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Celebrate with us on June 16th.

Initiated in 1991 by the Organization of African Unity, this day reinforces the importance of protecting children’s rights. TEMBO is planning to celebrate this day with the children of the Sara Juma Club at Abernathy and Longido Primary Schools. Mary will lead the children in songs and dances, reinforcing for them what they have learned about children’s rights.
Just as Canadian children are preparing for summer vacation, so too are the children in Longido, Tanzania.  They have just started a 4 week vacation, but how does this compare to what young people do in Canada? Virginia Taylor, TEMBO Board Member, is in Longido and has been talking to young people about their plans.

Primary school children will typically be needed to help with chores at home. A 12 year old boy tells Virginia that he will be looking after his father’s cattle, walking long distances to find water and vegetation for the herd.

A 13 year old girl plans to help her mother with the cooking and taking care of younger siblings.

She will also fetch water with her friends, carrying a large container of water on her head with ease and balance, something that she has been doing since she was a small girl.

Mary Laiser, TEMBO’s community facilitator, has been speaking to the older primary students about staying safe over the holidays since the girls may be at particular risk of becoming pregnant or of being married during this time.  When asked what they will do to stay safe they reply:  “We won’t go to the warrior ceremonies and if we go, we will come home before dark." When the boys are asked how they will help the girls stay safe, they first giggle and then they say, “We will walk them home.  We will remind them not to go to ‘esoto’, a performance where young men (warriors) and school girls meet.”

Secondary school students have returned home from boarding schools but there was be no luxury pick-up in a family car for these young people!  They arrived home, crammed into the back of a truck, a dala dala, (a 12 person taxi van which can hold up to 20) or on the back of a motorcycle.


Selina Mereso, a TEMBO- sponsored Form One student who attends Ketumbeine Secondary School tells Virginia that her first term went well and she is pleased to be going home.  “I will go home and help my mother.  She needs me to help with the cooking.  I will also help her collect firewood.”  She says that she is proud of her school uniform but it feels good to take it off and put on her traditional Maasai clothes. 

The Longido District Learning Centre funded by TEMBO will be an important meeting place for many children during summer vacation. The primary school children go there to play with lego and puzzles, read books and play in the outdoor playground.  Many older students will go to the Learning Centre to study while some local teachers will volunteer their time to tutor them.  Many students say that they look forward to studying during their vacation.  Studying, they say, is not as hard as the work that they do at home.

Many of the TEMBO-sponsored girls will attend TEC, a three week summer camp designed to reinforce their language, academic and study skills. Staffed by Canadian volunteers, including Faculty of Education students from Ottawa University, this program brings together girls from Forms 1, 2 and 3. Here they build their academic and personal confidence, and strengthen friendships which help them face the rigours of secondary school once they return after vacation.

“I’m packing my teaching philosophy”

This week, Ottawa University students, Hannah Adam and Peter Grant-McKechnie, are packing their bags in preparation for a journey  to Longido, Tanzania.

The Faculty of Education students are excited to go and help further the education of TEMBO- sponsored girls who will be participating in TEC, TEMBO’s three week summer camp program.  Over 60 girls who are currently attending secondary school, will participate in this program which is  designed to reinforce their language, academic and life skills. The program, run by Canadian teacher volunteers, is in its seventh year and has proven to be very instrumental in helping the girls achieve academic success.

Hannah and Peter both specialize in music. Hannah plans to “incorporate her love of music into the activities with the girls.” She adds that she “loves to sing and enjoys making that part of my teaching.” Peter has created a small playlist of some of his favourite tunes. He hopes to have many opportunities to use rhythm and singing in his teaching.

Hannah sees that her greatest challenge will be working through the language barrier. She knows that although the language of instruction in Tanzanian secondary schools is English, the students’ command of that language is exceptionally weak. The girls’ first language is Maa  (the language of the Maasai) and then Swahili, (the official language of Tanzania). TEMBO teachers must work hard to help the girls develop functional English subject-specific vocabulary, a necessary requirement for academic success. 

Peter who has never before left North America, is looking forward to “meeting the Maasai people and seeing Tanzanian geography and wildlife.” He feels that all of this will be “very mind-blowing and intriguing.” What does he feel will be the greatest challenge? “Teaching in an unfamiliar environment without having any technology to fall back on.”

When asked what she plans to pack for her journey to help with her teaching, Hannah says that she is taking the most important thing: her teaching philosophy. She adds that, “Every student wants to and can learn and it’s the teacher’s job to teach a student to the point where she can be a leader in her own educational journey.”

January 21 - February 3rd
Join us for an incredible adventure including a week in the village of Longido and a week exploring Tanzania's beautiful national parks.
Learn more: projectembo.org

1 girl from Longido

2 women visited and saw the need

5 women on the TEMBO Board in Ottawa raise the funds

13 staff in Tanzania have permanent jobs

45 secondary school teachers attended professional development workshops
70 girls in Tanzania English Camp this June
94 girls sent to secondary school in 2016
120 women are learning to write their names
144 girls have attended PASS - improving their chances of graduating
165 micro business loans changing women’s lives
250+  primary school children participate in Sara Juma clubs each year
300+ kids visit Longido District Learning Centre each week 
TEMBO Canada is a registered charitable organization working to support women and girls in northern Tanzania.

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