How Changing a Student’s Life, Changes a Parent’s Life

When a student is accepted into The School of St Jude, the impact extends beyond the student’s education. Having their rights to quality education upheld has a rippling effect that affects the members of their family, such as parents and siblings, as well as the community. The way this occurs takes different forms, such as through the sharing of learning from students to parents and through the offloading of parent’s financial and mental stresses.

When it comes to the Tanzanian schooling system, there are three key stages. The first is primary school (Standard 1 to Standard 7). The next is secondary school which is comprised of Ordinary Level (Form 1 to Form 4) and Advance Level (Form 5 to Form 6). To the students and their parents, The School of St Jude is more than providing free, quality education and it is more than a school. It means more support and a future of hope.

Reducing financial stresses

For the families of St Jude’s, over their child’s thirteen years of schooling, the families save an average of US$6,500 on costs that are covered by the school; including food, boarding, education, transportation, and so on. What’s even more impressive, is that our data reveals that over the 13 years of schooling, the average family income improves by approximately 15% for each year their child is at school.

However, through St Jude’s rippling effect regarding financial and social support, after 13 years of schooling a student’s family has on average tripled their income and exceeded the Extreme Poverty Line. This is even more important as economically, those living in such extreme financial circumstances rarely improve along with the rest of a country’s economic growth. In fact, according to World Bank data, the bottom 40% of the economy in Tanzania actually had a -0.15% growth outcome over a seven year period. When we see our family’s incomes over 13 years on average

growing by 15% per year, on that is a significant difference. That’s why it’s more than education!

When you teach a child, the community learns

Our students are spreading knowledge! Quite often, our have parents who did not have the means to complete schooling beyond primary school. This makes the new knowledge our students acquire at St Jude’s invaluable to their family members and their communities.

There are many inspiring stories of how our students sharing what they learn in the classroom has touched their communities. There were some students who learnt new agricultural practices that they shared with their families to put into practice on their own farms. There were also students that were able to teach their parents English or numerical skills so that their parents were able to get better-paying jobs. The power of sharing knowledge in leading transformation, for both families and communities, cannot be understated. When students learn, parents and community’s benefit.

Less stress, more support

St Jude’s students are supported with free, quality education, onsite boarding for all secondary students, three nutritional meals a day including fruits and vegetables for snacks, around-the-clock support from teachers or boarding parents, a community of diverse school friends, as well as safe and reliable transportation between home and school for the students that do not board.

This support is invaluable to the parents as well. From a financial perspective, parents can better support the rest of their family when one of their children is being well cared for by the generosity of sponsors and the school. This also contributes to the alleviation of stress on the parent's mental well-being as they no longer need to worry about their child being in danger or in facing unreasonable hardship in attaining an education. In the end, upholding the right every child has to education ripples life-changing benefits not only in their lives but for their parents and their communities too.