Sports Development Aid supports students and their communities in pursuit of their dreams. Learn about some of the incredible people it has been our privilege to assist on their journeys towards achieving an education and a better life for younger generations.
“I’m very grateful for Sports Development Aid for introducing the Empowered Girls Speak Out project in our school. I have paid attention in the Action Club and I have discovered who I am and started appreciating myself. I have realized that I am valuable. The club gave me confidence and hope which helped me to improve my grades. Now, due to my self-confidence and good school performance, I’ve become an example girl for others in my school. I’m proud to be the first girl to finish the second grade with the best scores in my school. I’m determined to continue studying hard and pursue my dream of becoming an engineer. I want to make people proud of me.”
Bi. Mwanashuru, a 75-year-old lady, is known for many girls and community members as girls’ initiation ritual unyago leader or kungwi. Mwanashuru has been a kungwi for decades, preparing young girls for adolescence and marriage. Traditionally unyago has marked girls’ transition to adulthood preparing them for the role of wife and mother. Nowadays girls’ life path has changed due to education and unyago has become contradictory to modern-day needs. It has been blamed for encouraging young girls to quit their studies, start intimate relationships and pursue early marriage, leading to teenage pregnancies and sustained poverty.
Bi. Mwanashuru is one of the kungwis showing the new way for unyago. She has been part of reforming the tradition to prepare girls for their future by promoting the importance of education and confident, proactive girls. She is appreciated by the community as an educator of the girls teaching them about puberty, how to take care of themselves, and how to prevent diseases and early pregnancies.
“During the project I have been invited to the radios in Mtwara to talk to the girls and women about unyago and marriage. The most important thing SDA has taught me is that education for girls is the most important thing for them – and their communities in this world. Before I came in contact with SDA, I used to teach girls in unyago about how to take care of the household and family and how to please their husband as a wife, but through the seminars I have participated in, I have discovered that it wasn’t good for me to teach the children about adult matters. It does no good for them. Nowadays I have changed and people appreciate my work and take me more seriously. They want their daughters to be initiated by me, rather than other, old-fashioned kungwis and that’s also good for me, since parents pay us kungwis to train their girls in unyago.”
“In 2012, I finished my primary school education but my parents were reluctant to send me to secondary school because of my disability. It took a lot of convincing but in the end, they agreed to send me to secondary school. In 2016, I sat the O-level final national examination but unfortunately my grades were not very satisfactory and that’s when my family gave up on my education. It was a very sad and depressing time for me because despite not getting the best grades, I was still keen on going to school, learning and developing. I had a goal to be a Human Resource degree holder and at this point it felt unattainable.
Luckily, I still had it in me to keep trying and looking for other means. ‘Where there is a will there is a way’ they say. And so I continued with my search. I spoke to people I knew and those I didn’t until one day I was speaking to the right person. In 2017 I got a sponsor who sent me to Tanzania Public Service College in Mtwara to complete a one-year secretarial course (a certificate level), after which I continued to a diploma level supported by my lecturer. However, unfortunately I got help with the first-year school fees only and then I was searching for a sponsor again. Thankfully, I found Sports Development Aid, who assisted me with my final year’s school fees through their Education Support project, funded by the Karimjee Jivanjee Foundation. Without them I’m not so sure that I could have my Secretarial Diploma.
My wish is that the community and parents who have disabled people in their homes would make sure they support them, because people with disabilities are as capable as any other human being of participating in society. They can study, work, play, etc. My journey has not been the easiest but it has been a blessed one. I am so thankful to my sponsors SDA and KJF for believing in me and taking a chance on me when no one else did. They have shown the way and now it’s up to the community to follow their footsteps. Let’s support and encourage each other despite our differences.
Girls Action Club
“This club has helped me and my friends to do better in examinations and pass them and to gain confidence and self-awareness. Self-aware girls are confident. For example, now I can stand in front of an audience and speak about different matters.” – Rehema from Sino Secondary school
“I have learned important health and life skills in Girls Action Clubs, for example, Girls and Education. Now I know who I am, and what I’m coming to school for. I have found the purpose of education. Additionally, I’ve learned about different developmental stages in human life, and the changes and difficulties related to each stage. Adolescence can be very hard and risky time for many of us girls. We can easily stray away from the right path, thus never reaching our goals and dreams. Therefore, I’m proud to say, that in my school, us girls are now more educated and aware of the risks related to adolescence, and we know how to cope with them and protect ourselves.” – Elizabeth from Sino Secondary school.
“In 2017 Desideria completed her O level education and was keen on going to college to study plumbing. I knew I could not afford to take her but I also knew that would not stop my grand-daughter from furthering her studies. In the midst of struggling to find a sponsor, Sports Development Aid offered to help with her college degree through their Education Support project with the Karimjee Jivanjee Foundation, which helps children with disabilities in getting a good education so they could access employment, healthcare and other services. There are a lot of children with disabilities who need help especially in education and I am proud of SDA and the KJF for acknowledging this special group and providing a helping hand”. (Written by Desideria’s grandmother.)
“In 2019, I completed my O-level studies and passed with flying colors. It was a bittersweet feeling because I knew my mom could not afford to send me for further studies. I remember being at home hopeless, until one Thursday evening my mom came home with a big smile on her face, she held me close and told me to prepare because on Monday I will be going to college to pursue my education and training as a Clinical Officer. I was so happy but curious to know how this was possible.
She said a friend of hers told her to visit Sports Development Aid and try her luck. Because she didn’t want to get my hopes up, she decided to apply for aid without telling me. After numerous conversations and assessments, SDA offered me a scholarship for my advanced level secondary education. I am so thankful to both KJF and SDA for this opportunity and I promise to not stop chasing my dreams.