Born in Mara regionto a family of poor peasants, Careen came into contact with Neema Resource Foundation (NEREFO) organization based in Morogoroin 2014. This time careen was under her uncle`s care in Morogoroafter she lost her two parents. Her uncle struggled to manage Careen`s education and was constantly looking for support.
NEREFO having closely followed up Careen`s home situation, realized that there was no way she could managed her basic needs, leave alone her post-primary education without someone`s help.Tragedies continued to hit Careen`s life, as she again lost her only breadwinner and school supporter- uncle when she was in form one. NEREFO attempt to seek other Careen`s relatives support to look after her and pay for her education was fruitless, as all of them pushed away the care responsibilities.
The decision to take up Careen`s case and enroll her into SATF Education support program wasthe only possible solutionleft, and NEREFO officially enrolled in 2015. Because of neglect by all of her relatives, this time it was also decided that Careen should be relocated to Lugoba Secondary School as boardingscholar to help her manage better her studies. With this support, Careen saw a turning point in her life ever, dramatic changestaking place include good academic performance.It made it possible to excel better in her form two national examination, and in 2016, moved up to a form three level.
NEFREFO, understanding the importance of family has continuously persuaded Careen`s relatives to take up responsibilities for supporting Careen. Thanks to NEREFO that, of recent there havebeen positive responses from some of the Careen`s relatives;they have now turned back for support to Careen`s life. Careen, apart from her difficult life history, she recently was diagnosed with epileptic condition, resulting to frequent hospital referrals. Her last referral case to Muhimbili National Hospital was accompanied by NEREFO staff and some of her relatives.
Careenis dramatically regaining hopesandrestoring her dream of becoming a medical practitioner in the future. “Thanks to SATF and NEREFO for their help”, Careen exclaimed. It is all hoped that her current school, offering somewhat good study environment, and NEREFO and SATF pledging continuous support to Careen, chances are that Careen will attain her future dream.
The15th December 2015 was a memorable day when we met with our beneficiaries who performed extraordinary in their Form Six examinations. We are very much delighted to hear that 10 out of 21 who sat for Form Six exams in 2015 had passed with flying colours. The award ceremony was officiated by the SATF Board Chairperson,Mrs. Mariam Mwaffisi. It was attended by Implementing partners from Morogoro,Kagera,Dodoma , Mtwara, Lindi and Kahama regions.
We are proud of the 10 who have excelled with extrapass grades (i.e 3 Distinction and 7 Merit passes), they deserved to be recognized and appreciated for their efforts!
The best 10 graduates who at the moment have been enrolled in different universities in Tanzania were awarded laptops to equip them in their studies.
Speaking during the ceremony, the SATF Board Chairperson expressed her joy to see the outcome of SATF support being realised through these beneficiaries. She advised the Implementing partners being guardians to these disadvantaged children to provide guidance so that they reach their potentials.
The Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Mgaya affirmed SATF’s will be there to ensure the beneficiaries are supported to a point where they can become productive members of the society.
Each beneficiary was given an opportunity to tell their story .The stories were very touching, showing how much SATF has made changes and smiles to the once called vulnerable children.
SATF intends to utilize Folk Development Colleges (FDCs) to support Most Vulnerable Students who failed to excel to higher learning education level, to acquire employment skills so that they can enter labour market or for self-employment. As an efforts toward this ,in October 2015 the Trust has signed an MOU with the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Community Development, Gender, and Children to build capacity of Folk Development Colleges(FDC) to enable the respective colleges to offer “market driven” courses and to increase their enrolment rate. The project has been piloted in Chilala,Lindi due to the fact that,the selected FDC will serve SATF beneficiaries from Lindi,Mtwara,Nachingwea,Mkuranga and Morogoro. Furthermore, the college has capacity and infrastructures in place to accommodate about 200 students.
Before the actual implementation of the project, rapid assessment was conducted to assess the existing opportunities and gaps at Chilala-FDC to run the proposed short courses (i.e. Mobile phone repair, Motorcycle maintenance, Batiki Making and Chicken Keeping). Through rapid assessment, it was observed that Chilala FDC lacks Instructors with the required knowledge to run the proposed courses, shortage of reliable source of electricity, shortage of beds for accommodation and inadequate training materials. At the onset of the project, SATF has donated and installed a solar power system at Chilala FDC to ensure reliability of electricity, 25 double –bed deckers to accommodate borders, and 3 Tutors have been sponsored by SATF to attend a crash-program at VETA Songea.
SATF will also provide other teaching aids such as motor cycles and tool kits for graduates. The Trust will also be responsible for the provision of administration and monitoring funds to the college.
The Trust will enrol not less than 25 vulnerable children semi-annually and it will also be an opportunityfor other children from the Southern part of Tanzania to benefit from this project. On the other hand, Chilala FDC will build its capacity by the increment of the numbers of enrolment.
SATF team is excited and looks forward to making this project a success and later to scale up to other Folk Development Colleges in the country.
They are hunted; they are chopped of their body parts; they live in fear! These are our fellow humans- People living with albinism. Their attacks claim many lives and surviving victims and their families live with ‘installed-fear’ throughout their lives.
The statistics of attacks against persons with albinism, particularly children, have been reported in various regions mostly Lake Zone regions. Many more cases remain undocumented or unreported because of the exclusion of victims and their families, as well as the secret nature of witchcraft.
As part of its Special Programs, SATF saw this as an opportunity to help. The Special Programs often seek to divert a bit from the generic Education Programs but still within the panacea of Most Vulnerable Children; and indeed the children living with albinisms are Vulnerable, very vulnerable.
In its initial support, SATF extended its maiden support to two Special schools in Shinyanga and Mwanza Regions. These were Buhangija and Mitindo respectively.
These two schools host among others, children with vision, speech and hearing impairment. They have been also been identified as schools where children with albinism can be enrolled for both education and safety reasons.
These children are hunted everyday which makes it a challenge for the two schools alone to handle all the cases which are particularly rampant in the Lake Zone area.
To further the damage, some of the children who are taken to these schools, are never picked by their parents for known and unknown reasons thus making the schools their permanent homes.
The influx is astonishing and the statistics of children with albinisms enrolled at these schools is alarming. So, seeing this problem which is growing day by day, SATF initiated an emergency relief support which included 200 desks, 150 triple deckers and 600 pairs of bedsheets, all costing TShs. 55mil; handed over on the 30th and 31st July 2015 for Buhangija and Mitindo Schools respectively.
The Fund was represented by the Finance and Administration Manager (Stella Emma Katende) and Information Technology Officer (Sumbuko Zakaria) amid notable presence of the District and Village Officials, Teachers, Caregivers and children themselves. As mentioned priory, this was just an emergency step and the Fund will see what can be further done as the challenges are so mighty.