NUI Galway’s ALIVE programme in partnership with Tanzanian Village Renewal have announced a new initiative whereby five graduates of NUI Galway commenced work as volunteer teachers in Suji Malindi Secondary School, Tanzania from January to December 2011. The initiative was conceived by Lorraine McIlrath of the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) and Maureen Mescall, formerly of the Discipline of Economics, NUI Galway and founder of the registered charity Tanzanian Village Renewal.
The five graduates; Aine Staunton, B.A., H.Dip. Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo, Aisling Mitchell, B.A., H. Dip. Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim, Belinda Crossan, B.A., H.Dip. Letterkenny, Co Donegal, Aaron Cunningham, B.Comm. Letterkenny, Co. Donegal and James Lovett, B.Sc., M.Sc., Newcastle, Galway accompanied a group of builders to Tanzania on 31 October, 2010 where they assisted in the construction of a large extension to Suji Malindi Secondary School. Once the builders returned to Ireland following their two week building blitz, the graduates began teaching English to local adults, the girls set up net ball and basket ball courts to the delight of the pupils while Aaron took charge of football matters.
The academic year is now in full swing in Suji and with the addition of the five Irish volunteer teachers and their organisational abilities; pupils who had left the school have returned. There are increased numbers of first year students and this year for the first time in many years there will be a fourth form class as retention has improved.