Where their family is able to afford schooling, it is quite common in Tanzania for children, even from quite a young age, to board at school. At an early stage, parents living outside of the local community started to request places for their children at Arise School. Although as a school for the local community, it was not initially intended to have boarders, seeing the potential to bring in some much needed income for the school, Frank took the initiative of introducing a limited number of boarding places.
There are now 23 children (11 girls and 12 boys) boarding in rented accommodation very close to the school. Of these, three of the children are from impoverished situations and sponsored via our ACE Sponsorship Scheme. One of them was tragically orphaned about two years ago and the two others are unable to live at home, including one who was at substantial risk of harm. In addition to their school fees and uniforms, the families of the remaining children pay for the costs of their food and maintenance as boarders.
After school each day, the children change into a lighter uniform and help to wash their clothes. They also help with light chores and do their homework, as would be expected if living at home. Meals are prepared for them and their heavier clothing, including their school uniforms, are washed by the staff. Until very recently, this washing was done by hand. Now, thanks to the generosity of two of last year’s volunteers, members of their family and visiting medical students from Kilimanjaro Community Support Project, it was possible to purchase a washing machine. Needless to say, this was much to the delight of everyone concerned!
On Saturdays, the children enjoy playing games, taking part in the activities provided by the Kisimani Kids’ Club and simply having fun. As 11 year old Jennifer, one of the sponsored pupils, expressed it in her recent interview with Bex (see our ACE blog of 17th. February) “I like living in the hostel. I like it because I can learn in the evening. I have good friends and we have fun.”