John Medo, The School Fund’s very first supported student, is home in Karatu, Tanzania as he awaits his final exam results. While home, John will support TSF students in Karatu with their journaling and conduct interviews with them as he did with students in Iringa. Last week, John interviewed Aziza J., who has been supported by The School Fund since 2013. View Aziza’s TSF profile and Journal here.
Aziza is 17 years old and in form four at Mlimani Secondary School in Karatu. She is among the best in her class.
Aziza has one sister and two brothers and lives with her grandmother and father, who stays at home sick and is unable to work to support the family. Unfortunately, Aziza never met her mother, but believes she is still alive and living in Arusha City, which is just two or three hours from Karatu. Aziza’s mother left Aziza and her siblings with their grandmother complaining that life was too hard. It is suspected that Aziza’s mother has a new family in Arusha. Aziza used to ask her father about her mother, but her father had few answers.
Aziza does small jobs like cutting grass and selling goods. Sometimes, she helps to cultivate people’s farms. Her father earns some money, but spends it on alcohol. When Aziza’s grandmother could not find employment, Aziza and her siblings only received one bowl of porridge a day. Aziza worries about her younger siblings. Due to a lack of money, Aziza’s sister was married off after completing standard seven. Her brothers are still in primary school. Aziza plans to help her grandmother support her brothers when they reach secondary school.
Aziza believes that life in Africa can only be easy for those who are educated and know the advantage of an education. Aziza struggles to find time to read at home as she is expected to fill the role of her mother as the only girl at home. She is responsible for cooking and washing even into the late hours. They have no electricity at home, so Aziza uses a kerosene lamp or candle to light her chores. Often, Aziza goes to sleep without having time to do her school readings, so she spends much of her time catching up in school.
Aziza dreams of becoming a lawyer because she wants to discipline people who [infringe] on human rights. Aziza believes that only with education will she be able to help all those, who have not been educated.
Aziza says that The School Fund has been like a family to her as it supports her education and, through journaling, she has gained some knowledge about computers. Without TSF, Aziza says she would have dropped out of school. She promises to do her best to excel in school and achieve her dreams.