June 2015, Nyamagongo, Tanzania
Jane Samora is a fourth grader at Tina’s Pre and Primary School. She loves being a student and dreams about going to university.
A few years ago, Jane had a problem. While she was still a first grader, she was told she would not be able to continue in school because her family was unable to pay the small tuition. There simply was no money for her education. Her mother and grandmother had exhausted their extra money on Jane's medical care. A bad burn and ear infections from falling into a cooking fire as a toddler had left Jane with ongoing medical problems. There were seven other children to take care of, and her older siblings were already working to help support the family. Jane spent her days cleaning and helping her grandmother with cooking and household chores. Lack of schooling meant that she would be married off early, perhaps as soon as she turned 14 or 15, and she would have the life many other teenage girls share in this region of Tanzania - raising a large family in poverty.
In 2009, REACH Shirati, started a scholarship program for girls just like Jane. That school year, we raised funds and asked our teachers to identify girls who were very poor and had to stop attending school, but had made an effort previously and done well in school. Jane's eagerness had certainly been noticed by her teachers. She was elated to find out she was 'chosen', and has worked hard on her studies since.
In addition to tuition, the scholarship also pays for a daily meal, a uniform and her ongoing medical treatments, all thanks to the generosity of a donor in California.
Jane has consistently received 100% grades in English, math, and science, she loves to read and looks forward to school everyday. Although she is too young to realize it, her family knows all too well that with an education her future is bright with opportunities.
"In 2009, REACH Shirati, started a scholarship program for girls just like Jane."