TEMBO Newsletter - November 2020
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It is an undeniable accomplishment for a girl in Tanzania to attend university.

This year, Paulina successfully completed Form 6 which qualifies her to enrol in a university program. She will attend St. John’s University in Dodoma where she will take a Bachelor of Pharmacy.

Paulina admits that "I feel a little nervous about university but I am trying to settle my mind by talking to those who have already graduated from the program."

She is cheered on by her mother and two younger brothers who are extremely proud of her and who pray that she reaches her goals. In 2013, she was identified for sponsorship to TEMBO’s PASS program because her family faced extreme hardship and poverty. Paulina often helped her mother clean houses to help buy food for the family. After PASS, she attended Tinga Tinga  Secondary School for Forms 1-4 and then finished her university qualifying years at a school near Mwanza. While she waits for her university session to begin Paulina is helping in the current PASS program as a teacher assistant.

To mentally prepare for university, Paulina says, "I am planning some strategies for achieving academic success including working hard and avoiding bad groups and individuals who might distract me from my studies". She says she looks forward to meeting new people with different ideas. And, she likes the fact that "I will not have to wear a uniform as I did in secondary school".        


This year, 24 TEMBO-sponsored girls qualified for college based on the results of their Form 4 national exams completed last fall. Some of the girls are considering studies in rural development and public administration, while others are applying to programs that offer more practical skills training such as tailoring.

The staff in Tanzania is helping the girls to complete the application process and prepare for college, while TEMBO Canada is working to raise funds to support the increased budget for vocational training. And we know there will be more girls coming close behind as another 34 girls prepare to sit their Form 4 exams at the end of November. We wish them every success.

Today, we share with you a brief introduction to two girls who are heading off to college this month.

Agness, November 2020

Agness from Longido Village will be studying accounting at the Tanzania Institute of Accounting in Dar es Salaam. In 2016 Agness joined TEMBO for the PASS program and then went on to study at Lekule Girls’ Secondary School. "My family is very proud of my academic achievements", she says. Her mom must be particularly proud as she has worked hard to support a family of 8 children by selling maize and sukamawiki on the roadside.  Agness says, "I look forward to getting a job so that I can help my younger siblings and my mother."

Petei, November 2020

Petei who grew up in Kimikouwa, a traditional Maasai village, studied at Engarinaibor SecondarySchool. Now she will be attending Tengeru Institute of Community Development in Arusha. Petei says, "My family thanks God for giving me a chance to take this important step in my life". She hopes that her studies will enable her to improve her society and help her family once she is earning a salary.


Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving, a time when Canadians, charities and businesses come together to celebrate generosity and giving.

TEMBO will be there AND we need your support.

Watch for more information from us as we get ready to launch our December 'Giving Campaign' in support of girls' education in Tanzania.


"The PASS program not only gives girls an opportunity to learn English, math and science subjects before secondary school, but it also provides a safe environment for girls while waiting for the Standard 7 exam results. The girls have now been in the program for four weeks and they do not look like the same girls. On the first day, they were shy and quiet, but now they are confident and dare to ask and answer questions."

~ Paulina Sumayani, Executive Director, TEMBO (Tanzania)

TEMBO opened the 8th consecutive offering of the PASS program (Primary and Secondary Success) on October 12th. This year, to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic, TEMBO modified  the PASS program by reducing the number of participants to allow for additional physical distancing in the Girls' Hostel and the length of the program given changes in the Tanzanian school calendar.

Twenty-nine girls from six local schools are attending an eight week program which will help them develop their skills in English, Mathematics, Civics and Sciences.

What do the girls like most about the PASS program?

"We like the opportunity to study in a clean and safe environment. We like the teachers (all local) who teach very well and help us understand."

What do they think of the Girls' Hostel?

"We love the clean environment where there is clean water and  inside toilets. We sleep well and like the well ventilated rooms. We love being with the other girls and we can read different books."

