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Dhatia’s Dreams

In a two-room, mud-thatched house, in a tiny farming village nestled at the base of the Uluguru Mountains, a girl is dreaming of her future.

Dhatia, age 12, lives in the Morogoro region of Tanzania with her mother, father, and younger sister. It’s an area rich with life: the mountains are home to over 100 unique species of plants and animals, and agriculture is the dominant economic driver. Unfortunately, the natural abundance of the region doesn’t always convert to an easy life for its human inhabitants. In Tanzania, 57.1 percent of the population lives in poverty and Morogoro is not exempt.

Dhatia’s father Hamidu is a farmer. It’s a labor-intensive job, and he is rarely home with the family except to eat and sleep. Her mother Rehema owns a small business, which brings in an additional income of around 60,000 Tanzanian shillings – the equivalent of $24 USD – per month.

At 6 am, Dhatia will wake up to begin her day: first, she’ll help her mother clean and tidy their home. Then she’ll bathe and begin her walk to school, arriving by 7. During the day, she’ll participate in classes – math and civics are her favorite – with a break around noon to play with friends and have a snack.

When school is over, Dhatia will return home to help her mother cook. Her father will also return home in order to eat with the family before returning to his fields.

“I see them working so hard so that they can provide for us,” Dhatia says. “This makes me want to study hard so that I can help them in the future.”

Dhatia is exceptionally bright. She’s the first in her class of 62, and her ambition is to become a teacher and nurture other bright young minds. This future, and Dhatia’s dreams, have been made possible in a large part by your support.

Your gifts provided the funds for a new classroom to be added to Dhatia’s school. If you’re wondering why one classroom makes a difference, just ask Dhatia:

“We now have more time to use classes to study instead of different grades taking turns in studying among the few classrooms we had,” she explains.

The importance of a learning environment can’t be underestimated – just ask anyone who had to switch to at-home-schooling during the COVID pandemic! A classroom setting can be huge for helping kids stay on the path towards educational success.

But that wasn’t the only improvement. In addition to the new classroom, your support added a water tank and water harvesting system to the school, plus handwashing stations for the students. The improved hygiene will keep students in better health and reduce learning loss due to sickness. Before, students often had to take time away from their studies to fetch water if they needed it during the day. Now it’s on hand, and Dhatia and her peers can focus on learning.

Dhatia will have more challenges to overcome in life – that’s simply a part of growing up. But now those challenges will be more fair. No child should have to worry about something as simple as water when getting an education. And Dhatia’s dreams can continue to grow.

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