Off to school!

As promised, I will now tell you all about Andrea, David, Pendo and Abdulli heading off to school!

Before I start, a quick update to say that the final total from Beaconhurst School’s Christmas Carol Concert fundraiser was £1,770 – thank you so much to everyone involved in raising this fantastic amount towards Project Education!

David, ready for his first day at school
As Emily was last year (read here), I was so grateful to be able to be there to wave the kids off at their first day at school at USA River Academy with the help of The Foundation for Tomorrow and, of course, their fantastic sponsors.  Andrea, David and Pendo were collected by TFFT on 7th January, but we wanted to wait until Abdulli had also left (on the 14th) so that we could tell you about them all at the same time.

Abdulli before leaving with TFFT

As the TFFT car pulled up outside, all the younger kids got very excited.  We held back with them whilst the Mamas, who have known the kids since they were babies, got Andrea, David and Pendo ready for school, changing them into bright new clothes and filling a bag each with extra things which they would need. It was all a bit of a whirlwind and a bit overwhelming for them, as any first day of school is…

Left to right: David, Andrea and Pendo in their going-to-school clothes!
..but they were all very excited and couldn’t wait to get into the car!  So after lots of cuddles and goodbyes, they climbed in.  David even got to sit in the front seat!
Andrea, Pendo and David enjoying their lollies!
Abdulli will be attending Step by Step Learning Centre in Arusha (about 30mins drive away) which is a day-school; therefore, we have arranged for him to live with his biological father who will accompany him on the dala dala (bus) there each day.  On my last day in Tanzania, Mama Pendo took Abdulli for his compulsory medical check at the hospital and then the excited waiting began all over again while everyone waited for the TFFT car to arrive to pick him up and take him to his father’s house.  Although I was not there to witness the reunion with his father, I can tell you all that his father has been very involved over the last couple of weeks and is really looking forwards to being involved in this new chapter of Abdulli’s life!
Abdulli showing off his artistic skills!
We are so proud of the four kids – starting school is such a huge step in any child’s life, and especially for Andrea, David, Pendo and Abdulli who have left the orphanage very infrequently during their lives.  However, I speak for all of us at The Small Things, when I say that I know they can handle this new adventure, and we can’t wait to see the incredible things they achieve.  Eriki, Dainess and Stevie have all done fantastically during their first year of school and I’m sure they will all be there to look after their younger ‘siblings’ if they need it whilst settling in!
Andrea (middle) surrounded by Eman (left) and Eriki (right)
who are already at USA River Academy
Thank you so much to their sponsors and to anyone who has supported Project Education – the chance to attend a high quality school really will change these kids’ lives.