Here at She’s the First, the Research Team is assigned to certain schools in the directory, and we check in quarterly with the directors to find out what’s new with the girls. I am assigned to one of our partner programs in Tanzania, Village Schools International, which has received a few sponsorships through She’s the First — one came from students at the University of Notre Dame, another from raffle proceeds of an Urban Girl Squad event in NYC. In this update, I’m proud to present very exciting news: VSI recently held their first graduation ceremony!
VSI brings missionary teachers and community members together to build schools in small villages in Tanzania and raise funds for scholarships to give students the education they can’t otherwise afford. Starting with just three schools in 2005, VSI now has 19 schools. The Lukima Secondary School, located in the small village of Maguu, graduated 38 students on September 17 — and 20 of them were girls! Everyone from government officials, parents, and the community members attended the graduation, which consisted of day-long festivities with dancing, food and music.
Steve Vinton, one of the school’s founders, shared his thoughts on the momentous day with us:
“It was tremendously exciting for people and it was pure joy. What I know is that all of those who have graduated have the world before them and their futures are infinitely brighter than if they had not been able to go to school. All of our students are know in Tanzania as “wasiochaguliwa” — the “unchosen ones.” We take all of the kids who aren’t chosen for the few places available in the government boarding schools. I love seeing them get a chance at life. Graduation at Lukima was a great day, a great victory for those on the bottom who struggle for a better life for their kids. They did something wonderful.”
To learn more about Village Schools International or to sponsor a student via She’s the First, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.villageschools.org/donate.html.