Real people with real stories.
Here are three from Tanzania showing the real passion and drive that spurs people forward.
It is this passion and drive we are looking to empower and grow by providing them better tools that they can use to more fully take their learning into their own hands from a young age.
Benjamin John — Self-directed English learner
Benjamins' Story: I was born 20 yrs ago, on 8th of April. in the Northen west of Tanzania in Ngara district Kagera region. My mother fell pregnant when she was at school and she was only 17. My father had a small business dealing with exporting and importing KHANGA (Tanzanian cloth wear) inside and outside Tanzania. I started going to school when he was 7 yrs old, and actually started with standard one (according to Tanzania education format),
I stayed with my mom for almost 18 years of my life and I left home when I completed my secondary school studies, I had a very little time to spend with my father, though he always told something so powerful and meaningful, I remember the unforgettable thing he told, he said "UNATAKIWA KUWA WA KIPEKEE, HIYO ITAKUFANYA UWE TOFAUTI NA WATU WENGINE WOTE" meaning "YOU NEED TO BE UNIQUE, AND THAT WILL MAKE YOU DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS"
I had a lot of challenges when I was at school, considering on what my dad always told me! I learnt a lot of things, many thing so that I can have that kind of uniqueness in myself, apart from my talents which is singing and acting,
I learned drawing, painting, rapping, acrobatics, modelling, drumming and making and repairing clothes though machine, those things made me different from the others for real,
My mother don't speak English, my father too, even my school teachers didn't speak English well, so in order to be TOTALLY different, I decided to start learning the English language. I watched movies, listened to music, wrote notes in English, spoke around to many people and even with myself. This helped to make me TOTALLY different from the others,
I am the fun guy, I like joking around, making some funny stories, singing to people who actually think that my voice makes them feel something, I am a good person with good heart, my passion is helping people in need, I like hearing someone say THANK YOU,
I am currently studying at Dar-es-salaam City College (DACICO), taking my diploma in Public Relations and Marketing, and I did my Journalism certificate in 2014 at Time School of Journalism, I once worked at http://apexmedia.co.tz
Howa .. 30 year old female
Howas' Story: I am from a large family in Dar Es Salaam. My mama has raised me, my siblings, my step-siblings, cousins and some orphans. We have all been offered the opportunity for an education. I was also offered this chance so I pursued medicine as my area of interest.
I am now a lab scientest, with children of my own, and a few cousins under my care. I travel to many African countries as a Project Manager. My dream is to manage my own lab independently. Perhaps I will invest in some more real estate to fund my business plans. I have my own house and a few plots of land.
I am lucky my Mama is a teacher and a strong woman. She taught me many things. Soon I will have my second baby. I have waited a long time since my first son and am very excited to welcome another child into our family.
Alfyonso - Taking his learning into his own hands
Alfyonsos' story: My name is Alfyonso. I went to school in Kigoma, Tanzania. I was lucky to go to secondary school and finish but, withoutfamily support , my grades were not so high. I moved in with other relatives in a bigger city, Tanga. But eventually realised they were not helping me, but riding me. So I moved to Zanzibar, determined to win a life some other way. If high school was one path then maybe I can find another.
Thanks to the African Impact organisation, largely run on volunteer labour, I attended a school to learn English. I made friends with people from Europe visiting Zanzibar, like Stephan. He is rebuilding his house and has placed me in charge. I really like this job.
I like to read and today Natalie showed me the free courses I can do online. This is very good news, especially for young people like me who didn't get the support at school that we needed.
Next year I want to continue studying hospItality at the Jambiani Institute of Tourism. There is a lot of work in Hotels in Zanzibar so I think this is my chance to win at life. I WILL NOT QUIT!