Kids are thriving at Dinka school

We have exciting news from Tanzania, because the kids at the pilot house have just started their second term at school, with the help of our amazing sponsors!
One of the new classrooms at Dinka school
Despite the positive reports we initially received about Amani (the school the kids attended during the first term), we noticed that the children were not progressing as fast as they could be and worryingly also received reports that teachers were using physical discipline in some cases.  Due to this, we decided to look into options of other schools which we could move the children to.  Fortunately, after careful searching and numerous second opinions, we have settled on a great alternative which we are all very happy about.  We are all confident that this change will be in the children’s best interests.  The school is called Dinka school (check out their website) and when our team visited they were truly blown away: small classes with computers in every classroom, use of the NECTA and Tanzanian curriculum; drama; music’ extra-curriculars… it’s really incredible, and so we decided to see if it would be possible for the kids to start there.
We were delighted when they were accepted, and here they all are on their first day!  They have started already in order that they are fully adjusted and used to the school before the new year starts in earnest in September.
The kids looking bright on their first day at Dinka School
At our board meeting today, our executive director Bekka was telling us how well the kids have all settled in, and how great it is to see all of their personalities develop as they come out of their shells.  Apparently, Pray is talking in really fluent English, Anna is always smiling, and our latest addition, Agape, was excited both to go home at the weekend to her mother, and also to come back again for the school week, which is exactly how it should be!  So, really wonderful news there – thank you so much to everyone for making it happen! We are all really excited to see how the kids manage their next term at school, and will be keeping you all updated on it.
Eman and Queen working on the jigsaw that she received (with letter!)
We have been so thankful for the engagement of our sponsors so far!  You have really shown such a level of interest and care in the kids, which is lovely to see.  We have had letters, emails and messages showing how much you care, and we hope that everyone has enjoyed looking through their sponsor packs.  Everyone at the pilot house (volunteers and staff included) had a really fun afternoon putting together a customized jigsaw puzzle with Swahili words labelling a picture of Queen’s sponsor’s home, which Queen was thrilled to receive!  Anna wore a lovely warm sweater which she received from her sponsor at her first day at Dinka, and her sister Neema is looking fabulous in her new outfit!  These are just some of the ways that sponsors have been getting involved with their sponsored kid/s – which is something we really encourage!

Neema looking very cool in her new outfit
So overall, a massive thank you to our fantastic sponsors, but also to everyone else for your constant support and interest in these kids.  You are making a big difference are all of us at The Small Things really appreciate it!