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Some days stand out
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Written by Katoke
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 00:00

Rowena Bragg, deputy principal at Katoke Lweru School, shares her feelings about some memorable times

Often the days here are like those at home – not that they aren’t full, but they go by in what has become the expected rhythm. Even the diversions are factored in, such as random power cut-offs. But then some days come along and, for some reason, often to me unfathomable, they stand out.

Two days last week were like that. Thursday morning started with the normal assembly and staff devotion/communication. I was called to the office for a girl who was burning up, straining to breathe. I put her in the recovery position while Sid (headmaster) got the car. She became unresponsive but revived at the clinic while they were putting in a drip. (She had malaria, but will recover).

I returned to school to find Beatrice and her 16-year-old daughter, Doreen, waiting. Yuda, our Academic Master, said I really needed to see them. Pastor Enock, the school chaplain who is from their village, told me their story. Beatrice’s husband died from AIDS, their five other children have also passed away. Beatrice is HIV -positive and on ARV treatment; miraculously Doreen has escaped the virus. She completed Form 2 last year and was being supported at school by her uncle, a policeman. Last year he was sent to a neighboring area, Karagwe, to catch elephant poachers but was shot and killed. There seemed no prospect of Doreen completing her education.  It was one of those moments that come along much too often. In my office the pastor, Yuda and I all had tears in our eyes. Beatrice had a dignity and faith that defied her horrific circumstances and Doreen had a hope that to me was brave.

Of course we allowed her to join our school and we await a sponsor. Then followed a very sick boy, Alistedes, who joined the school this year. He is an orphan whose guardian is his disabled older brother. Their other brother is a poor farmer who tries to support them, as well as his own family. Alistedes is a sad boy who cannot yet trust that this opportunity at school will not disappear; a fair enough concern. He is another who needs a sponsor.

Due to the goings-on Peter and I had to postpone a visit to the home of one of our students, Watson. He is 27, not married but responsible for a household of 13. It includes his grandmother, his sister and her two children, an orphan who has lived with him for seven years following the death of his mother, and now three more children whose parents have been forcibly removed back to Rwanda by the Tanzanian government.

Then along came Friday. We visited three villages to see families who had applied for sponsorship. Each student had only one carer, most struggling to support many children while living in mud and thatch houses, most not weatherproof. It’s a sobering way to spend time. But village views are often magnificent and as you walk through them there are sounds of playing and chatter and people passing time at the small dukas (shops). It’s a communal and social way of life, albeit hard.

However, along with all of this there are moments of sheer beauty. On Friday morning we walked outside to see a hornbill sitting on the rail; the moon and night sky are always amazing. Views of the lake make us stop and wonder, as does watching workers take such pride and joy in what they are doing. We have just expanded the library and all involved in the renovation worked so hard. It looks fantastic. Everyone, including Peter and I, are proud of it.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 19:02
 
Form 1 and Form 3 November 2013 District exam results
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Written by Katoke
Sunday, 02 March 2014 00:00

The excellent 2013 Katoke-Lweru Secondary School (KLSS) exam results continue with the recent release of the Form 1 and 3 Muleba district exam results.

Form 1 students at KLSS achieved 2nd overall ranking in the district out of 45 schools with 1st place in Physics and Kiswahili, and 2nd place in English, Civics, Geography, Chemistry and Biology.

Form 3 students achieved 3rd overall ranking in district out of 42 schools with 2nd place in English, Chemistry, Civics and Kiswahili, and 3rd place in History and Biology.

We congratulate Sid Moir (Headmaster), Rowena Bragg (Dep. Head), staff, students and expatriate support staff for these excellent results.  The contribution of all school support staff and Katoke Trust volunteers is also acknowledged as all contribute to the positive and encouraging learning environment at KLSS.

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 02 March 2014 22:20
 
Outstanding Form 2 results
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Written by Katoke
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 00:00

Katoke-Lweru Secondary School (KLSS) has received outstanding results in the Western Lake Tanzanian Education Zone Form 2 exams held in September 2013. KLSS achieved a rank of 17th of the 407 schools (in top 5%) tested.   Regionally, KLSS ranked 9th out of 250 schools and 3rd of 42 schools within the local district. Students are tested in English, Mathematics, Civics, History, Geography, Kiswahili, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

85% of students achieved a subject average of either A or B, with all students eligible for progression to Forms 3 and 4.  Of particular note were the excellent results in English and Mathematics.  The school achieved an outstanding average of 88% in English with a ranking of 8th in Zone, and 67% in Mathematics and 10th in Zone (407 schools).

KLSS students also sat an additional non-compulsory Mathematics test called ‘Additional Mathematics’. This is more rigorous and is a good measure of the Mathematics talent in the school as well as reflecting the quality of Mathematics teaching.  KLSS achieved 1st in Western Lake Tanzanian Education Zone (407 schools).  This is an outstanding result.

We congratulate Sid Moir (Headmaster), Rowena Bragg (Deputy Head) and all staff for their conscientious and tireless efforts in providing the very best education possible for Katoke students.  The additional support provided by visiting short and long term expatriate staff is also reflected in these results.

We of course also congratulate the Katoke students who highly value their educational opportunities and who study and work with great enthusiasm, consistency and purpose.

We look forward to continuing excellent results from these students as they progress through KLSS into Form 3 and beyond from 2014.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 16:19
 
What can students do when they graduate from Katoke?
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Written by Katoke
Friday, 21 February 2014 00:00

This is the story of one of the earliest graduates from KLSS.

Mary came to Katoke-Lweru Secondary School (KLSS) as an unmarried mother after being expelled because of the pregnancy from another secondary school.

She and her family were in despair over her future and that of her son, Kierney.

But a sponsor was found and so she was able to continue her education at KLSS. This gave her hope that she could turn her life around.

Mary, (pictured), put her head down and worked very hard for the next four years. She sat for the national exams in Tanzania in 2012 and passed.

Following this her sponsor kindly agreed to help her with a one-year certificate course to train as a nursery school teacher at a Montessori college in Dar es Salaam. She completed this course in 2013.

Imagine her joy when she found employment at a school in our local area, which means she will now be able to support her little boy and also assist her family.

She is a different person, with a future and hope, and a strong faith in God, who is full of compassion for those who are vulnerable, as Mary was.

 

Last Updated on Monday, 24 February 2014 08:50
 
Over $40,000 raised - thank you!
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Written by Katoke
Friday, 09 August 2013 00:00

Thank you for being part of something special.

When we first set out to build the Katoke Secondary School in Tanzania several years ago, we knew that we were at the beginning of a long journey. It truly was a big task that lay ahead, and one that we could not accomplish alone. By contributing to the Katoke Trust for Overseas Aid, you have also become part of this incredible journey. You have given a child the priceless gift of education. You have changed a life, a community and a nation.

This year the Katoke Trust Annual Benefit Dinner raised over $40,000 - an incredible result! There are also five students who will be able to attend school next year thanks to the generosity of their new sponsors.

I look forward to updating you on the building progress of the dining hall over the next 12 months. There are still 19 tables ($25 each) and 76 bench seats ($20 each) left to be purchased. If you are able to contribute to help us complete the dining hall please donate through givenow or contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

On behalf of the Katoke Trust for Overseas Aid and the people of Katoke, I would like to say thank you for your generosity and ongoing support.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 November 2013 17:36
 
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