St. Timothy’s School is in Newland, near Moshi in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania gives quality education to 360 children, a third of whom would not be able to afford that education without it. St.Timothy’s capitalises on the growing group of professional and business owning middle class parents in Kilimanjaro Region who believe strongly in the importance of education and are willing to invest their money for their children’s futures. It works on a 2:1 model, where for every two fee paying children, one needy child is supported through their education for free. James and Beatrice, the couple who run the school, have a huge heart to reach the children and families in their community who need it the most and they have been changing lives and bringing hope through their work since 2006.
My name is James Nathaniel, and I am originally from western Tanzania. I am the co-founder and Director of Tanzania Children Concern and St. Timothy’s. My wonderful wife Beatrice is the school manager and one of the main reasons we are able to continue moving forward each day.
I have an internal calling to do this work because of the conditions I’ve experienced. When I was younger, I had a very good friend who had a lovely wife and two children. Tragedy struck, and both children died suddenly. Shortly after, my friend’s wife passed, and then finally my friend himself died. I didn’t know until later that the entire family was suffering from HIV/AIDs. This experience is pushed me to action. I asked myself: “How can I help those children whose parents die of AIDS?”, and so in 2002 my wife and I began taking children in and educating them, giving them food and other types of assistance. That was the beginning of St.Timothy’s School, and every day the memory of my friend and his family inspires me to push forward with our work.
Our vision is a community where any child, no matter who they are, what family they are from, or how much money their parents have, are able to access high quality education and health care. We see these factors as helping children to escape poverty, and they are our singular focus.
We run a primary school and nursery, educating 360 children, two thirds of whom pay fees, and a third of whom are supported on scholarship through the school. We look to care for all the children in an holistic way — meeting their academic, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. We have a school farm to support our work, and we are looking to expand our health-based programs for the community.
We want our organization to be self-reliant. We are currently building income-generating projects that will help the organization be self productive. Our biggest goals for the upcoming year include:
A Multipurpose Hall
The aim of this project is to accommodate the 360 children at St.Timothy’s for meals and meetings. We also intend to rent it out for meetings, weddings, and conferences as it will be able to accommodate up to 1200 people. In this way, it will serve both the school and the outside community, while providing income for us. We hope that our neighbors’ use of the hall will help to build an even stronger sense of community ownership, and a feeling of being part of our school family.
The aim of the farm project is to produce a sustainable food source for the school as well as income. In the rainy season, we have enough that we can sell for income, but during the dry season, we can only maintain the school itself. We believe that by growing our farm from ¼ acre to a full acre, we can overcome these leaner months, and provide more food security to the school and our community. We currently employ 2 farm workers and would like to expand this as the farm expands. Our farm currently raises pigs, chickens, and ducks; we also harvest kale, chinese cabbage, mchicha (amaranthaz species), eggplant, lettuce, mung beans, papaya, mangoes, and guava.
School Truck project
The school truck project should also provide a steady income stream for us, while reducing our overhead. Each time we do construction projects, we must rent a vehicle. This comes at great expense. With our own vehicle, we can reduce our long term costs, while providing that same rental service within our community.
Our most ambitious project is probably the most critical for us. The nearest health center is approximately 25km from St. Timothy’s, in New Land. People die simply because they can’t afford to get to the hospital. Treatable conditions become life-threatening due to a lack of access to health care. Our goal is to create a center with trained staff for urgent care as well as educational programs, to help improve the overall standard of living here in our community.
Our efforts at St. Timothy’s are so rewarding. Each passing year brings me new stories of students that have, through education and love, found new opportunities to life happy, healthy lives as members of our community. I think of Gerald, a former student who overcame poverty, and is now one of our most beloved teachers — and it makes me know that no goal is too small for our community. Thank you for your support.
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