Building our links with Misufini B School, Morogoro, Tanzania
On Wednesday 19th October at 4.30pm, we set off for Birmingham airport to fly to Tanzania for 8 days in order to establish a link with the Misufini B School in Morogoro. We were in the company of ten other travellers from Worcestershire schools who had already set up partnerships with schools in the Morogoro District and were visiting their partners again.
We reached Morogoro on Thursday night at about 10pm and were very happy to arrive at the Amabilis Convent which was to be our base for our stay.
On Friday morning we met Mrs Anna Tarimo, the Headteacher of Misufini B, and all the other partner schools staff, and had to visit the District Commissioner for Education in Morogoro to get his permission to visit the schools. Once this was done we set off for the school; as we arrived the children were lined up to sing the national anthem and the school song, and then welcomed us and presented us with cards.
We met all the staff and visited the classes and were treated to a warm welcome wherever we went, including a display of singing and dancing from Standard 1 and Standard 6 children. The children were very excited to meet us and have their photo taken, wanting to carry our bags, hold our hands, saying hello in English. The school has 220 children with only 5 classrooms, no electricity and no running water. On Monday we would return to teach some classes and learn more about how children learn in Tanzania.
During the weekend we visited Mikumi National Park and saw lions, elephants, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, zebra, impala, monkeys, Marabou stalks, water buffaloes and wildebeest throughout the park. We also visited a snake park, and travelled up into the mountains around Morogoro to really appreciate the view of the whole city. Even up here, on dusty unmade roads that our vehicle couldn’t travel on, we found a little café advertising Man Utd vs Chelsea – the power of football!
Over the next three days we taught lessons to all the children at Misufini B, teaching them about Pinvin and our schools, telling the story of the Very Hungry Caterpillar and also a lesson about the skeleton. We took out lots of resources such as paper, pens and pencils, paints, maps and books to help the children learn and produce work. We also taught the children songs and parachute games and they taught us Swahili and singing games. Every day we were welcomed warmly. We were given breakfast and lunch, despite there being no running water or electricity. We observed lessons taught by the teachers including a Long Multiplication lesson for Standard 3. The style was not like ours, with the teacher explaining things on the blackboard and the children then sharing text books to complete the relevant exercise. There were not always enough desks for everyone and the children had to provide their own exercise books and pencils and pens, with very little else used in the way of teaching aids, but they always applied themselves immediately to the task and worked quickly and neatly, both in Swahili and English.
On our last day we were treated to a farewell party and concert from the children with visitors including parents and a member of the school committee. We exchanged presents and pledges to pursue the links between our schools, with Mrs Tarimo accepted our invitation to visit Pinvin in May 2017.
We have held school discos, sang Carols around the village, had a stall at the Christmas Fayre and run The Matchbox Challenge, raising £1,340 so far to cover visa and flight costs for Mrs Tarimo and to help provide resources for the children. Any further donations can be made at the school office.
Thank you so much for your support,
Miss Edwards and Mrs Dobell