The future of our older children is currently our biggest challenge.
The boys below had just finished their national exams; they were very happy to help out on the farm with some backbreaking work in the Tanzanian summer heat – their relationship with our managers is strong.
The oldest boy, who had completed A levels, then travelled 500 miles north to do three months compulsory national service in the army. Now the results are out- and we have our first A level success story. He passed in all 3 subjects and will now undertake a diploma course in accounting, starting later this year. The two younger boys took O levels. Their results were not good enough to continue to A Levels, so they will do professional courses; one will do a legal certificate qualification and the other will study to become a purchasing manager.
Some older children are already studying for job qualifications in medicine, teaching and social work.
Children who did vocational training are now trying to get work in a very depressed job market. Two boys are working in a pipe factory in Dar es Salaam. One girl is working in a hair salon, another as a seamstress. Others are still looking for work. It is hard for them, and difficult for our staff to manage.
Looking forward, we do have one major strategy…
That is to utilise Lifewaylight, a relatively new primary school that opened just outside our own gates. This school teaches in smaller class sizes and only in English (at a cost of around € 500 a year per child).
Most of the 26 children we have at Lifewaylight are in the younger classes. However, we do have one boy in the final year class who will finish at the end of the academic year in November. This boy is very clever and has had a good educational start in a class of only 18 students.
We have never had a child achieve better than a C grade in the national exams at the end of primary school. We are hoping this boy gets at least a B. It will set a good example for the younger ones! His English is already excellent, and this will help him enormously in secondary school – and eventually in the job market.
Meanwhile, the work we are doing to help Mkuranga Primary to expand its capacity is moving ahead rapidly. Windows and doors are being constructed, and plastering is nearly finished. We still have children who need to use the public system (mainly because they were older when they arrived with us, and cannot cope with learning in English).
Of course, we are not just concerned with the children’s academic progress and movement into the job market. We try to help them develop an awareness of issues such as female rights, and we took advantage of an excellent course that was put on near to our Children’s Village in Mkuranga. All our older girls attended.
Do consider leaving Malaika Kids something in your will. There is advice on our website
If you would like us to help arrange some specific legal advice to make or change a will, do contact us.