Special is better than regular

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Geofrey in a display of glee outside his primary school in Chamwino area. After spending a couple of years in a special preparatory school for vulnerable, out-of-school children he finally advanced to a regular primary school

16 year old Geofrey had a harsh experience when he left the confines of his parents’ comfortable home and took up hustling on the dusty paths of his neighborhood.

“My son used to sell plastic bags at the market and did a part-time job as a brick-maker”, says 59 year old Regina Joseph.

A farmer by occupation, Regina lives in Morogoro one of Tanzania’s food productive regions with her husband and three kids.

Worried that her first born son would lose sight of his goals, Regina signed him to join a special school. The school works with World Vision through the Hope Street childrens’ project. The establishment is unique because it focuses on educating children who have missed out on early primary years. A total of 387 children have already benefited from the special learning initiative. The school makes use of a government established, contextualized program that emphasizes child-centred and active learning approaches to provide education that fosters self-reliance in vulnerable, out-of-school children with special needs.

I am thankful for the support and the way in which the school freed Geofrey from ignorance. He studied there from grade one to four and now his in a normal primary school”, shared Regina.

“His in class 7 in the last year of primary, he reads and writes and is doing well. His behavior is good and his settled”, smiled Regina.

So far the local primary school in Geofrey’s area has enrolled him and five other students to be part of the mainstream primary school. When asked to compare the special school and the normal school he now attends Geofrey was quick to note: “if someone gave me the choice to study at the special school I would go back. I liked it because food was provided and I got pens, school books, socks and shoes”.

Besides enjoying his classes Geofrey also has other finer ambitions. He is learning football and wants to become an international player.

World Vision is a partner in this special school initiative through its Hope Street Children Project which aims to work with the partners in the selected project areas for street children so as that they can enjoy good health, have an opportunity for education for life and cared for, protected and participating in various social and development activities.

Other local partners to Hope Street include Mission to the Homeless Children (MHC), Faraja Trust Fund, Neema Resource Foundation (NEREFO) and Morogoro Para Legal Centre (MPLC).

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