Our monthly newsletter highlights the progress your donations are making in the community of Nshupu, Tanzania. It is a brief and informative email, but rest assured that improvements are continuously happening in the village.
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You may have noticed from a recent posting on our Facebook that some students at Precious English Medium Primary School are wearing a different school uniform. The material of the new uniforms is more comfortable for the hot climate. Girls have more freedom with the addition of pants. That's not the only change at Precious Project.We also have a new look for our website in order to give you a better user experience.
Precious began its music program last year with a significant gift from a major donor to purchase sound equipment and instruments. Under the program, students at Precious English Medium School are offered lessons to learn to play the keyboard, drums, and guitar, as well as sing with the school choir. The program is so popular that during school breaks, you can hear the unmistakenable sounds of the music instruments.
Connie Berry, a writer for Martha's Vineyard Times, interviews Elliot Kronstein, Precious Project's Board of Directors President, and David Finkelstein, an optometrist and Precious volunteer. Both recently returned from Nshupu, Tanzania and share Precious's history and accomplishments in the village, including current developments at Precious English Medium School.
Visiting Optometrist, Dr. David Finkelstein, spent two days at the Precious English Medium Primary School examining our students' eyes. Preliminary screening determined which students might have some vision difficulties and they were prioritized for appointments. Dr. Finkelstein brought as much equipment as he safely could pack. The Lion's Club, Seekonk branch, donated many glasses to Precious Project.
Early education is one of the most powerful means of securing future academic success. Because of this, when the Precious Children's Home moved to its existing location, the original small empty cement house became a nursery school for the children of Nshupu. In 2016, the Precious English Medium Primary School was built and the nursery school class was moved into the school.
Precious Orphans and Children’s Home recently invested in expanding the farm. The first thing our co-founder and director, William Modest, did was expand the chicken coop to accommodate 200 more chickens. William estimates that the new total of 300 chickens could produce up to 7-8 trays of eggs/day. The eggs will be sold to local hotels and lodges to build revenue.
On October 20th, over 400 parents, family members, friends, and students turned out to celebrate the nine students who comprised the first graduating class of the Precious English Medium Primary School. The graduating class maintained high grades making the Precious English Medium Primary School the number one school in the district; number ten in the region and ranking 106 out of 6,726 primary schools in Tanzania.
Volunteers, Ina Ghaznavi and Allan Andersen, have a passion for enthusing students about STEAM . Since 2015, they've been working to provide students the tools and skills to advance their learning and succeed in the new digital economy and beyond. In August, they brought additional iPads and science equipment including wifi-enabled digital microscopes for the students to discover their micro-world.
The August parents meeting was extremely well-attended. Headmistress Madame Debora Kileo gave a report on the activities since January and talked about teacher training, new laptops, i-pads, textbooks, and musical instruments. She explained the dormitories including why housing the fourth and seventh graders was important to their scholastic success.
Solar panels are now providing electricity to all buildings on the Precious campus including the Home, School, Community Center/Dining Hall, and Dormitories! The system is rated to produce 5120 watts of DC power, which charges the DC battery bank. An inverter converts the DC power to AC power which is connected to the wiring of the buildings on campus.
Our fourth and seventh-grade students will board in the new dorms for six months of weekends leading up to the National Exams. Boarding will give them an additional 16 hours of studying and tutoring a week. It is imperative that the 4th-graders pass the National Exams so that they don’t have to repeat third and fourth grade. It is critical that the 7th-graders pass the exams so they can continue to secondary school.
Precious Project has been tasked with growing its donor base by a dedicated and generous donor who has promised to match all donations from NEW donors up to $100,000! We are seeking new donors and are turning to you, our loyal supporters, to ask if you could help us champion our cause. Also, we are proud to announce the results of our students' performance on the mock National Examinations taken earlier this month.....
NSHUPU - Dehydrated, hungry and naked, Thomas (not his real name) was recently rescued by Precious Project. In March, co-founder Susie Rheault led a teacher training on child abuse, and certain at-risk children were identified. A month later, when one of these children did not come to school for two days, co-founders William and Sarah Modest and social worker, Irene Peter Assey, paid a visit to the child’s home.
NSHUPU - Precious Project is planning to build dormitories in an effort to support the fourth and seventh-graders as they prepare to take the national exams. According to Tanzania's Ministry of Education, when fourth-graders fail the national exam twice, they repeat third and fourth grade. When seventh-graders fail once - their scholastic careers are over! They are denied entrance into any school.
NSHUPU - They gather religiously every week. This group of chattering women isn't a knitting circle or a social club. This is business. Precious Project has helped facilitate a women's empowerment group for several years. The group started as a savings and loan group, where women buy into the group with a purchase of shares. Those shares are the pool of money that’s available to be loaned to members of the group.
NSHUPU - Precious Primary School is officially on the map, scoring first in the ward on the Tanzanian National Exam. All of Precious Primary's fourth graders who took the exam passed it. And their scores ranked the school at the top of the ward and 4th in the district out of 300 other schools. This is a testament to the hard work of our teachers and school administration.