Neema

This is Neema

This is Neema.

Her story has taken a bit longer to write.

Not because I wasn’t interested in writing it, but because I didn’t know how to properly describe her and my experience with her.

Neema is from the Kitiwo village in the Kilimanjaro region.

I had the chance to travel to this village with Neema to visit her relatives.

She was raised by her grandma and aunt.

Both of her parents passed away when she was young.

She doesn’t know how her parents passed.

The village is lush with trees bending under the weight of succulent fruits clumped at the top.

The houses are made out of clay and mud, usually with one room for people and another room for animals. The two rooms are connected.

Pathways to different homes in the village are lined with thin trees hosting large, thick green leaves.

Neema hadn’t seen her family in a year, since she left for the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania. When she returned, it was as if she had just went for a walk down the street and returned. No running towards one another or big hugs. Seemingly no celebration.

I thought, maybe they aren’t that close?


Later, I learned that this is a cultural thing. You remain relaxed, and often the people you are most excited to see, you give the least amount of attention to.

It’s like a hidden code of respect.

In reality, her family is very close and loves each other very much. However, emotions are kept on the inside.

Neema spent the first fourteen years of her life in the Kitiwo village before going to an orphanage. She was sent to the orphanage in hopes that Neema would gain access to a greater education.

It worked.

She was supported by Make A Difference Now.

She was able to attend a private school and set the course for her dreams in pursuing higher education. Now, she attends the University of Dar Es Salaam for finance.

The educational system in Tanzania is very different from the United States of America.

When Neema applied for university, she was able to select 5 interests.

The university then looks at these 5 interests and drop down the list until they find one that can accept students. Most of the majors are full.

She got her last choice.

Her first choice was in fashion design.

I asked Neema if there is a way they can change that, like changing majors.

Neema has very strong facial features and exudes confidence. She smiled a charming smile and said, “No we can’t change it. I must just work hard. I am in university and that is the good thing.”

Talk about being grateful.

In the future, Neema hopes to visit the USA and meet the people that have sponsored her way to higher education. She also wants to visit “Mother Theresa”, who is the founder of Make A Difference.

You can check out MAD’s website and profiles of the children they sponsor by going to: http://www.GoMADNow.org

Words and photos by travel writer Emilee Struss, @emileemaestruss

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Neema

University life

I’m in my final semester at university. University life is hard and challenging but I thank God for helping me manage my studies.
The courses I’m taking are; Business Mathematics, Accounting, Finance, Introduction to Business, Development Studies and Introduction to Information technology. My favorite subject is Business Mathematics and my hardest subject is Finance which is microeconomics. I will work hard to ensure good performance in my hardest subject. My grades are as below:-
Business mathematics B
Development studies B+
Introduction to Business B
Accounting C
Introduction to Computer C
Finance (Microeconomics) D
Many thanks to all who are supporting me in one way or another.

Love,

Neema.

Neema

A lot has happened to me…..

Hello!

It’s Neema. I have been on a long break after finishing high school(advance level) in Tanga on May,7th 2016. A lot has happened to me since I graduated:

On May 8th 2016, I reported to MAD’s office from school and on May 9th 2016 I went to the village to meet wit my relatives (grandmother, brothers, aunt and grandfather). I helped with the domestic work at our home such as cooking, washing clothes, and feeding our animals( cow and goat). After being at the village for a couple of weeks, I decided to write a request to MAD’s director, Theresa to volunteer at MAD’s office in Moshi so that I could learn about office work. I am so grateful to Theresa(Mama Henry) who accepted my request to volunteer at the MAD’s house for one month and two weeks. Volunteering in MAD’s office helped me learn about administrative. I learned how to scan documents, use Microsoft Office, Word, the Internet as well as type faster. I am so happy I was able to gain work experience while volunteering for MAD.

On July 14th, the national examination grades come out. I was so happy to learn that performed well. I received division one which is the best level one can get in academics here in Tanzania! On July 28th, I begun applying to Universities I’d like to attend for my degree. I selected the best universities in Tanzania such as Mzumbe University, Dar University, Dar es Salaam University and Dodoma University. I thank God and I am so excited that I was accepted into the University of Dar es Salaam for my degree!!! University of Dar es Salaam is among the best Universities in East Africa. My registration with the University will be held on October 8th 2016 and the orientation with the university will be on October 10th. Right now I am preparing to travel to the university of Dar at the beginning of October. Though I am at early stages of my career path, I feel that with education the sky is the limit. I’m so thankful for all who are participating in supporting my education and special thanks to Make A Difference, everyone who is part of the organization from staff to donors and volunteers.

Neema

“I am so happy..”

Hello everyone!
I am so happy because I have completed Advance level, which is grade 14.
It has been a long journey since I started to learn from grade 1 up to grade 14 and I thank God that I have completed well and I am expecting to have good results.
Right now I am on holiday and I am expecting to teach or do office work at the MAD house.
School life was a bit hard, but I struggled and worked hard to complete my goals and during the graduation ceremony I was given a present for best student in HGE class and also I was given a T-shirt as the best student in form 6. I thank God I have completed well and I am expecting to join university of Dar-es-salaam or Msumber university in October when the results are out.
Neema A. Temu
XXX
May 2016

Neema

Proud Of My Grades

Hello everyone !!

I am back from school from yesterday on 14th October 2015 to 9th January 2016. Right now we are at the MAD house with Madam Nancy, Pina, Omega, and Mary (who just graduated yesterday).

I am so happy to be back from school because I am going to visit my relatives and hope that I will meet them all.

The school life was a little hard and difficult due to we had to wake up early at 4:30 am., get a shower, clean the environment, clean our bedroom, supervise the dormitory cleanness, and drink the tea.

At 7:30 am we immediately entered classrooms to start the lessons up to 5:30 pm. At 6:00 on we took our dinner up to 7:00 pm. Then after that we also entered the classroom for evening studies up to 10:30 pm. At 11:30 pm we went for prayers and sleeping.

Although it was challenging, I did well in my exams. I am proud that I got an A in General Studies (Civics); B+ in Economics; B+ in History and E in Mathematics. And I was number 13 out of 124 students in Advance Level Secondary School.

I will be going for a holiday at my home village for a long time but I will be studying hard and doing revisions in my studies. I’ll also be helping with home works and celebrating Christmas with my relatives.  Wish you a Merry X-mas and Happy New Year 2016!