Archive for October, 2009

Emusoi girls come to UK to launch book

In October 2009, two Maasai girls from Emusoi, Naha and Esupat, braved their first ever journey by aeroplane to travel to the UK for the launch of their book, Emusoi. The book launch, which took place at Macmillan HQ on October 7th, was attended by DfiD Minister of State, Gareth Thomas.

Naha & Esupat

Naha (24), left, now in her second year at Arusha Business College studying banking and accountancy, intends to use her qualifications to help women in her village benefit from Tanzania’s growing tourist industry by creating their own businesses selling Maasai jewellery and handcrafts. Esupat (15), right, who ran away from home last year rather than face enforced marriage to a total stranger the same age as her father, wants to be a lawyer so that she can stand up for her people’s rights. (Photo by Simon Davis, Department for International Development, DfID. To find out more : www.dfid.gov.uk )
Maasai school visit

(Photo by Enfield Advertiser)

On Friday October 9th, the two girls received a warm welcome at St Ignatius’ College, Enfield, where they told students about their book and answered questions about the challenges facing them in Africa. They attended Mass in the school chapel, sampled some traditional fish, chips and baked beans in the canteen, and gave an interview on IC, the school radio station.

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Naha and Esupat, from Tanzania, sixth-formers Joe Hollingshead, Sophie Gorne and Rebecca Merritt, and Stanley Bijura who is from Tanzania at Bartholomew School (Photo by Witney Gazette)

Naha & Esupat with Sarah Brown

Naha and Esupat were invited to tea at No 10 Downing Street by Mrs Sarah Brown. They also visited the home of Mrs Cherie Blair and made a tour of Oxford University. (Photo by Flickr 10 Downing Street)

Latest e-mail from Sr Mary at Emusoi, sent 6th October 2009 “Thousands of young women are coming to the gates of Emusoi every day. I cannot trust myself to go and meet them because I find it impossible to turn anyone away. These girls are so vulnerable. Their mothers beg us to keep them in a safe place. But we look after 700 girls already. We have nowhere to put any more. We have no money to feed them, let alone pay their school fees. It is so hard.”

The two girls also gave a number of press interviews.

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October 30, 2009 at 9:36 am 1 comment

Dogodogo boys visit David Blunkett and UK

In March 2009, David Blunkett MP collaborated with Lord Amir Bhatia, British Airways and Best Western Hotels to arrange a 5-day visit to the UK for two of the Dogodogo boys, Aloys, 18, and Dickson, 19.

Dogodogo boys No10

"We hope that the visit will enrich the global citizenship curriculum in UK schools by encouraging discussion amongst students of both nationalities of important issues such as poverty and children’s rights. It will raise awareness of the problems faced by street children in Tanzania, and promote closer links between schools and youth centres in the two countries.” David Blunkett MP (Photo by Ben Hamilton)

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For Aloys’ account of the visit, including tea with Cherie Blair, go to http://www.bwbct.org News Page, Tanzanian street children. (Photo by Ben Hamilton)

October 30, 2009 at 9:06 am Leave a comment

GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP AND WHY OUR KIDS MUST LEARN ABOUT AFRICA BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE

Taking Global Citizenship Seriously

My name is Kasia Parham. I’m a Mum and a teacher, but recently I turned my hand to writing resources for teaching and learning global awareness. There’s a serious shortage of good material which really engage kids in classrooms. Too often, students spend citizenship lessons aimlessly surfing the internet “finding out about people less fortunate than ourselves” or even just catching up on homework. The exam-driven curriculum in our schools means that teachers and students do not treat citizenship as a serious subject.

This is a big mistake. What is going on in the developing world affects everyone. If young people in developed countries do not learn about what’s going on, there is no hope for any of us. What use are A*s in English and Maths then?

Tanzanian Street Kids

My first book, Dogodogo, funded by Unicef, was published by Macmillan in 2007. It contains the stories of 8 Tanzanian street kids from the Dogodogo Centre in Dar es Salaam. While my husband was serving as British High Commissioner to Tanzania, I was working at the centre as a volunteer English teacher.

Dogodogo launch

We launched Dogodogo at the British High Commissioner's Residence in Dar es Salaam in October 2007. Mama Salma Kikwete, First Lady of Tanzania, and Cherie Blair, who wrote the foreword for the book, and the eight boys who feature in the book, all came to the launch party. The guy on the far right with glasses is the High Commissioner.

Linking with real kids in real time

Since then, I’ve used the book with pupils of all ages and abilities (including EAL). Some of my lesson plans are available on the IB web platform as part of their Sharing Our Humanity Theme. The stories are heartbreaking, but the courage of the kids, all boys, is inspiring. Because the stories are so personal, they are an effective way to get schoolchildren to think about important development issues such as poverty, a child’s right to education, the effect of HIV/Aids on families and communities and climate change. These are real issues facing real children in real time.

You can order the book from Amazon. Since all the royalties go to the Dogodogo Centre, I want to sell as many possible.

October 22, 2009 at 11:13 am 2 comments


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