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Keeping Girls Strong

Around the globe we’re looking out for each other: we’re working together to practice social distancing, which is helping us save lives. There is no lock down in Tanzania yet: the streets, buses and market are teeming with people. The government extended school closures until further notice. The confirmed cases of coronavirus continue to rise.

An education that today’s students need is one that prepares them to adapt quickly, tolerate and navigate uncertainty.

Since March 16 we’ve been providing a COVID-19 Enrichment Program at The Girls Center for 21 students. What does the day look like for our students in this new normal?

Two weeks ago, government and private schools sent homework to students through WhatsApp. Our students have formed study groups to complete assignments.

Two weeks ago, 3 of our students returned from their homeplaces to The Girls Center. Their families didn’t own smart phones to access WhatsApp for their homework and food was scarce. We quarantined these 3 students who may have been in contact and exposed to others with coronavirus. This was a precaution as well as a powerful personal learning lesson on the challenges of what it means to control exposure to infected or potentially infected persons.

The students in our Gap Year Program were trained by a professional tailor and have now taught all of our students how to sew. We are now sewing masks as well as reusable menstrual pads. Students are knitting neck gaiters too! Our students are discussing how to distribute these necessary items.

Since hand sanitizers are difficult to purchase and more expensive than ever, we are making our own.

Estahappy continues to train our students with Coaches Across Continents’ purposeful play curriculum.

These are uncertain times and with kindness, strength and teamwork, our students are getting through this the best they can, turning feelings of isolation into a sense of purpose. By providing a safe home at The Girls Center, we are showing our students that their futures matter.

Sending our best wishes for health to you and your loved ones. Thank you for your support. Stay healthy at home!

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