Stepping Stone Program for Marginalized Youth
Our on-site teaching program is Good Hope’s most visible program, and has been designed to provide an education to students who do not have access to free, government-funded secondary school. When children in Tanzania finish primary school they are required to write their Primary School Leaving Exam. This exam is used as a barrier to block students from receiving further education – students that fail the exam (49.4% in 2013, as reported by the Human Rights Watch) cannot access further education unless their families pay for private school education (which is cost prohibitive for many families). All students at Good Hope either failed their national examination, or did pass this exam and could not afford to go to secondary school right away.
Unfortunately, once a student is out of the governmental school system, she/he cannot join government- funded secondary school education. Good Hope provides them with an opportunity to stay engaged in education. Year-round local and international volunteers teach English, Mathematics, Computers, Geography, Science, Fine Arts, and Healthcare in our youth center.
Good Hope currently provides free education for around 30 students in three classes, divided based on to each student’s current English written and speaking skills. Most of our students are between 13 to 18 years old, and come from very diverse social backgrounds and education levels. Some students are orphans living with family members, some are living with HIV/AIDS, and some are tasked with demanding household-chores that leave little to no space for education.
Good Hope’s Two-Year Secondary School Preparation Program provides a stepping stone for the marginalized youth that we support. After finishing the program, many of our students receive a private sponsorship to go to a private secondary school or attend a vocational training centre.
Beyond the Classroom
Good Hope students are great dancers and soccer players, and so, we often make time during the day dedicated to sports and dance. This gives our students recreation and a chance to refresh and have some fun. It also teaches them teamwork and confidence. The students also use this time to plan dance routines for frequent community fundraisers (called Cheza Friday). Cheza means “dance” or “play” in Swahili, and these fundraisers are a great way to show off the students’ talent, while raising money for Good Hope! Furthermore, the Good Hope students also train for, and participate in, the Fun Run of the annual Kilimanjaro Marathon.
The Breakfast Program gives the Good Hope students nourishment for their bodies, as well as their minds. Every school day at Good Hope, the students receive a nourishing breakfast with tea, and seasonal foods such as fried banana, flatbread (chapati) or a fried bun (mandazi); and a fruit such as an orange, avocado, or sweet banana. Without this Breakfast Club, many of Good Hope’s students would not have access to a meal in the morning.