies students are required to write when they start nursing school, our application and a face-to-face interview. There are many similarities in the lives of these young women. All come from deeply impoverished backgrounds and have endured many painful struggles to attain their educational goals. We do not want you to pity them. Each of these young women as an incredible success story—a story of great hope, courage and the ability to overcome in the face of great obstacles!!
During Tony’s recent visit to Tanzania he selected six students for sponsorship at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center. We would like to introduce them to you and tell you a little of their story. This information comes from autobiographies students are required to write when they start nursing school, our application and a face-to-face interview. There are many similarities in the lives of these young women. All come from deeply impoverished backgrounds and have endured many painful struggles to attain their educational goals. We do not want you to pity them. Each of these young women is an incredible success story—a story of great hope, courage and the ability to overcome in the face of great obstacles!!
Vuma is 19 years old and was raised in Mwanza by her mother. She is the first born of three children. She finished Advanced level secondary education. One brother has a primary education while the other brother has not attended school. Her mother is a single parent and peasant farmer. Her mother struggles to pay school fees and provide basic necessities for the family by selling samosas and drinking water. She also farms a small piece of land and sells the produce from house to house. Vuma sold small items in secondary school to raise money for her school fees. Her mother sold a portion of the small farm so that she could enter nursing school. Her mother has diabetes and is often ill. Upon graduation, Vuma wants to send her young brother to school and help her mother.
Fatuma is 22 years old and completed O levels. Her family is from Tanga and consists of her mother (separated) and two younger siblings, who are both in school. Her mother pays for their needs by cooking and selling food to bus drivers. Her father has another family and does not contribute to Fatuma’s support. Fatuma worked for a year before being accepted into nursing school and she was able to save some money towards her school fees. When Fatuma arrived at KCMC she was sent back home because she did not have all the fees. Her mother sold off household items (such as their bed) to raise the remaining fees. Fatuma was a good student in school, receiving A’s and B’s. After graduation she wants to help her sisters further their education and pay her mother back for all the costs of school.
Mariam K. is 20 years old from the Kilimanjaro region. Her mother left the family when she was very young and has since remarried and has several children. Mariam lives with her father. He is a peasant farmer and sells any excess crops of maize and beans for cash income to pay for food, clothing and school fees. He sold their one cow so she could get into nursing school. She intends to study hard so she can help her father, brother and sister.
Honorata is 25 and from the Kagera region. Her father is 91 years old and her mother is 62. They are peasant farmers. There are ten children in her family. She completed O levels and started A levels but had to drop out due to family finances. She then taught science subjects to Form 3 and 4 students. After that she worked in a pharmacy for 2 years. She applied and was accepted for nursing school in 2012. She came to KCMC in 2012 without school fees and pregnant. She asked for permission to go home and return to the nursing program at a later date. The father of her child refused to provide any financial assistance, so she took him to social welfare and he is now required to pay a monthly sum. Her family is taking care of her child until she graduates. She now says she can study without stress and do well. She is thankful that her family no longer carries the burden of her education. She has dreams of continuing her education beyond the diploma level.
Mariam M. is 20 years old and from the Kilimanjaro region. There are six children in the family—five sons and one daughter. Both parents are alive and are peasant farmers. She says: “They just work at shamba (farm) to get food and that small amount of food we just take it for selling in order to get some money for buying clothes and other things and also my father due to small amount of money he get he just find other work which is livestock keeping for other people.” The first and second born sons were not able to attend school because they are not able to pay school fees. “They just meander here and there for finding things which will help to get some amount of money.” She describes her house as two rooms made of mud bricks with an iron roof. The money the family is paying towards Mariam’s nursing school fees can now be used to send other siblings to school. She plans to work in general nursing for a few years and then go back to school for a degree.
Jackline is 25 years old and also from the Kilimanjaro region. She is fourth of six children. She completed Advanced Level secondary education. She was not able to pay all of her fees, so her certificate was withheld until the debt was paid. After finishing Advanced levels she became pregnant and took care of the baby until the child was 18 months old. She is separated from her daughter’s father. Her daughter is in the care of the father’s parents until Jackline finishes nursing school. She came to nursing school with only half the required fees and was sent home. Thankfully, an aunt was able to lend her the remaining money needed. She wants to be a nurse to assist women who give birth at home. She experienced firsthand the shortage of nurses when she went to the hospital seeking medical care and, after a long wait, went home without being seen.
In our newsletters we talk a great deal about the students, their dreams and their financial needs. The truth is, the women we meet seek nothing more than an opportunity to better themselves. We greatly appreciate your continued efforts to support their financial independence. Click here for a short video discussing some stereotypes about Africa:
Again, thank you for your continuing support.
Linda van Werkhooven, President
Tanzania Nursing Scholarship Program Inc.