Cheti School, Arusha Tanzania

Cheti School is a combination of five seperate nursery and primary schools that educate some of the poorest kids in the region. Cheti 1 - Cheti 4 are all nursery schools (ages 5-6), and this is where kids start to learn basic English and Maths (I teach at Cheti 2). Cheti 5 is the biggest school and is a combination of both a primary school and an orphanage. Some of the students and majority of the orphans come from families affected by HIV aids, abusive households or simple abandonment.

What doesn't Cheti need? It honestly depends on how much money is raised, but there is a hell of lot that requires attention. There are some many different aspects to the school, the students, the orphanage, the infrastructure, the families of the students affected by HIV, literally the money could go anywhere.

Honestly, being a white person in Africa, you're constantly asked for money, everywhere but Cheti in my case. The children are probably the greatest humans I've ever met, probably being the most deserving of my money, yet never asking me for anything. They are just genuinely happy I'm there and I doubt I'll ever meet happier people living in such shit conditions, ever again in my life.

I've been here for almost no time at all but already have learnt a few things.

1. Holy f*%# we are lucky! : I already kind of knew I was lucky receiving the education and opportunities I did, but it really hit home my first day teaching. Meeting my class for the first time, I noticed one kid wasn't doing any work and was just staring out the window. When I asked the teacher why this was, she responded, "his pencil broke" and no other kid, teacher nor the school had any spare form of pencil, pen or anything he could write with. So, while the other kids did work, he was left behind.

2. Giving the school gifts don't really make a difference: The next day I went out and bought some basic stationary for the class in the hope that if a kid needed anything again, they would have the equipment they needed to do their work. However a few days later I soon realised that just buying things for the school was a temporary fix to a pretty permanent problem. That stuff was getting used pretty fast and it dawned on me that there won't always be volunteers to buy things for the school. I feel as though donations need to be sustainable and need to be able to generate some form of income for the school, so they wouldn't have to rely on volunteers when we eventually leave.

3. These kids need help! : Education is a luxury over here. The poverty is so bad, schools don't usually fill up until mid June because families can't afford the costs year round. This makes schools like Cheti 3 and 4 practically empty for majority of the year and basic school necessities such as books and pencils are no longer provided by the school as they can't afford these extra costs.

Literally anything. It's not hard to believe that not a lot of money can buy many things over here when you know that the largest piece of currency they have is the 10,000 Shilling note, which is equivalent to around $5.50AUD. Literally, if you donate $5, I can go and buy enough food for a family with a parent with HIV and that will be enough to feed them for a damn long time. I can not stress this enough, no donation is too little or too big. Volunteers in the past have built classrooms, bought huge play equipment, even bought land for schools for a stupidly achievable price.

Finally, if you donate, I can guarantee no matter how little you donate, you'll 100% change someone's life forever.

Thanks, Seamus


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Seamus Cashmere 
Otford NSW
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