Any school is only as good as the staff who work in it. They create the atmosphere in which the children learn. In this and the next two blogs, we want to introduce you to the team – the people who are working hard to make Arise Community School a caring learning environment.
The school was the dream of one man, Frank, and his family. We have known Frank since 2008. Just three years ago in 2012, he took us to meet his parents, hardworking people who live in a village on the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Like many in the area, they are farmers of few means and live on the same farm where they raised Frank and his brothers.
The family’s dream was to build an English speaking school for their village – an impoverished community where so many children from very poor families would never have the opportunity to attend school. Frank’s parents were willing to give five acres of their land for the school. On our return to the UK, we set about raising money to build the first classroom. Less than 12 months later, the first classroom opened in January 2013 with 11 pupils.
Between them, Frank and his wife, Salome, have overseen every aspect of the project since its inception – from building work to staff appointments; from home visits to assess the children’s circumstances to planting the grounds; from setting standards to buying food. Salome has also been the Treasurer of the School Management Committee since it was first set up. They have done – and continue to do – an incredible job, motivated by the needs they see in their community.
Frank and Salome have two young children, Holly, nearly five years of age, and Harmony, nearly two. Their love and care for their own children is naturally reflected in the caring environment that pervades the school and in their knowledge of individual pupils, their family situations and needs. The children quickly come to know that Arise School is a safe place to learn and play. They want to go to school and enjoy being there. They want to learn.
Not least, from the outset, Frank and Salome have been striving to build up the reputation of the school in their community and to develop it as a community resource. With 106 pupils now on the register, the Kisimani Kids’ Club and two community groups meeting at the school on a regular weekly basis, they are proving successful on both fronts. Arise Community School is rapidly becoming an indispensable part of the community. Supported by funding from ACE, Frank’s dream is becoming a reality.
Please share in the dream! All donations will help ACE to continue to develop the school.