Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Growth path

Here's a handy graph that shows how enrolments have grown since the School of St Jude  started in 2002.

That's a steep growth path! What a lot of work there has been to give all these bright children an excellent education.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Supporters of School of St Jude

The historian Stanley Payne talks about the different roles in the making of a revolutionary uprising and I thought that these types might apply to supporters of the School of St Jude. Here goes!

  1. Ideological revolutionaries who have been pushing for revolution “forever” and provide the sparks, which only catch fire under certain conditions. This would be Gemma who worked away at the concept when it was still just an idea.
  2. Sophisticated types who come around to accepting the need for revolutionary change and provide a critical level of intellectual ability. These would be Rotary and professionals who provided business and technical advice in the early years.
  3. Those seeking adventure who leap on the opportunity for actualization and provide the force. These would be the hundreds of supporters who have volunteered at the school and the supporters who have taken on all the different fund-raising challenges. 
  4. Those who are eventually compelled to side with the revolution adding to the force. This would be the thousands of supporters who recognise that the School of St Jude is a well-managed project that is highly effective.
  5. Those who jump on board opportunistically if the revolution picks up steam moving the revolution toward ultimate success. Perhaps this role doesn't transfer from revolutionary uprisings to projects like St Judes. I don't see many opportunists among St Jude's supporters.

Here's a photo from the 2010 Winter Wonderland Charity Ball in Perth that raised $18,000 for the School. What a great challenge for the organisers.

Winter Wonderland Ball 2010
Stanley Payne says that all these roles and types are necessary for revolutionary change to occur, and that each is activated according to distinct psychological and social logics. I think this is true that major projects like the School of St Jude need a wide range of different kinds of supporters. And they all need to stay the distance if success is to be achieved.

Certainly the School of St Jude is past its infancy and is well down the track to ultimate success. What will that look like? Will it be the first class of high school graduates? Or the first crop of university graduates?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Where are they from?

Sponsors of the School of St Jude live in 23 different countries. Most of them are in Australia as the following list shows.

Australia -- 1331
England -- 36
Ireland -- 31
USA -- 31
New Zealand -- 30
Canada -- 14
Northern Ireland -- 9
Tanzania -- 5
Italy -- 5
UAE -- 3
Netherlands -- 2
Singapore -- 2
Germany -- 2
These countries are home to one sponsor -- Japan, PNG, Sth Africa, India, Austria, Scotland, Senegal, Denmark, Dominican Republic, France.

How is that for networking?

These sponsors fund the everyday expenses of the school. New buildings and other development is funded through donations.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

MDG African success story

A picture tells a thousand words and this one says SUCCESS loud and clear.

This graph from William Easterly’s paper, How the Millennium Development Goals are unfair to Africa shows the great strides made by Sub-Saharan African countries in working towards universal primary education.

African countries have made massive progress in the past 40 years so that the gap between African countries and other developing countries is now minor. Easterly notes that despite this huge achievement, African countries will be labelled ‘failure’ if they don’t achieve 100% by 2015 because the Millennium Development Goal for education is expressed in absolute terms.

Supporters of the School of St Jude know that they are part of this remarkable achievement. Better than that, supporters know that the kids at St Jude’s are getting a fantastic, high-quality education worthy of their talents.

So, don’t feel disheartened when you read that Sub-Saharan African countries won’t achieve the MDGs, a fresh look at the data can show that they have made very good progress. We'll just keep working at it, shall we?

William Easterly's paper is published at the Brookings Institute.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Norway continues support for Tanzania

Just one week after Tanzania and her 19 major development partners concluded a comprehensive annual review of general budget support, Norway has committed to another five years of budget support for Tanzania.

Norway will give US$72m p.a. between 2007-2011.

Tanzania Finance Minister Zakia Meghji said,
Norway continues to be among the champions of the General Budget Support modality of aid delivery, which is the Tanzanian government's preferred mechanism because it minimises transaction costs and builds the country's capacity through the use of Government structures and systems. The aid also enhances accountability and good governance.

This aid commitment extends beyond one year and is an important response to Tanzania's appeal to her development partners to facilitate medium-term expenditure planning for better coherence and resources allocation.

According to the Norwegian ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Jon Lomoy, the funding is aimed at ensuring that Tanzania achieves millennium development goals of reducing child mortality and improving maternal health.

According to him, infant mortality declined from 95/1000 live births in 2002 to 68/1000 last year while under-five mortality from 154/1000 live births to 133/1000 live births.

We still have a long way to go to achieve the intended targets of reducing infant mortality to 50/1000 live births by 2010 and reduce child mortality to 75/1000 live births.
Organisations like the School of St Jude that rely on donations need to have some certainty about future donations and also some flexibility about how to spend the money.

Your regular donations help the School with on-going running costs and to plan for future developments. And your donations are helping Tanzania meet the Millennium Development Goal of Primary School education for girls and boys.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Tanzania lags East Africa in school enrolment

The latest UN Human Development Programme report 2007 shows the following enrolment rates across primary, secondary and tertiary levels:

Uganda: 63%
Kenya: 60.6%
Rwanda: 50.9%
Tanzania: 50.4%

The Tanzanian Government has encouraged the private sector and religious institutions to build schools, and every region has set high targets to build schools, but there is an acute shortage of qualified teachers and teaching facilities.

Tanzania's education history was checkered during the British colonial era when it closed all schools for ten years, while Kenya and Uganda weren't interrupted.

Given the shortage of teachers and facilities, perhaps Tanzania should relax restrictions on foreign teachers until enough local teachers are trained.

The School of St Jude attracts quality teachers by paying good salaries and offering professional development training. Volunteer teachers also contribute their skills and experience.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

New Government; new policies

The new Labor government in Australia has a couple of things going for it, from my point of view.

Firstly, there will be a new energy in the way the country is led, and this will pervade all aspects of government.

Very importantly, Kevin Rudd has said he will ratify Kyoto. This places Australia at the table of international action on the most important issue of our time.

Secondly, he has committed to increasing Australia's Foreign Aid to .5% as a step towards meeting our commitments to end global poverty and meet the Millennium Development Goals.

So, I'm very glad for this outcome and I hope that the new Government lives up to the potential for good leadership that comes with a new beginning.