News Blog

Income projects: School canteen and shop

After months of hard work, not only were we able to start the school, but in March, the school shop and canteen were also finally opened! It still needs more work, but the first items have been sold and we hope to expand with more goods that aren't sold in the village, as well as products from the school and vegetable garden.

Also at the school canteen / cafe we sell the first breakfast and tea accompanied by various local snacks and foods. This too we hope to expand in the near future and we already anticipate the need of a second cook to help with preparing both for the students as well as the customers.

For now these two income projects have already helped with offsetting school administration costs like printing, fuel and communication costs and we are thankful for the start in helping towards paying for the schools daily costs.

Two girls sponsored - Update

Last time I shared about two girls being sponsored and I want to share here the story of one and how she came about to get the opportunity to study, instead of being married; and want to share with you a little about our other new sponsored student.

Last year Simon went around the community sharing about the importance of studying, even among girls (remember this is a community where many don’t continue after they have finished primary! This is including boys who would rather find an odd job to survive for the day). So Simon talked to a neighbour who was wanting to marry off his daughter, the thought of her studying wasn’t applauded by either dad or mum. However she herself stood up, shared her dreams and even threatened to take her own parents to police (as even though it is common it is not lawful to wed girls off and not allow them a further education). She had been the brightest student in Primary and there were great hopes for her in the future. The parents reluctantly let her go.

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Grasslands Secondary School Update

We are grateful to share the following with you: Since the beginning of the year, the School has been able to open a bankaccount specifically for the school. Also True Grasses Trust received it's Tax Identification number (TIN) and we are working on the last documentations for the school to have Tax Identification number (TIN) too. Tax numbers are a necessity and a government requirement for any company or business registration. The school will have a Business TIN number while True Grasses will have a non profit TIN number for charities, similar to a ANBI status in the Netherlands.

Besides these two requirements, Mark has been able to do all "Teacher paper work" for the school. This documentation concerning the teachers and other staff has to be up to date. This proper administration helps the headmaster and is necessary paper work for the government pension and tax returns.

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Two girls sponsored

In the past year, the school was able to teach two girls who were sponsored by two Dutch donors. Both we and they were very happy and grateful that they got this opportunity to study, even though their parents could not afford it. We were able to show them that they are just as important as the boys in their community and to show this to their parents.

Their second year started and unfortunately only one of them came back. The other was married off during the Christmas holidays at the age of 14. A harsh situation in which the school was built, a fact we have seen many times before and unfortunately this will not be the last time.

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Grasslands Secondary School

What good news we received on 30 December; in the afternoon Simon received a phone call, Mark Mwarabu, our project manager in Kisarawe was just on his way from Dodoma, the capital, back to Dar es Salaam, with the coveted piece of paper: The document on which the school is registered and with the number! How wonderful to end 2021 like this!y There are so many people who have worked on this and where weekly, sometimes daily phone calls back and forth to arrange the next steps! Thank you to everyone who has prayed and given, we are so grateful! As you know, we find it important to work together and believe that God brings us together and uses everyone's gifts in this project (and everywhere we work together as Brothers and Sisters).

20 January: The school opened this week and slowly students are coming in for class 1 and 2, old and new. We are still working hard to advertise the school and register students. And we expect that in the coming weeks there will certainly be more students, for which we are grateful.

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