In the Mara region of Tanzania, about 88 per cent of households rely on cropping for an income. When crops fail, families need to diversify their money sources to buy food. Many rural children perform poorly in their exams because household chores jeopardise their studies. Water must be fetched (from springs and rivers as far as 10kms from home) and stock watered before they can go to school.
The Anglican Diocese of Mara in Tanzania’s North, in conjunction with the Boys’ Brigade in the area, has set up a training facility for young men. The training centre supports and equips young men with a trade skill. A year-long course helps young men set up a carpentry business to enable them to be self-employed in their home villages and earn an income to help themselves and their extended families financially. The fees for the training course are very low and scholarships are provided for those unable to pay.
Anglican Aid works in partnership with Rev. Matthew Archer from CMS who is the principal of the training centre. Here is a powerful story he told us about the impact of the centre:
One such student, Jackson, is a 16 year old orphan who lost his father when he was in year 3. As a result of his father’s death he lost his opportunity to continue schooling for various reasons. Soon after his mother died and he now lives with his elderly grandfather and aunty. In his new living situation he also had no opportunity for continuing his schooling. One afternoon he saw our neighbor driving through town and followed her to her house with the desire to find an opportunity to continue his studies. Unfortunately, she had no means to help him as her ministry is for girls, but she sent him in the direction of our home. The next afternoon he came seeking an opportunity to further his education. So I told him to come to the Training Centre the next morning at 9 am to speak with the teachers of the Training Centre. He arrived at 8.55am! He cannot read or write but his desire to learn far outweighs his ability. We gave him an opportunity to join the Training Centre as he had absolutely no opportunity to study, he had no other option for family support. He started and although he struggles to read and write he is learning well and has a keen natural ability to do carpentry.
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- Pray for resources to deal with the increased in student numbers and the need for expansion, as well as funds for food and staff wages.