Greetings from Sr. Mary
Greetings from Tanzania. I am writing to thank you for the generous responses to my summer appeal. Your donations have helped us to send our students off to advanced level studies, to begin paying school fees for second term and to buy food. It is now harvest time, so we try to buy food (dried corn and beans) for the year at a lower price, since there is usually a lot available. I am not sure how low the prices will go this year because many people did not get a harvest due to the unpredictable rains and mixed up climate. Some parts of Tanzania got surplus bumper harvests and other places like Arusha have food shortages.
The farmers here in Tanzania are so vulnerable. They depend on the annual rainy season to plant, but the rains came and then stopped and crop dried up and the rains came again and people planted but it didn’t rain enough to bring the crop to maturity. The people here in Tanzania certainly believe that there is climate change!
Our 20 students who were selected for advanced level studies (2 years of study after high school, like junior college) all had to report to their schools on July 8. They were assigned to schools all over the country and we had to get out the maps to find where they were going. Then we had to get the joining instructions for the schools and begin sewing the multicolored uniforms of the students and gather all they needed to begin school. Mattresses, pillows, hoes, buckets, brooms and mops were all piled up in our court yard, ready to be taken off to school!
The girls are all in their schools now; they kept sending reports to us as they went to all corners of Tanzania! After they left, we didn’t have too much time to breathe before the results of the girls who had finished advanced level studies in May were announced. Our 13 girls did well; 12 have qualified for University and one for Diploma studies. Now they are applying for student loans and different Universities. Hopefully in three years, we will have new lawyers, science teachers, a nurse, a sociologist, flight attendant, women working in tourism, and another in transport and logistics and another in agro-business!
In September, our pre-secondary students will begin taking entrance exams for their placement in secondary schools for next year. And at the end of the month, a number of our 2018 graduates will begin courses in various colleges-nursing, science teaching, accounts, animal health and production, community development, micro-finance management and insurance management.
The comings and goings of our students keep us very busy, but we are so glad that we are able to help them as we do. We are only able to do this because of your generosity. Just recently, we were filling out an application for funding and we were asked if we look back at our work, what are we most proud of? Two of our staff who were working on the application answered that they were so proud when they saw how our girls grew and developed when they were with us. They come to us shy, unsure of themselves, afraid to speak out and lacking self-confidence. As they progress through our pre-secondary course, they begin to believe in themselves and their horizons begin to broaden. When they go to secondary school, their development continues. We are proud to see these girls becoming aware of their potentialities as persons, discovering the value of education for themselves and for their community and eventually going back to help their communities when they finish their studies.
You all play a huge part in this transformation. Without your generosity, it would not be able to take place. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Our students thank you too and they remember you in their prayers every day.
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. You can also contribute electronically. Check out the “donate” page on our website. If any of you would like to receive this newsletter by email, just write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. Thank you.