The cracked chalk connection to learning

Ordinarily broken chalk never meant much to most children except perhaps for the purpose of pelting one another with the fragmented pieces. While most grade fives dash out of class and head home, eleven year old Amina and a few others linger behind quickly gathering left-over chalk from the day’s lessons.

With enough saved up chalk pieces Amina will put it to good use to teach her siblings when she visits them at her father’s homestead. Amina is from a polygamist family. During the school term she lives with her mother in Fuwa village in the seaside town of Tanga region. During the school holidays she travels over to Amani village where her father, siblings and stepmother reside.      

 “After school hours I go round all classrooms to pick up pieces of chalk left on the floor so that during the holiday I make a blackboard and can teach my siblings what I was taught in school. When I am on my holiday I visit my father and there is where I get the chance to teach my siblings. But I received text books, exercise books from World Vision so I know and I can teach my siblings to read and write”, says Amina.

Amina is a sponsored child and her school in Fuwa village was built by World Vision Tanzania (WVT). It is here she gathers the chalk remnants, broken pieces that are giving her younger sisters a glimpse of a brighter future. Through partnerships with local families, community groups, faith-based organisations and governments, World Vision works to break the cycle of poverty, create long-term changes and to ensure that over time, all children in the community benefit from improved access to healthcare, educational opportunities, clean water and sanitation, nutritious food and the chance to participate in decisions affecting their lives.

 “My siblings did not get the chance to go to school because my family faced some challenges. It hurt me a lot so when am in class I listen carefully so that I will help my sisters when I go home on holiday. I see a bright future ahead of me and also I want the same for my siblings”, Amina expressed.

“I thank World Vision and my sponsor for enabling me to reach this point, I can now help my younger sisters at home to read and write, and I know that next year they will all be going to school and they will be the best students because they have learnt a lot even before they have started their studies”, Amina concluded.

Similarly, in Amani village, where Amina’s father lives, World Vision also has development activities through the Mazingara Area Development Programme (ADP). Before WVT’s support to the area the community lacked schools and apparatus for their children. Poverty was rife. There was little knowledge of livestock keeping and farming. The dispensaries were few and far-flung; it was risky especially for pregnant who often lost babies either on the way to the health facility or because of the lack of specialized medical attendants.

“We did not have enough schools, classes were few, children walked long distances and it was unsafe for most of the young girls but since World Vision came to our village everything changed. Through the project, children have been sponsored, schools and wells built and training has been given to most of the community so as to pull us out of poverty life”, explained Amina’s father.

Amina’s family was also given a cow. However, this did not work out well and the family sold the cow and bought chickens and goats instead. Amina’s father is now a skilled farmer and livestock keeper able to successfully plant crops and rear livestock. He adds, “thanks to World Vision for the seminar that was conducted to help improve the economy of Amani community”.

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