More Opportunities at Arise School Thanks to the ACE Sponsorship Scheme

The ACE Sponsorship Scheme has been a fundamental plank of Arise School since the school first opened. Thanks to the scheme and the generosity of our sponsors, seven more children have been given the opportunity that they could have only dreamt of just a few weeks ago. It is the opportunity of education.

Monday was their first day at school! Not only will these seven youngsters now have access to formal education, they will also have the opportunity to develop their social skills; to make friends and to play in welcoming and pleasant surroundings. In particular, they will be guaranteed two meals every day benefitting their physical health, development and overall well-being. With food in their tummies, they will be able to concentrate and make the most of their time at school.

In total, there are now 76 pupils who only have the chance to go to school as a result of the ACE Sponsorship Scheme. They are from some of the very poorest families in the community. Without the support of their sponsors, their families would not be able to afford the cost of schooling. They would be denied their right to education.

Our ACE sponsors, are the ones who make this possible. They make it possible for Arise School to evidence, in such a very real way, one of the underlying and fundamental tenets on which the school is based – to be open to any child in the community irrespective of their circumstances.

A huge “Thank You” to both our new and existing sponsors for their ongoing commitment and support to make this possible. You are the ones who give these children and their families hope for the future.

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Looking Back, Looking Forward And Wishing You All A Very Happy New Year!

2018 is almost here. It is traditional at New Year to look back and reflect on achievements in the previous twelve months. So much has happened at Arise Community School. As it moved into its fifth full year of operation in January 2017, we were delighted that we had been able to raise enough money to build and furnish the seventh classroom ready for use by up to another 40 children. Electricity was also installed enabling both the staff and children to develop their computer skills and opening a whole new world in terms of it usage.

As the year went on, there was so much to celebrate at Arise. In particular, this included its full registration with the Ministry of Education as a Pre and Primary School and, in October, the school’s official opening – a real community celebration attended by all the pupils and over 600 members of the local community.

So, looking forward, what is 2018 likely to bring? When school restarts in January, the eighth classroom will be ready for use. Amazingly, Arise will then have capacity for 320 pupils! In particular, following the success of this year’s ACE Christmas Well Appeal, our hope is that, during 2018, it will be possible to construct a well and lay an irrigation system.

This will enable the school to progress its journey towards its ultimate goal – to become self sustainable. We hope that it will be possible to raise enough income locally for the school to support itself, including the provision of free places for the poorest children in the local community.

A huge “Thank You” to all of you who have supported our Well Appeal this Christmas.

If you would like to donate and have not yet done so, it is still not too late. Please donate online now. Every donation is a step forward and makes a real difference to achieving the goal.

Thank you, too, to everyone who has supported the work of ACE in whatever way during 2017. On behalf of all the pupils and staff at Arise, our ACE Trustees and ourselves, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very Happy New Year.

Christmas Greetings Across 5,000 Miles!

The pupils of Arise School and those of Cronton C of E School have formed a strong bond – one that stretches across 5,000 miles. We were delighted to receive photos from both schools wishing each other “Happy Christmas” or “Heri ya Krimasi”. And, of course, Barnaby and Upendo Bears also exchanged greetings!

To their good wishes, we add ours. Whether you are in the warmth of Tanzania, the damp and cold of the UK or wherever you are in the world, on behalf of ACE, we wish you all a very happy and peaceful time over the holiday season with your family and friends.

“The Uniqueness and Very Special Gift that is the Arise School and its Community”

Regular followers of our blog will be only too aware of the brilliant and ongoing support that we enjoy from Cronton C of E Primary School. Following her recent trip to Arise School for the official opening and five year celebration, we received the piece below from Sylvia Thomson, the Headteacher.

“Several years ago our school began to support ACE charity. Their belief that, “ all children have the right to education as a route out of poverty” absolutely struck a chord with me and I felt fundraising to support ACE would be a positive experience for the Children at Cronton CE. However, I also knew that I wanted to develop a strong link with the charity so that whilst fundraising would be important, giving the children at Cronton CE an understanding of what life is like for a Child at Arise in Tanzania would help them to develop an appreciation of different lifestyles and cultures, recognising that we have more in common than our differences.

Cronton pupils have wholeheartedly embraced the Children at Arise. They have taken part in many events such as market places, coffee mornings and Harvest collections. They are so motivated to support the school, that many children have initiated their own fundraising activities. The response has been overwhelming. Parents have too played a major role by taking part in sponsored activities (Tough Mudder) and also arranging collections of sports equipment and kits to send out to the school. Our focus on Christian values has meant we have been able to put our teaching and learning into positive actions. Children can see the impact of their efforts through the responses of the pupils of Arise.

It was a pleasure to be able to travel out to the School with my Husband in the October half term holiday for their 5th Birthday Celebrations. I was really unsure as to what to expect and nothing can quite prepare you. We arrived in Kilimanjaro airport quite late at night and had first hand experience of “Tanzania time!” After several hours of Visa’s, passports and security we finally were met by Frank (school director) and his wife Salome (administrator). During the week, I watched these two people who were completely delivering their vision for a school in the community for all children into a reality. I was in awe of their hard work, passion and commitment to deliver education to some of the poorest and most disadvantaged children I have ever seen.

