As part of the global pandemic that is now having such devastating consequences in so many countries across the world, the first confirmed case of Covid 19 in Tanzania was announced in mid March. Today, 22nd. April, this number has risen to 254 with 10 deaths.
Tanzania is a large country and the vast majority of these cases are in Dar es Salaam, 9/10 hours by road from Arise. To limit its spread, the Tanzanian Government acted very swiftly to introduce preventative measures. Whilst restrictions are in place, the country is not currently in lockdown. However, all schools and universities were closed, initially for four weeks. Like schools in the U.K., all schools now remain closed for the foreseeable future.
In this difficult situation, Arise staff have been looking at how they are able to reach out to their pupils. Many of the children at Arise, in particular, those who are sponsored through ACE, rely very heavily for food on the two meals that they receive at school every day of the school year. Ever aware of the importance to the children of their school meals, Arise has risen to this new challenge.
Arrangements are in place for some of the parents from the poorest families to come into school to collect bags of rice and other basic food necessities. School staff are taking out supplies to other families who do not have the means to provide regular food for their children. For the children concerned, this is such a very real lifeline for them.
Arise pupils always enjoy learning and being at school so much. Teachers are continuing to set homework for them and, in the absence of access to technology, parents are being encouraged to come into school every Friday to collect and return their children’s work.
Pupils in Grades 4 and 7 who are due to sit national examinations in September and November, face particular challenges in terms of continuing their studies. Whilst it is very much hoped that restrictions will have been lifted by then, we wait to hear how they will be assessed if the restrictions remain in place.
At such a very uncertain and difficult time, we wish Arise staff well in their efforts. Above all, we hope that all the Arise pupils and their families, the staff and their families stay safe.