Tales from Tanzania - O'Neil Family Blog

Though we have already been in Tanzania for one year, this is a journal of our time at Haven of Peace Academy in Dar es Salaam. Karibu sana.

March 27, 2007

Step Out: Service, Leadership, Stewardship

At the beginning of the school year, a new school logo and annual theme were launched. STEP OUT is the theme with focus on Service, Leadership, and Stewardship. During last year’s strategic planning process, those involved identified “outwardly focused HOPAC students” as a top priority for the strategic plan. Service, Leadership, and Stewardship were identified as character traits that the HOPAC community desires to see developed in its students. To that end, this year has been filled with activities to realize that vision. In the area of service-learning, our Service-Learning Coordinator recently shared an update.

Primary school students recently read books to raise money for Heifer International's "Read to Feed" Program. This Program enables students to raise money for livestock through reading books. Livestock were then selected by the students depending on the amount of money raised in each grade and the money sent to Heifer's US office. The total amount raised was $4800.

5th Grade is taking leadership with campus waste reduction, reuse and recycling. They recently taught the whole primary school through an assembly about waste management. They are preparing composting areas, labeling bins and will begin making paper from our paper waste.

Middle school students are brimming with information about global trade and what makes trade fair. They've been visited by a fair trade group here in Tanzania called Mama Maasai who makes household items from beads, leather and mats. In addition they traveled to the Wonder Welders workshop to see the benefits of ethical trading for physically disabled welders, carpenters and craftsmen, and women. We are about to launch our own fair trade company at school. Some middle school students are learning about TB, malaria or HIV and they will be able to tell you all about these diseases. They've designed posters for a local hospital and raised awareness of health issues through a school competition. Other middle school students are involved in a literacy program either at Jangwani Primary School to a class of around 80 children or reading with other children at Cornerstone Christian Academy.

Taking the United Nation's advice, 9th Grade students are "Thinking Globally, Acting Locally" to address the problem of soil erosion. The students have assessed the school campus for evidence of soil erosion, selected one problem area each and written a management proposal to reduce and/or solve the problem. School administration selected the best management plan which the students will then put into action later in the term.

Water and Sanitation have been the focus for 10th Grade students. They are knowledgeable about water borne diseases, sanitation, pit latrine and well construction to mention a few. This knowledge is currently being put into practice at Sala Sala Primary School where our students are teaching the basics of the importance of clean water. This will be followed by the construction and installation of water filters at the school for the benefit of the staff and students.

Finally, 11th Grade students have been working on a major sports event for some students from Jangwani Primary School. This will take place at HOPAC over the next couple of weeks. They've planned everything from the equipment to the invitations, the transport to the games.

Please pray that God would be at work in our students’ hearts through the activities of the service-learning program. Pray that hearts would be changed to be “outwardly focused” and that our students would truly “love their neighbors as themselves”.


At 7:51 AM, Blogger Lori said...

Steve & Denae, this looks fabulous! So good to see HOPAC taking advantage of the numerous opportunities to engage the needs of our world--and in ways which draw the students into the process extensively! Keep up the great work.


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