It's hard to believe, but 2016 is already halfway over! With that in mind, we thought we’d update our supporters on our work and accomplishments so far this year.
Saving Grace is officially registered as a boarding school in the Arusha district. However, with the presidential election and subsequent government transformation initiated by Magafuli, the national government took longer than anticipated to look at our application. This has unfortunately meant that our dormitories have remained empty. Nonetheless, Grace's diligence has paid off, and after a few checks that we are complying with all school regulations, we are a registered boarding school! We are hopeful that we are able to begin boarding by trimester 3, which begins in September.
After much trouble with the landlord, we are now signed into a 1 year lease at the Saving Grace school location. This will allow us to really settle into the space, make it our own, and continue making improvements. Within the next year or so, we would like to begin working on a library for the students, and add some playground equipment.
In April, a new computer was purchased for Grace. While it may not sound like much, this is a huge asset for Grace and the school, as it means improved efficiency and it provides us with a better connection. The next step will be to get internet installed at the school; in the meantime, Grace is using a USB internet stick to stay in contact.
Student enrollment continues to increase as word spreads throughout the community. Parents are excited to send their children to our school knowing that they will not be responsible for exorbitant costs out of their own pocket. We are currently at an enrollment of 56, 3 of whom are sponsored for the year. With the near constant influx of students comes the need for another teacher, who we anticipate hiring by the end of the year. The addition of a second teacher is also important because half a dozen of our students will be moving up to class 2 next year, effectively changing the grade distribution to baby class through class 2. In order to teach all 4 grade levels, a second teacher will be necessary.
We’ve had a few changes to our staff as well, including the addition of a Social Media Manager and an accountant, a new Program Manager, and a new Development Director. Steph, our former Development Director, plans to relocate to Chile and pursue other passions, but will still be involved with BTF as she has the time.
Our fundraising progress has been a little slow in the first half of the year. We are diligently working on planning an event for the end of July (check back for details!), and will begin work on a fall/winter event in August. However, we’ve seen an increase in our Etsy sales, and have added some great new items! Check out our shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BrighterTanzania
We’d like to thank everyone for their support, love, and encouragement so far this year. We couldn’t do it without you!