They may be miles apart but a special bond binds Australia and Tanzania. It started when Gemma Sisia, a countrywoman from New South Wales, decided to build a school in Arusha. The School of St Jude would be for children from impoverished backgrounds, who had the academic potential to make a big impact on their country.
What started with three students and one teacher has blossomed to more than 1,650 students, three campuses and boarding facilities for over 1000 students. The school is completely free and offers a standard of education that is on par to international, private schools.
However, the ties go deeper. Each year, hundreds of sponsors from Australia and overseas donate funds and resources so St Jude’s students can have uniforms, nutritious food, high quality teachers and buses to transport them to and from school. At the backbone of St Jude’s, is the school’s tireless staff which includes more than 450 Tanzanian employees and 40 international volunteers, the majority from Australia. Most of the Tanzanian staff are permanently employed and work in all areas of the school including teaching, IT, cleaning, maintenance, gardening and in the Visitor Team.
Inspirational Tanzanian Felix Mollel works at St Jude’s and is taking his first trip outside of East Africa to Australia this October to share the achievements of the school. ‘I love my job at St Jude’s because I am able to provide for my family and ensure my daughters can have a good education,’ says Felix. He’ll be travelling with the St Jude’s Director of International Relations Kim Saville and they’ll be visiting major cities across Australia including Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
St Jude’s inspirational speaker Felix Mollel during his first trip out of East Africa.
To see locations head to www.schoolofstjude.org