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Tanzania –Giving a Little to Make a Big Difference

23 January 2015

As you are aware, at BISS Puxi we strongly believe that a child’s education is not just about developing their academic abilities but also about developing the right values, attitudes and attributes to be successful in life.

To give you a little inspiration, here's last year's Year 3 dressed for their Africa Day.

We place great emphasis on education for character and ensuring our students care about society and other people, on a local and global level. We want them to understand what citizenship means, to recognise and value the differences and similarities between people in different cultures, and importantly, to appreciate all the wonderful opportunities and experiences that are afforded to them.

Our Tanzania Global Classroom Expedition is a great way for us to help develop these values in our students. This year we have 34 Year 9 & 10 students who will travel to Tanzania in March to take part in a challenging service project. The students and teachers will be involved in a wide range of impactful projects including; teaching in the local school; construction and renovation work at the school, orphanage or goat sheds; and spending time at the orphanage sharing their time and skills with the young children who live there.

This will be an amazing trip for these students- both challenging and exciting. They will have to show adaptability and resilience as they cope with the basic living accommodation, the heat and insects and the lack of technology.  They will certainly need to show determination and perseverance to cope when things get tough so far from home. But they will also have an amazing time, realising that making an effort to help others will bring them a sense of personal joy and wellbeing. They will be humbled by the optimism and hope of the people they meet in Tanzania and develop gratitude for how fortunate their lives are in comparison to those of so many others. They will also realise that while they are going to Tanzania to help, they themselves will probably take away more than they are able to give.

But this trip is not just about these powerful experiences for these students, it is a project from which each member of our school community can learn and one to which we can each contribute. In both primary and secondary we have led assemblies to highlight this project and raise student awareness of the challenges that young people face in Tanzania. We have been explaining the impact that we can make – the hands on support by our students in Tanzania, but also how we can each contribute by donating a little money.  Our contributions can be used in lots of ways; to improve the quality of the education for the students, we can paint an orphanage dormitory to make the children’s lives a little brighter and more comfortable, and we can buy some goats and a goat shed to provide the villagers with a sustainable income. By giving just a little we can make a big difference.

As a statement of support and to raise awareness for this Tanzania project, we will be having an African Safari Day on Friday February 6. On this day students can pay 20 RMB to come in non-uniform BUT their clothing must be linked to the Safari theme. I am sure the younger students will be delighted to come to school in an animal onsie or animal t-shirt, alternatively they could make a mask or dress up in safari clothes. Our older students might prefer to be little more subtle and wear clothes with an animal print or face paint some animal features.  We hope to get maximum engagement to raise both awareness and funds for this Tanzania project.  (Please be reminded however, that the purpose is to raise awareness and some money and therefore we ask you to be creative in borrowing or adapting things that you already have. Please do not go out and spend money on costumes as we would rather you donate this money to our Tanzania fund and help the children in Tanzania!) So get searching in your wardrobes for your best outfits and get your 20 RMB ready to give to Tanzania.

If you would like to know more about this great project and the work that Nord Anglia Education are doing in Tanzania, visit Global Classroom.