Our former president, Susan Kleine, introduced Tracy Dolan on Wednesday morning.  Tracy spent much of her working life in international development work and saw first-hand the plight of many girls in the world.  Together with her sister Polly, Tracy founded Nurturing Minds in 2008; it is a US based non-profit organization that provides financial and technical support to SEGA school in Tanzania.  Tracy told us that we would have a closer idea of what the school was like if we understood that it is not unlike the Bethesda Academy in our locality.  The SEGA school is a residential school of 210 girls aged 12-15 years. In order to understand the mission and some of the problems of the school it is necessary to know a little about Tanzania.
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The country lies north-east of Zambia, about which we heard recently from a friend of our current GRSP student.  It has a coastline on the Indian Ocean, and its northern boundary is very close to the equator. It is a stable, largely agricultural country with few security problems.  However, its education system is very poor; very few girls are educated beyond the 7th grade, 40% marry before adulthood, and the country has the highest teenage fertility rate in the world.

The girls in the SEGA school are taught by mostly female teachers, (including Tracy's sister Polly) although there are also some males; it is difficult, Tracy said, to find female teachers.  There are also volunteer teachers on the staff. The goal of the school is to teach the girls self sufficiency and sustainability and the classes cover academics, life skills, community service, business and leadership development.  There is a computer lab; initially it had one computer for 21 students, but more are becoming available.  With her presentation Tracy showed pictures of the school, the students, and the staff.  The campus has 18 buildings including dormitories, and it is fully solar powered. Tracy asked us for our support, to tell our friends about the school, raise some funds or sponsor a student.

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