Archive for the 'Education' Category

Interviewing the families of St Timothy’s

We kicked up a cloud of dust as we entered the village of New Land, just outside of Moshi, to interview the parents and students of the new St. Timothy’s School we all enabled the community to construct. Bryce (Mama Hope’s Visual Journalist), James (Director of St Timothy’s), Godfrey (New Land’s elected Street-Chair) and I ventured down a dirt road with the mighty Mt Kilimanjaro looming in the background. Our intent, find out why the community identified education as one of their most pressing concerns. Moreover, what impact the addition of St Timothy’s school would bring to the families and community.

Many residents were around doing chores here and there, while others stared at us in wonder. We trailed between mud homes, pig pens and occasional family graves. As we approached our first home to interview many thoughts whirled through my head; so this is life at the $2 a day poverty-line, what is daily life like here, if not for being born in a different country it might be strangers here interviewing me. Finally Bryce and I arrived at our first home.

Thoughts of things I heard and studied about Africa, Africans and global poverty whipped around my mind as we sat down face-to-face with student Theresia and her mother Elis. “Can you tell us about a day in your life?” we asked and James translated. Elis went into detail about how she prepared her home each day before going to work as a laborer in the neighboring maze (corn) fields until sun down. If she is able to pick enough maze that day she is paid 2,500 shillings (about $1.60) and buys dinner for the night. When we asked Theresia what she looked most forward to about starting school at St Timothy’s in January she said it was having a meal everyday.

Then we got into the more focused questions, “What difference does having St Timothy’s School in the communtiy have?” Elis response reflected that of all the families we interviewed, St Timothy’s school sought out and provided an option for the “forgotten kids.” The families made it clear that there were two options for children in their community, attend school and get an education or become a “street kid” exposed to many many dangers. Before St Timothy’s there were no other options for them.

As Bryce and I interviewed Elis and Theresia the grandmother joined us. The grandmother said she had hope that with a quality education Theresia could get a job and bring the family the support they desperately needed. We found it profound to see the hope that education could bring to three generations of family. Mother and Grandmother sought a better life for their family in Theresia’s education at St Timothy’s which had just begun.

This is just a little sample from the interviews we did. I couldn’t capture it all in a blog. I attached some picture of us interviewing the kids and from the footage we took.


St. Timothy’s School, Moshi, Tanzania

Here we have a short overview and progress update on St. Timothy’s School in Moshi, Tanzania. Construction began in September of this year and is expected to be completed by Nov. 30th, with children attending in January 2010. I can’t tell you how exciting it’s been to see this project rise from the fields of Newland village! The efficiency and care our local community partner Tanzania Children Concern has been giving this project is a shining example of how communities know best. From local knowledge of land rights, power and water to the best vendors and manufactures. Again and again, it’s made me believe that communities need to be helped to help themselves!


To read about my nonsense between work, check out my personal blog at:

St. Timothy’s: What I want to be…

What started out as a Q and A about thoughts on the new school turned into a “What I want to be..” fest. It really seems to me that kids throughout the world generally have the same aspirations. Whether it’s about excitement or connecting with people, the occupations are usually somehow related with the people who take care or us. And, of course, there’s always one kid who wants to be president.


Read about my moments between the work on my personal blog at:

St. Timothy’s Students on the New School

Our plans were to ask a few of the students what they thought of the school. Thanks to their vigor we ended up with a mob of children ready to tell us how excited they were about the number of toilets. Amazing since it was mere bricks when they saw it! Afterward, James was telling us that some of them wanted to have class in it before it was even completed.  A few wanted to go live in the construction site.  Wow.


To read about my moments and people between the work, check out my personal blog at:

St. Timothy’s Kids Visiting the Site

This was a treat to behold. On October 14th, all the current St. Timothy Students got to visit the construction site of the new school. What’s not included in the video is the jostling and kid climbing the kids did to get into the buses that brought them to the school! Hope you find it as ridiculouly cute as I did.

– Bryce

To read about my moments between the work, check out my personal blog at:

Lucia, James and Facebook Causes

Here’s a video of Tanzania Children Concern Founder, James Nathaniel getting a lesson about what the heck Facebook Causes is from Lucia. I also had it explained to me about 3 minutes before this video was shot.

You can check out our Causes page for yourself here:


To read about my moments between the work, check out my personal blog at:

St. Timothy’s Update

by Lucia Crenshaw


When I wrote you the last blog, I said that I thought things were about to get moving really fast, and I sit here today, exactly one month after breaking ground on the school, completely blown away by just how fast they have gotten moving.

The new school, two months ago just a barren piece of land, is now a completed foundation, and the beginning stages of the exterior walls. So, needless to say, the past month has been extremely busy.

The more time I am here, the more I am aware of things that I take for granted—things both learned and observed. When it comes to the school, I have realized just how reliant I am on technology to build and cultivate things, and how here, almost everything is done by hand. This might not seem like a “no-brainer”—Africa is behind the times when it comes to technology. But after watching the progress of this school, I am starting to wonder if we are not the ones who are in fact “lagging behind in terms of development,” and by development, I mean actually building something from the ground up.


In the past month, I have witnessed exactly this—a building process that is tedious; however, it is beyond resourceful and it involves the whole community. Neighbors store and guard the building supplies; women cook lunches and bring them to the site; and local masons combine their skill and expertise in such a way as to make it look effortless. Many of the workers are members of the community with whom Tanzania Children Concern does outreach with—some are masons who have worked on the current orphanage, others are parents of some of the students. I guess for all of these reasons and more, that is why I get the feeling that this project goes deeper than bricks and mortar. It is a true community project—designed by, built by, and sustained by the community that it will serve.

Tanzania Children Concern has been trying to build this school for over 5 years, but due to financial restraints, they have been unable to do so. James says that this past spring, he received a letter saying that St. Timothy’s must register (which means build a school) as soon as possible, and at the time, he had no idea what they were going to do. He then said, “I can’t believe that I am getting to witness this (the building of the school) in my lifetime! I am just so overjoyed; I can’t wait!” I am right there with James—I feel privileged to be a part of this!

To read more of my personal stories from St. Timothy’s check out my blog:

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