It was another exciting and successful year for Knock, which included new sponsored students, a brand new program in Tanzania and continued impact for those with whom we work.
Pioneering Minds Scholarships We accepted two new girls into the program, Anitha and Oliva, who have now completed their first year of secondary school. Oliva knocked it out of the park this year, finishing with a ranking of 5th in her grade – an incredibly impressive feat for a student coming from a Swahili-medium, public school to an English-medium, private school environment.
We were so proud to have ten of our students graduating from primary, secondary and vocational training schools this year. Sharifa and Neema finished Class 7 and will enter secondary school in January. Bazilla, Romani, Evance, Evarist and Schola completed Form 4 and the rigorous set of national exams. They are currently taking a much-needed break and awaiting exam results. Angelo, Amadeus and Hosea completed 3-year vocational training certificate courses in electricity management, mechanics and construction, respectively.
Chipuka Livelihoods We are seeing significant impact among our loan recipients. Most impressively, Emertha has been building a new, brick home to replace her old and crumbling mud home. A few have also fully paid back their loans months in advance and are now reaping the benefits of their new businesses.
Medical Missions Knock continued our ongoing medical missions with another trip to Nicaragua in October, with one of our doctors working in pediatric urology in Managua. Dr. Durkee has made numerous trips to Nicaragua (at least 4 at last count) and Africa through Knock. As in past missions, we trained and worked with local doctors, donated life-saving medical equipment and fulfilled promises made from previous trips in 2013 and 2014. Our medical mission is unique compared to those of other surgical missions with whom we are familiar. Our focus is on training and giving the equipment that hospitals do not/cannot get on their own; we work with their staff, ensuring that they can continue after we leave. To date, Knock has shipped over $1,000,000 worth of medical equipment and supplies to various countries. We are heading to Zambia in April 2016 to set up a permanent mission to hospitals based in Lusaka and Kateta and also hope to head to Bhutan sometime next year to set up a mobile urology clinic/OR that will travel the country-side providing much needed care.
Conscious Clubs This year’s new program was a big success! We implemented an after-school club in four primary schools, teaching topics in life skills, reproductive health and family planning, drugs and alcohol and HIV/AIDS. Each club comprises 60 students, divided equally between girls and boys across grades 3-7. Meeting twice per week, the curriculum was developed in partnership with YOCOSO, a local, youth-run, Tanzanian NGO dedicated to reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS and drug use in the Moshi area of Tanzania. They facilitate through a highly participatory method that includes drama, music and dance. Not only have the students been impacted through gaining significant knowledge, but the program has piqued the interest of the local government as well, with whom we hope to collaborate.
School Lunch Knock continued to provide daily school lunch to over 850 students in two Tanzanian primary schools. This year, Longuo Primary School’s Class 7 scored highest in national exams in their ward, at least partly due to more engaged students and higher attendance rates.