The following article was written by Sophia Neghesti Johnson, a photographer and fellow World Mom.
If you’ve heard of the Serengeti, the Great Rift Valley, Mount Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, Lake Victoria (one of the primary sources of the River Nile), or Ngorongoro Crater…well then you’ve heard of Tanzania! Tanzania is my country of birth, and home to my heart. Even though I am happy being every place I have lived or visited, Tanzania is always home.
Zanzibar is the island that is joined with Tanganyika to become Tanzania.
There is a school in Zanzibar that we support, by paying the fees for girls to attend or to finish their education. The school’s name is Regeza Mwendo Secondary School and is led by Headmistress Abeid, an extremely generous and beautiful person.
In 2010, my daughter and I went to the Regeza Mwendo School and visited with most of the students we sponsored in 2008 and 2009. We saw the condition of the science lab, which was almost non-existent, the library (which was about the same as the science lab), and the classrooms in which the students learned. The upper-grades students walked to a school about two miles away to use their better-equipped science lab. The school itself sits on a beautiful property. It’s very simple, and there isn’t a playground with slides or anything of the sort. The school is in Zanzibar, though, and the leaves on the trees are really green and the skies are the bluest blue! Still, the difference between the condition of that school, and the average public school in North America was undeniable.
Our visit was truly an amazing and inspiring experience. The school is located near Mwera Maili Sita and is close the local main road. Students from 1st through 12th grade attend the school, which manages to host everyone by splitting lower and higher grades in the morning and afternoon accordingly.
Photography has been my main artistic outlet since 2005. It wasn’t until 2015 that it dawned on me to combine my art with the funding of girls’ education. So now I use funds I earn through my photography to support these girls in Zanzibar.
This means a lot to me as a woman and as a person. I hold the belief that if every girl is raised with the assumption that it is proper and right for her to be literate and educated, that her take on life would be much different than what it currently is for many girls around the world. She’d also raise children around her, or of her own, with knowledge she wouldn’t otherwise have.
Many friends have sent donations before, and you are most welcome to do so as well.
Lower-grade for one year $60
Upper-grade for one year $120
Ways to contribute:
- Visit and donate to my GoFundMe campaign.
- Jacqueline Kibacha, a jewelry designer out of London, will donate a percentage of all sales related to this cause. So if you would like some luxurious, hand-made African jewelry, check her out at http://www.jacquelinekibacha.com and be sure to mention you are shopping for the girls in Zanzibar.
- Send money through PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org with a note saying it’s for Regeza Mwendo School.
I am going to Tanzania the first week of June. During my stay I will go to Zanzibar and will be taking portrait photos of some of the students, as it’s not something that is usual to do, but I think they’d enjoy it!
You can also view pictures of the students we helped at Regeza Mwendo, on my Facebook page Captivatingly You Photography (Get Cyp’d).
Sophia is a Tanzania-native currently residing in the United States. Besides being a photographer she is a mother, a blogger, a budding painter, and a children’s book author. Through her photography Sophia raises funds to support girls’ education in Zanzibar, and soon in the US as well.
Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer.