Parent Support Group Chairperson and Teacher, Tanzania
My name is Neema Mcharo, the Chairperson of a Parent Support Group at a secondary school in Shinyanga district, Tanzania.
Our mission is to ensure marginalized and vulnerable students from poor family backgrounds including orphans, single parent students, and those affected by HIV/AIDS can reach their education goals through our group’s support.
We are very proud to be among the CAMFED Champions as a Parent Support Group and to have our efforts recognized by the community. This gives us much hope and courage to reach many more vulnerable and marginalized students.
I have been a teacher for 16 years now and through my experience have come across a number of students with challenges caused by poverty. That pushed me to join the Parent Support Group and be part of the movement that fulfils the dreams of such students.
I am married and a mother of four happy children because my husband and I supply their needs. But in our community we are surrounded by disadvantaged children including orphans, single parent students, and poor children who miss out on essential school items, guidance, and protection.
Our Parent Support Group has more capacity to identify and support marginalized students in the community compared to their teachers because they spend much time teaching and have many students to look out for. Also, the group engages in income generating activities, which are crucial in supporting the students.
We run projects including making paper bags, sewing uniforms and graduation caps. Our major project though is running our daycare center. Through the profits we have made we have had a number of successes.
We employ a CAMFED Association member who is qualified in Early Childhood Education at the daycare center, and one of the young women we previously supported in education is currently volunteering as bursar in return for her child’s free place.
During the coronavirus era, we have supported schools with sanitizers and offered books and health insurance to non CAMFED beneficiaries. We know that children have dreams to fulfil and we have managed to fulfil the dreams of a few students.
We would like to advise everyone in the community to support children and ensure their dreams are met regardless of poverty. Special thanks to CAMFED and all the people who support our efforts and our work.
I believe that the Parent Support Group will become the foundation that will end the poverty cycle by ensuring access to education and economic empowerment to all children in the community and will spread the culture to its beneficiaries.
Our commitment to support marginalized students will continue forever.