Greetings from Sr. Mary
Greetings from cold Arusha. Our rainy season is tapering off and it is getting cold as we move into our “winter”. I am writing to thank you for your generosity to us and to send you my semi-annual appeal. I thank you for all you have been doing and I ask you not to tire of helping us. Mid-year has a number of special demands:
- Soon the advanced selections will be announced and we should have about 30 girls continuing their education. To equip each one with uniforms, bedding, mattresses, trunks, supplies, etc and to pay her bus fare to all the corners of Tanzania costs about $400-500 for each.
- To buy a year’s supply of dried maize and beans for our students’ meals. It will soon be harvest time and the best time to buy these food supplies at a lower price. It usually costs about $15,000.
- Opening of second term-first term ends at the end of this month and all the students will be returning to Emusoi on their way home. Schools will open again in July. We need school supplies and personal supplies for the new term along with paying the bus fare from school to Emusoi to home and then back to school from Emusoi. All this will cost about $10,000 and then we begin again paying the school fees for second term!
These are just some of the costs for this time of year, so we are asking again for your generosity so we can continue to help these girls get an education.
Our pre-secondary students are doing well. These are the girls who failed their primary school leaving exams. We were told by the education office that we are free to try with these “failures” and see if we can help them. Well, with a bit of concern and consistent teaching, they are learning and they are looking forward to beginning secondary school next year!
It thrills me when I see how much they have changed and gained confidence. Many of them had never heard of Emusoi, as we had chosen girls from areas where we have never taken students. We worked with local leaders from the areas and teachers in the primary schools to find these girls.
One girl, Uda, has come from a very remote area. She had no interest in going to school. She studied in primary school for 3 years in a special program for older students. She failed her primary school exams and scored 3% in our entrance exams. When the village ward officer came to bring her to Emusoi, she dressed in her traditional clothes, wearing the coiled metal arm bands and leg bands, saying she was staying home! The officer talked with her for days trying to convince her to come to school. She finally gave in and agreed to come to Emusoi.
When the pre-secondary students came in January, theywere shy, a bit frightened, wondering what they had gotten themselves into. Uda just looked at us, didn’t smile and watched all the older girls come in and go off to their schools. Gradually, she began to settle in and relax a bit. In February, the ward officer came again to Emusoi with another student. Uda was happy to see him and when he asked her how she was doing, she smiled broadly. She told him why didn’t you tell me how Emusoi was. People care for you here; they love us. We are being taught and we are learning. I’m so happy to be here!
These girls just looked at us when they first came, afraid of even approaching us. Now, they almost knock each other down when they see me coming so that they can help me to carry my school bags. They go out of their way to greet me and they are beginning to have dreams of what school they want to go to. Who knows how many doctors or nurses we will get out of this class!
If these girls had remained at home in January, they probably all would have been married by now and pregnant with their first child. But instead, they are learning math and drawing the map of Tanzania and speaking a few words of English. This is all happening because of your help. Without you all, we would not be able to carry on. We thank you so much and beg of you to continue to be generous.
The new president of Tanzania seems to be doing well. Just yesterday, she was presented with the findings of a Covid committee that she had established. They are confirming the presence of Covid in the country, encouraging people to take precautions and encouraging Tanzania to obtain vaccines and to distribute them. This is a 180 degree turn from the former president. We continue to pray for the world suffering from Covid and we pray that Tanzania will be safe from the pandemic.
All of you are in our prayers every day. Please pray for us.
Sr. Mary Vertucci
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. If you want to contribute electronically, use this link: https://maryknollsisters.orgdonate/general-donations/ Note: In Prayer Intentions/notes field, write "Emusoi Centre/Sr. Mary Vertucci"
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