We spent several days in Moshi, a local town, experiencing African life and meeting some of the wonderful Volunteers who have supported ACE. We finally arrived at the school on Friday morning to be met with a traditional Tanzanian welcome. The children had gathered in the courtyard and sang several songs in both English and Swahili accompanied by their school band. Touring the school, the friendliness, warmth and love that the children showed towards us as visitors was overwhelming. The children are proud of their school. They feel safe there and they obviously value their education deeply. I spent some time talking and working with the children on joint projects with Cronton. The children’s focus on their work and their aspiration to achieve is inspirational. I was truly humbled by their ability to converse with such ease in English. The innovative decision to teach all lessons in English so that transfer to secondary is made easier was obviously the right one as I joked and laughed with the children and they told me of their ambitions to be a doctor or a pilot. Two bears accompanied us on our trip, Barnaby the Cronton bear and “Upendo” (Swahili for love) who was named by the children in Arise. They provided much fun and excitement both in the school and on the Dala Dala (local bus!)

On the Saturday we attended the celebration. It was a real community event and was well supported by the Parents. The highlight was the pupils who shared work, sang songs and danced for the audience. It was recognition of what they as a community have achieved with the support of ACE.

One afternoon I walked home with one of the infant children who lived close by to the school. As a sponsored child, they receive support to attend. I met his grandmother who was raising him and his cousins and doing the best that she could. Their circumstances were bleak and I could see why, as a child, school would be such a warm and welcoming environment to spend your day with the promise of 2 regular meals a day. It was also clear to me why campaigns such as “buy a breakfast” are a life line for so many families.

Mike and I agree that our week in Tanzania was both illuminating and humbling. Nothing is quite the same after you return and those that we travelled with and shared our experiences with understand the uniqueness and very special gift that is the Arise School community.”

ACE Christmas Well Appeal: Sustain Our School: Secure Their Future

In September, we launched our ACE Well Appeal. Now that the last three classrooms are well on their way to completion, our aim is to raise enough money over Christmas to construct a well at Arise School during 2018. A well will enable the school to begin its journey towards self sustainability. ACE will then have achieved its goal of building a self sufficient school for the community. It will secure the future education of their children.

Currently, the school has a standpipe but water is metered and, therefore, costly. Frank has turned the school grounds into a tropical oasis of colourful shrubs, plants and flowers by creatively recycling the children’s hand washing water for irrigation purposes. Banana and papaya trees have been planted and are already laden with fruit in season.

But this is just a beginning. The school has more land and the potential to grow crops if water is more readily and cheaply available. This would not only provide food to supplement the children’s diet. Any surplus would be sold to bring in income to help the school towards self sufficiency. It would ensure its long term sustainability.

From the school, the water (snow) on the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro is clearly visible. There is also water under the mountain. However, it is necessary to drill down 100 metres to reach it. So many of us are fortunate enough to take water for granted. So many of us are also fortunate enough to need nothing for Christmas.

So, this Christmas, please help us to raise the money needed to construct the well and to purchase an irrigation system. In total, we need to raise a massive £12,000. For those of your family and friends who need nothing or are hard to buy for, we can supply an ACE Gift Certificate. Just donate online and let us know whether you would like an electronic or paper copy. Thank you for helping us to make Arise School self sustaining.

St. Ann’s Pupils Donate Harvest Collection to ACE

Once again, we were delighted to learn that this year the pupils of St. Ann’s C of E School, Rainhill, were donating the proceeds from their Harvest Collection to ACE. The donation was the very first we received to our “Buy a Breakfast” Appeal when it was launched in October 2014.

Last week, we were invited into the children’s assembly to update them on progress at Arise School. The St. Ann’s children listened so intently as we focused on the story of one little boy and his two sisters who started at the school quite recently.

Like all of the children sponsored through ACE, Arise School is not just providing them with the opportunity of an education. It is making a very real difference in their ability to make the most of their schooling through the essential extras the children receive, in particular, with regards to food – breakfast and lunch.

The St. Ann’s children have continued to help us make this possible since 2014. We were also able to tell them about the plans we now have to raise money for a well to help Arise School to grow its own food and, eventually, become self sustainable.

A huge “Thank You” to all the children and staff at St. Ann’s for their continuing support in the last three years. We greatly appreciate all their ongoing efforts.

Back To Arise For A Very Special Occasion! (Part 4) A Very Special Endin

The excitement of the celebration over, there were still a few important things to do in the next few days at Arise School.

All those bulging suitcases needed to be unpacked! Between us, we had managed to take out so many donated items – dozens of shoes from the children of Cronton C of E Primary School; dozens of books from the pupils at Rainford C of E Primary School; many more books, shoes, clothes and toys donated by the children at St. Margaret Ward Catholic Primary School in Trafford and those in Class 2SH at Oswald Road Primary School in Chorlton, Manchester. There were also more shoes, clothes and toys donated by individuals and sports equipment from West Park RFC that was very quickly in use. Not least, Barnaby Bear and companion were soon sporting their new knitted hats!

The Cronton students had written letters to the Arise pupils telling them a bit about themselves and the things they enjoyed doing. Letters were written in return. They had also recorded a short video of themselves singing a song. Mrs. Thomson, their Headteacher, who was part of our group, taught the song to the Arise pupils. They learned it extremely quickly and translated it into Swahili!

And then there was something very special. The Arise pupils were asked to name Barnaby Bear’s companion. They chose the name Upendo which means “love” in Swahili. Sadly, the bears were then separated. Upendo returned with Mrs. Thomson to be with the children at Cronton School whilst Barnaby has stayed in Tanzania with the Arise children.

Finally, the Arise students gathered to sing one last time for us, accompanied by their percussion band. Once more, the atmosphere was amazing and we were all touched by the emotion of the situation. Thanks to modern technology, over 5,000 miles away, the Cronton pupils, assembled in their school hall, were also able to be part it. It was certainly a very special ending to what had been a very special occasion!