What do they think of the food?

"The food is delicious. We are happy to get enough food to eat."

How will PASS prepare them for secondary school?

"PASS helps prepare us for dormitory life. We love the opportunity to learn and study and to get a head start on some of the secondary school subjects."

What do their families think about their time in PASS?

"Many families are happy that we are in a safe and protected place where we can focus on our studies. Our families know that at TEMBO we are protected from pregnancy. Some parents are not happy because they have already received the dowry for their girl to be married."

Primary Students Flock to LIL for After-School Enrichment

If you look inside the doors of the children’s library at LIL after 3 p.m. on a school day, you will see a crowd of young children sprawled out on the floor reading library books, playing with puzzles or doing their homework.

The Learning Centre welcomes children from the four primary schools in Longido to its after school enrichment program. They come to read library books in both English and Swahili, make use of syllabus books to help them with their homework and play with toys, puzzles and educational games.

LIL director, Leah Kisambu, knows the importance of this program: “It  builds in young children a love of reading and using the library.”

Community use of the library has grown significantly since LIL opened in 2015. According to Leah, “Adults, children and students at all levels are using the Learning Centre to improve their education.

Namnyak, supervisor of the after school program, helps the children select books and do their homework.

She says they also love “watching educational programs on t.v. and playing in the playground.”  Leah reinforces the value of the program by saying that “it provides pupils with resources to improve their education because these resources are not available in their schools.
A Virtual Gathering

The world changed in 2020, and so did we!  For 15 years TEMBO hosted a Fall Luncheon and Auction, our signature fundraiser.  But this is 2020, so we took it all online.  On October 24, 84 households tuned in to hear Michele Genest share stories and photos from her adventures in Tanzania where she worked with local cooks to develop recipes and menus for a wilderness camp.  Naturally she learned a thing or two about cooking on a three-stone-fire, not to mention local ingredients, and local customs.  Her presentation was fascinating, refreshing and very well received.  Thank you, Michele.
This year we had project updates presented as videos developed by the TEMBO staff in Tanzania.  The authenticity of the videos and the passion of the TEMBO staff made these reports from the field exceptional.  These videos will be available on our website until November 30.  You can watch them again here.
The auction this year was also completely online, and it, too, was a tremendous success!  Local businesses contributed auction items, local artists and makers contributed some remarkable art, craft and food, and of course, there were items from Tanzania.  Over 100 bidders got in on the action, and we were able to do delivery by email, contact-free porch pick-up or shipping. 

TEMBO is very grateful to our many supporters and donors who continue to support our work during these uncertain times. We raised about $16,000 during A Virtual Gathering, support that is needed now more than ever.   This event demonstrated that because of our amazing followers, TEMBO can continue to be there for them.  We thank you.


Spirit of Giving: Carleton Students Raise
funds to help TEMBO Students

When Carleton student, Allison Lee travelled with her peers to Longido in January 2020 to test the ceramic water filter prototype, what she saw changed the way she sees the world. “I saw a group of people who struggle with all the things that are deemed as basic human rights in this part of the world,” she says. She realized that the children have few resources and no supplies to help them with their education.

When  the COVID-19 pandemic affected Tanzania, Allison knew that she wanted to ensure that the girls from these villages would be able to safely continue their studies at secondary school.

She mobilized fellow students in the Sprott Social Impact Club (SSIC), a group that runs projects  to support communities that face difficulties accessing educational opportunities. The group conducted a six week online fundraiser. Reaching out to organizations and businesses, and building a strong social media presence, they raised $1680 to be used to ease the transition back to school for 140 TEMBO girls by providing them with face masks and personal hygiene kits.

When she met the girls in the TEMBO programs, Allison was inspired and motivated to action by the passion of the girls to continue their education despite their challenging environment. She wanted to do whatever it takes “to ensure that the girls can continue their schooling in the safest way possible through the pandemic.

Read more information on SSIC here

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