Thursday, January 25, 2007

On the buses!

The School of St Jude is situated down a dirt road in the village of Moshono which is 5km along another dirt road from Arusha. Children come to school each day along the rough dirt roads from Arusha and the surrounding villages of this beautiful but very poor district. Most people are subsistence farmers who make barely enough to feed their families. Malaria, HIV/AIDS and other diseases take a heavy toll on these families and many children are orphaned.

A year or two after the School opened, it became evident that many children were walking for several hours to get to school. So, the School bought two battered old buses and rejuvenated them.

As the school has grown, the two buses have grown to a fleet of 18. Like everything else at the school, the funding for buses is provided by sponsors and donors. For $500 pa you can sponsor a bus and contribute to the costs of running them.

An important donation came from Rotary District 9640 (in Queensland) in April 2006. Using a multi-district Matching Grant, they were able to provide the School with two new buses, an assortment of spare springs and tyres, and a motor vehicle maintenance course to be run at the School.

Here is Gemma receiving the grant money - surprised but delighted.

Gemma Sisia, Heather + Ian Yarker, Ailsa Hay

The buses at the school provide vital transport that makes school attendance possible for many children. Even with the over-crowded buses, many children have a long walk home after the bus drops them. These buses don’t offer Western-standard transport, but they do give bright children from the poorest households an opportunity to get their foot on the first rung of the ladder of opportunity. Guaranteed!

A development project in an impoverished African country that is well-run, economical and successful in reaching the poor - something you will want to support!

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