Celebrations: 50 Years of VSO in Tz....SEGA featured in their publications

VSO Tanzania
50 Years of Partnership
During the latter part of 2011, I had the pleasure of three CUSO-VSO (Canadian branch of VSO) representatives visiting SEGA and witnessing the intensive work being done. Much of the interview information, pictures and videos were used in the promotion of the work being done by VSO Education in Tanzania. Shown above is the front cover of the book published to recognise and celebrate 50 years of VSO’s active participation in Tanzania which features my Pre-Formal Intensive English class. 2011. Nasura is just one of our many focused and hungry students desperately wanting to, and working hard towards, succeeding in mastering their command of the English language.
Educating girls out of poverty

VSO is assisting teachers to use participatory methods at the Secondary Education for Girls’
Advancement (SEGA) School in Morogoro

When Lucy Richard was 14, she was a “house girl” who
cooked, cleaned and washed laundry for a family in return
for room and board and a small salary which she gave to her
impoverished, widowed mother. After the first month, the
salary disappeared and she was trapped in a job destined to
keep her illiterate, dependent and poor.
One day at church, her pastor told the congregation that a
new secondary school for girls was starting up in Morogoro
and was looking for students. She talked to the pastor after
the service, walked for two hours to the school office and
was told the intake process was already completed. But she
was determined to go back to school so they let her write the
entrance exams anyway. “The headmistress came to my house
and said get ready for school- I passed the exam,” Lucy says,
her smile widening at the memory. “I was so happy. I jumped
up and down and I prayed.”
That was three years ago. Today, Lucy, aged 17, is one of the
most promising students at the Secondary Education for
Girls’ Advancement (SEGA) School in Morogoro, an institution
for motivated but economically disadvantaged girls who
otherwise would have no access to a secondary education
because of poverty or teenage pregnancy.
“I get an education, I get books, I get all I want here and I
have my friends to study with in group discussions and I have
others to teach me when I don’t know things,” says Lucy.
“So much is needed here in Tanzania,” says the school’s
founder Polly Dolan. When she learned that some girls were
prostituting themselves in exchange for room and board while
attending school, she came up with the idea of SEGA. “You can
help get communities out of poverty by educating girls.”
Volunteer Fran Bruty has been training SEGA’s Tanzanian
teachers to use participatory tools to enhance their skills and
hopefully increase the quality of education the girls receive.
She’s also been helping with English language instruction.
“They all want to be doctors, accountants, engineers, pilots
and teachers,” says Fran, of the students. “It’s really rewarding
to see their enthusiasm.”

The previous two pages were featured illustrating our work and the reality of the girls we are supporting. Lucy is a very dedicated, hard working student who has a naturally inquiring mind. She is moving quickly in her learning, guided and supported by her teachers and their commitment to nurturing higher level thinking skills and participatory learning techniques in their education.  
During the annual VSO conference held in December 2011, the video reflecting the 50 years of work engaged in by Tz VSO, was shown together with the distribution of the published book.
Whenever we have visitors come to SEGA our girls welcome them by singing the “Welcome Visitors” song. We had done this as Lisa, Laurie and Scott (CUSO-VSO reps) had joined our Intensive English class. I had joined the girls in song as I usually do when it is my own class welcoming our guests. This footage, together with the informative interview done with Polly, Director of SEGA, was featured during this documentary spotlighting SEGA and sharing our vision and that of VSO education, to..........
educate girls out of poverty.

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