All colleges and schools in Tanzania were closed for about 3 to 4 months from late February.
For our two first year students at Nyakato College, Malesa and Jeremiah, this meant that alternative accommodation had to be found. We decided it was safer to return them to Mayega village rather than seek rooms in the city, where exposure to Corona was more prevalent. We could not accommodate the boys at the Children’s Centre, as they were too old to be there. Places were found with local people known to Centre staff.
Having effectively missed a full term at college, we were concerned how Malesa and Jeremiah would settle down and make up the lost time. Their response, and that of the college has been excellent. On reopening, the college increased the teaching week to 6 days, altered the timetable to add another 2 hours to each day and shortened college holidays. The students are following national vocational courses and preparing for set examination dates.
Malesa is studying welding and Jeremiah electrical installation and both are doing well. Malesa would like to find employment in the Mwanza boat yards, building and maintaining vessels. Jeremiah’s hope is to find suitable electrical work as the electricity supply is expanding into Tanzania’s rural areas.
Susie arrived at Mayega Children’s Centre a couple of years ago with no real sight and had never been to school. She has travelled from Mayega to the Kilimanjaro Medical Centre (KCMC) in Moshi on five occasions and has had multiple eye operations. The round trip by bus each time is over 1,000 miles. She is a very positive girl.
Susie’s trust in the Children’s Centre and hospital staff is remarkable. Her rock through all the KCMC travails has been the Centre’s matron, Leya Lusana. Leya’s commitment to Susie is total. The photo shows them on the bus in Mwanza in the early morning, about to depart for Moshi.
On this last trip aids were provided to assist Susie at school. The telescope is to help see the blackboard and the magnifying glass for close-up work.
Susie’s story has generated a lot of support, including a concert to raise funds and individual donations. Her bravery and spirit inspires people. The annual review at KCMC is already in the diary. Leya and Susie will set off for Moshi again next October. The care she receives through Busega Scotland gives a vulnerable child hope for the future and we will be there every step of the way.