When we first met Medson in 2010, he was a quiet, kind, generous orphan from a remote village who grew up living with his grandmother and siblings. He was a bright and studious student while attending his local government secondary school, but had few prospects after his graduation. The GLK Student Fund and a generous donor were able to assist Medson through three years of his nursing school, practical training and earning his diploma. During his schooling he delivered over 23 babies including a breech birth and made mid-wifery his major.
Medson is now a young man who loves his work and is well-suited to assisting and comforting his patients. When the GLK Student Fund volunteers visited Tanzania recently, he expressed his gratefulness for the scholarship. Without this, he would be living a life of poverty, farming a small plot of land by hard manual labor
Anna Grace’s father died before she could begin school, but she attended a government school in her village up to class two. She was performing excellently. Unfortunately, her mother began suffering from serious and violent episodes of a mental illness, even threatening the lives of her children. Anna Grace and her siblings ran away and tried to find people who would assist them.
She found shelter with a family friend and word came to us of her need. We were able to arrange for her acceptance in an excellent private school where she is thriving in a new, safe environment. The high level of education suits her bright and inquisitive mind and she is always at the top of her class. Anna Grace has recently become a computer monitor and has taken on other leadership roles in her school.
Recently, Anna Grace has completed both primary school and the “pre-form one” course.The “Pre-Form One” course is a two-three month study time that many young girls in Tanzania take between primary and secondary school. Most private secondary schools offer this to help ensure that students will smoothly transition from primary to secondary school. In the wake of many pressures young women in Africa face during adolescence, this course is also used as a means to protect them within a safe environment.
Annagrace, has recently completed her Pre-Form One course with flying colors (staight A’s), and will be ready to tackle secondary school in January. Annagrace has come so far already in her young academic career. She knows the value of safety as a key factor in securing her education.
Chryzostom is a young handy-man. He is cheerful, friendly, smart, and can fix almost anything. He is very well liked in his community. Chryzostom is also an orphan who completed primary school in his village before moving to the town of Bukoba on the shores of Lake Victoria. He received a scholarship for vocational school and learned the very useful skill of sewing. He has started his own business, but also works in a local business producing clothing.
Chryzostom is industrious and hardworking. His happy spirit is infectious. He is now happily married and is doing well at a local sewing industry. His work is valued in both garment construction and company representation to schools and businesses.
Nancy came to us as a bright young primary school student. She has since graduated with excellent results and gone on to secondary school Her father is a pastor, and her mother raises beans and maize. Because of extremely low salaries and financial difficulties, they were only able to pay a quarter of the school fees of her primary school KEMPS. Nancy has received a partial scholarship from a pastor’s family in the United States that supplemented the amount her parents could pay and allowed her to complete her primary school education at a good school.
Nancy was always at the top of her class and was also elected head girl (prefect) of the school. She was thrilled to attend graduation ceremonies and gives thanks to her sponsors and teachers for her success. Although earlier she was interested in pursuing a degree in engineering, she now says that she is considering becoming a pastor – like her father and her sponsor. We are happy to support Nancy and know that, with her calm spirit and confidence, she will continue to succeed.
Philemon was just about to finish primary school when his father died. His mother died a few years later. The loss of parents took its toll as did new responsibilities caring for his younger siblings. Philemon is very aware of his responsibilities as head of the family and is doing all he can to fulfill them. There is almost no assistance from relatives.
With scholarship help from GLK and other friends, Philemon has finished his exams and earned a Bachelor Degree of Science in Procurement and Supply Chain Management (BScP) at St. Augustine University of Tanzania. He sent us a copy of his research paper in July. It is called, “An Assessment of the Challenges of Procurement Management Information System – A Case of Bukoba Municipal Council”. Needless to say, we were impressed. This paper is dedicated to his guardians and sponsors who include Pastor Martin and Dr. Anthea Bethge (Germany) and the Trustees of the GLK Student Fund.
Philemon has been working as a program associate for the GLK Scholarship Fund since October 2015. His work, particularly in getting new candidates to school, has been professional and caring. Philemon has been an asset to the fund. We are very pleased for his service to the scholarship students, the donors, and the trustees and happy that he has the opportunity to give back and be able to share his experiences and wisdom with our current students.
In September 2016, the GLK Student Fund trustees asked
“What would your life have been like without the scholarship you received from GLK?”
The reaction was usually a shocked look, followed by a comment on how hard life would have been as a peasant farmer or without the chance to earn an adequate living. We will tell these stories with you in the coming year, but today we share a few words from Bertha. She received a partial GLK scholarship to help her attend an excellent High School. Sponsors Pete and Deb Johnson encouraged her to study the major of her interest even though there were few female engineering students.
In Bertha’s own words her response was:
“I am a 23 year old lady, a Mechanical Engineering graduate from Mbeya University of Science and Technology… I also happen to have been awarded “Best Female Graduating Student” at Tanzania’s Annual Engineers’ Day on September 1, 2016 in Dar-es-Salaam.
Deb and Pete Johnson through the GLK Student Fund helped fund my high school education at Kajumulo Alexander Girls’ High School in Bukoba which to a big percent I owe my excellent academic foundation
. Had it not been for studying at this high school, who knows which university would have admitted me or if I would meet admission requirements at all. So having come across such funding and people, my family and I have had a beautiful story to tell about GLK and Deb and Pete (Johnson).
Having received this, I also intend to give back to the society…… I dream of starting up an auto-workshop and a clothing line here in Bukoba where I would love to employ people from difficult living environments; I dream of training them and taking them to schools something not far different from the GLK foundation (Fund). The GLK foundation helped me learn that what we may/can become is not necessarily achieved through our own efforts; we live in a village, we help each other, and it is a beautiful thing. So no matter where we come from, we could be the best.
So, thanks to the GLK foundation (GLK Student Fund) and to Deb and Pete Johnson for so much more than just financial support, but also for the inspiration and motivation. God bless.”
Prior to any intervention from the GLK Student Fund, Consista’s education was frequently interrupted by being sent home from school because of her family’s inability to pay the fees. While her family worked hard in agriculture, the unpredictability of the crops caused a significant strain on her family’s finances. With the help of the GLK Student Fund, Consista was able to complete her university education without further interruptions. Consista now teaches history and geography at Iweyoumbe Secondary School. She also helps her family financially by supporting her sister’s education and livelihood, and by assisting her parents in building a home. Consista is grateful that she and her new husband (also a teacher), are now in a position to provide stability to those they care about.
As the youngest of eight children, Ezra had small hopes of an education. His family was very poor. In February 2012, GLK granted him a partial scholarship at Bukoba Lutheran Teachers’ College where Ezra pursued his dream of becoming a teacher. He received his certificate in 2013 and was hired by the Tanzanian government to teach at Mugwanza Primary School. Ezra says that his employment has had a profound impact on his life. In addition to touching the lives of his students, he is helping to support his family – even assisting his niece with her secondary level schooling. Ezra is a great example of how helping one student can have a substantial ripple effect in the community.