Fighting poverty through education

By Efrosini Costa

Fighting poverty through education
Charity-funded, the school of St Jude is providing free, quality education to more than 1,500 of the poorest children in Tanzania.

Founded more than 10 years ago by Australian woman Gemma Sisia (nee Rice) the school of St Jude’s is the largest private school in the area and the only school in Africa achieving education outcomes on such a large scale.

The then 22-year-old Rice was volunteering in East Africa where she witnessed firsthand, the result of those stuck in a tragic cycle of poverty that was further intensified by a lack of education.

Having returned home to rural Australia to continue her comfortable life as a local teacher, Rice found it hard to forget the poverty and suffering she left behind her in a country that captured her heart.

What began as persuasive measures to get family and friends to pledge funds to the poorest of African communities, the East African Fund was born.

The School of St Jude’s opened its doors for the first time in 2002 to three very small, bright and underprivileged students. A decade later, that number has increased to 1,500, and the original single classroom has grown into multiple campuses.

It provides employment to over 400 Tanzanians and boarding for over 1,000 students. To add to this, the school also purchases all its essential goods from people within the local community, providing a ripple effect of benefits not just for the local children but also for the wider community and beyond.

But the school is funded solely on the back of generous donations and sponsorship, over 94 per cent of which comes from Australia. Without the generosity of these donors, the dream of educating underprivileged children could not have become a reality.

From, carrots, chairs, computers, mosquito nets, bricks, mortar and buses, the list of essential items needed at St Jude’s goes on and on. Now you can invest in a piece of the school and play a role in helping to fight poverty through education.

With your kind donation, large or small, you could buy a nutritious meal for 400 children, a seat on a bus, music and art supplies, play equipment and even a boarding house! You can also purchase an eCard gift to send to a loved one, work colleague or friend and make a donation on their behalf. 

Fundraising is also another welcome way you can assist St Jude’s. It can be as simple as passing around the hat at your workplace to collect a few coins, or as grand and extravagant as a masquerade ball. 

To find out how you can donate, send an eCard or get involved in supporting St Jude’s, head to:


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