Sunday, April 08, 2007

Famous for their jellybean buses

In Arusha most buses are banged up old rattle-traps. That makes the colourful buses of the School of St Jude really stand out – even though they are just old rattle-traps in disguise. Anthea, an Arusha local, notes –

The pupils of St Jude’s come from all over Arusha in buses. My children and I have counted 12 at a time, all marked with the school’s familiar logo, all a different colour – orange, red, green, pink – so that it looks as if somebody’s emptying a packet of jelly beans down the road.

In the February newsletter, the School announced that they have been able to buy two more buses thanks to a Rotary Matching Grant initiated in 2005 by 11 Rotary Clubs in Australia, Italy, Tanzania and USA. How is that for global action!

The grant was valued at $US25,000. This allowed the School to buy two second-hand buses, weld them back together, and fit them out with some new parts, brand new tyres and a lot of love.

Before the 'extreme make-over'

After welding them all back together, they needed a new paint job and so for an extra few hundred dollars they were painted purple and pink and had the Rotary symbol painted onto the driver’s door of both vehicles. The kids and staff LOVE them and already the buses are getting a good workout with each vehicle bringing over 60 students and staff to and from school each day.

Here are the drivers George and Henry - proudly standing near their new buses.

And here are the treasurer of the Rotary Club of Mt Meru, Bhavesh Gohil and immediate past president Ashik Nanabhai with the bus their club helped to fund.

These jelly bean buses provide more than reliable transport. They communicate the cheerful optimism of the School as it educates the future community leaders of Tanzania.

Make your contribution to the School through the ChipIn tool at the top of the page, or go to the School website to sponsor a bus and help cover ongoing maintenance and running costs.

As it is Easter, the School is on vacation. Well, except for the Standard 4 classes who will sit the national exam at the end of the year. They work through the holidays, studying hard so they can do well in the exams. In term time, these Standard 4 classes work six days a week, but during vacation time, they get Saturdays off!

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1 comment:

Megan Bayliss said...

The buses are adorable. How wonderful that people help children in other countries by donating items that make such a huge difference to a child's future.

We're back from our honeymoon on Norfolk Island. It was divine. It made me realise that the work I do demands breaks to refuel my soul and provide energy to keep going. Reading about others helping those less fortunate also feeds my soul and reminds me that child protection does not happen in isolation: there are many wonderful people out there all doing their bit.

I posted some wedding pics if you want to have a look Gillian.