Greetings from Sr. Mary
Happy Eve of All Saints’ Day! I am writing to you to thank you for your September gifts to Emusoi. We have been very busy this month and I can’t believe it is almost the end of the year. Yesterday, all our Form IV (seniors) students began their National Exams. They will continue until the 3rd week of the month. The results of these exams will determine whether or not they can continue with their education. We are hoping they will all do well.
Our pre-secondary students have been taking entrance exams for secondary schools for next year. Five students out of our class of 50 will repeat the remedial year in 2018, but the rest have all been accepted in about 14 different schools. Five students actually went to their new schools today for a preliminary English course. Ten or more will go next week. They are all excited about their new schools and dream of doing well.
Then during the first week of this month, more than 250 young girls came to take exams and to be interviewed so that we can choose our new pre-secondary students for 2018. After they finished the exams, we began the difficult task of choosing 50 girls out of these all. Unfortunately some of the girls who are really in need of help are those who got 0% or 2% on the exams. We made some exceptions but it is too hard to work with girls who have such a poor academic base. They would have to repeat the year and then they might not qualify for secondary school in the end. We struggle to get a balance and to discover if a girl will blossom and grow if she is taught and cared for.
We have about 12 girls already here. They didn’t go back home after the interviews. So they are slowly learning the ropes here with their “big sisters” helping them. This year, we had 18 Wataturu girls from Musoma who came for the exam, but we were only able to choose 5 out of the big number. We also try to balance our selections geographically so that we have students from all different areas. We were glad to get 2 Hadzabe girls this year. Last year we were unable to find any.
For the past month, we have been also sending girls off to University and to Diploma courses. Four have gone off to different Universities and eight have joined diploma courses for teacher education, agriculture, animal health and production and clinical officer. Some were even able to obtain government sponsorship, which makes the costs quite reduced. We are proud of these girls because they are learning skills which they will be able to use in service to their communities.
Group from Ngorongoro. Three mothers gathered up girls from theirs and neighboring villages to take the entrance exams at Emusoi
Our next coming event is our graduation celebration. When the Form IV’s finish their exams they will come back to Emusoi so we can celebrate together their accomplishment of finishing secondary school. Some of these girls are the only ones in their family who have had an education and the first to finish secondary school. They will be agents of change in their communities even if they do not continue with school. There were a number of our Emusoi graduates who brought their young relatives to take the interview for Emusoi. They are making sure their siblings get an education.
Your help is what is behind all these successes. Because of your generosity, we are able to offer these girls hope to change their lives and the lives of their families. Just today, a grandmother came to beg us to accept her granddaughter. She had come for the Emusoi interview, but was not selected. Her grandmother said that the girl’s father (her son) is a drunkard and she is the only one caring for the girl. She says that she has no voice in the family deliberations and is begging for our support so her granddaughter can get an education. We have to sit and discuss her case, but there is not too much hope because we have accepted even more students then we should have.
So, please keep up your generosity and don’t get tired of helping us. Your donation goes a long way to helping these young women and their families. It is a way to contribute to peace and goodness in this broken world, a way to bring about healing as these girls discover their potentials and develop them.
Thank you so much and may God bless you.
Sr. Mary Vertucci
Note: All donations should be sent via Maryknoll Sisters, Box 311, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0311. Checks need to be issued in the name of “Maryknoll Sisters”, with “Emusoi Center” written on the memo line. Please include a note designating the gift for Emusoi Center, Arusha, Tanzania. You will receive an acknowledgement from Maryknoll which can be used for tax purposes. I will also send you a thank you from here. If you do not hear from me, let me know about your donation. It will take 2 months or so for me to get news of your donation. EMAIL ADDRESSES: If any of you would like to receive this newsletter by email, please send me your address.