A Season To Be Hopeful And A Reason To Hope

Photo: We became an attraction for the children!

Dear Friends:

We want to begin by thanking each and every one of you for your support and encouragement over the past year.

Your generosity over the past nine years has supported 85 students toward completion of their nursing education, leading to Registered Nurse and Registered Midwife designations. In addition, 39 students currently receive financial support.

Your support has:

  • Provided our graduates a profession and status in the community
  • Provided economic stability and an end to poverty in their lives and the lives of their families
  • Given them the opportunity to continue their education
  • Given them, their family, and their community hope for a better future
  • Helped address the tremendous shortage of nurses in Tanzania (24 nurses per 1000,000 population)

This holiday season if you are looking for a special gift that only keeps on growing, please consider a donation in honor or in memory of someone special to you. Any size donation is greatly appreciated and will change the lives of those it touches.

Now, an update: In our last newsletter we told you about the death of one of our sponsored students, Gertrude Joseph. She graduated in 2015 from KCMC School of Nursing, located in Moshi. In the spring of 2016, Gertrude and her baby died in child birth. Gertrude was from an impoverished family living near Kasulu in the Kigoma Region of Tanzania.

Gertrude’s mother (who is in poor health) lives with her younger sister, Jackie, on a small farm of approximately one acre. We spoke with friends in Tanzania who had contacted Gertrude’s family on our behalf and they told us the family was very depressed over the loss of Gertrude and had no hope for their future.

My husband Tony and daughter Heather were in Tanzania in November (more to come in future newsletters) and decided to visit Gertrude’s family. They were accompanied by Tika (graduated Tukuyu 2016).  In Kasulu, they met Anna and Aisha (2015 graduates from Tukuyu), both of whom currently work at a nearby refugee camp.

Photo (L to R): Dinner in Kasulu with Anna, Heather, Aisha and Tika

While visiting with the family, they learned more about the current situation.

Gertrude’s younger sister, Jackie (age 20), completed secondary school but had very poor marks. By way of background, she had to walk two hours each way to school and often she could not attend school because school fees were not paid. Also, the quality of education at rural schools is very spotty. Due to her poor scores on national examinations, she was unable to continue her education at a government school. With Gertrude’s death, Jackie and her mother had little hope for the future.

In talking to Jackie and her mother, it was decided that  the best way to help the family was to give Jackie the opportunity to repeat her secondary education in a better environment– as Gertrude had intended to do once fully employed. As a group, Tony, Heather and the three nurses visited several secondary schools that provide boarding and selected a very welcoming Catholic boarding school. They returned with Jackie the next day and went through the process of enrolling her. Her dreams are to become a teacher or a nurse. We also were able to provide Jackie’s mother enough money to replace the grass roof of her home with a metal roof. At the end of the day we had a celebration dinner, after which Jackie went home. The next day Heather and Tony started their two day trip back to Moshi.

This was a very satisfying result to a sad situation. As a final note, I want to let you know that money provided to Gertrude’s family and Jackie’s education were and will be provided by private, dedicated donations and are not part of the Nursing Scholarship Program. One of graduates of the scholarship program also made a generous donation toward Jackie’s education.

Photo (L to R): Gertrude’s mother, Jackie, Heather and Tony

We want to wish everyone Happy Holidays and a New Year full of hope and success!

The Tanzania Nursing Scholarship Family

Linda, Tony, Heather, Gail, Wendy, Judy, Rebecca, Cherie and all our students and friends in Tanzania

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