St. Gertrude Elementary School - Sumbawanga
Take a 1-minute tour of the incredible campus of St. Gertrude Elementary School in Sumbawanga, Tanzania.
Five years ago it was, well, nothing much. The government had offered the property to the Benedictine Sisters in Imiliwaha, TZ, but they had to build and operate a school.
Sister Afra Mgwama, OSB, who graduated from Benedictine University in Lisle, IL with 2 masters' degrees, returned to her native land to oversee this ambitious project. She earned the respect of a group of people in Lisle who formed Friends of Imiliwaha NFP to raise funds for this and other projects. She and the construction crew dug right in!
As you can see, the campus is shaping up. 300+ students attend, getting a quality education far beyond what public schools offer. Orphans and children of impoverished families attend because of tuition assistance offered at this school. Students from outlying areas are able to ride the FOI-funded school bus to/from school, providing them access to educational opportunities not available outside the city.
The necessity for a security fence around the perimeter of the school property was another challenge met by FOI.
A small group (about 10) of orphans have been taken in by the Sisters. Their spartan accommodations across the street from the school campus makes it possible for these children, whose parents had died or had been ravaged by poverty and disease, to receive loving care and access to education. FOI supports the orphans as contributions allow, covering basic expenses, health care insurance, and education.
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