St Ignatius day in Tanzania
St Ignatius primary school in Dodoma, the capital of Tanzania, held joint celebrations for its feast day and the 15th anniversary of the school on the 28th July this year.
Jesuit Missions has a close relationship with St Ignatius school and has been sending volunteers each year to teach for up to six months for over ten years. This year volunteers Rebecca Wall and Matthew Steen spent six months teaching at St Ignatius primary school and living with other volunteers in a local community. On his return Matthew said he won’t forget,the joys of teaching at St. Ignatius in Dodoma and the companionship he felt living and working as a small independent volunteer community.
While they were at the school, they helped to prepare for this celebration by organising and implementing the school magazine.
The celebratory day began with mass at 8.30am conducted by Fr David Mlemeta who was representing the archbishop of Dodoma. Both the founding and present Directors of the school and local parish priests were amongst those present.
The Headteacher, Sr. Euphrasia Mungira, gave a speech where she explained the history of the school and its achievements. She said that the school started in 2003 with 45 kindergarten pupils and five teachers. Now it has grown to 560 pupils and 25 teachers.
Following the mass and speech each class performed a piece of entertainment, which they had prepared, to the parents and guests. This included traditional and modern dance, comedy and songs.
All the staff, guests, parents and pupils then enjoyed a delicious lunch together. The day concluded around 3.30pm.
In September, Ellie Clark will be starting her volunteer journey with Jesuit Missions, where she too will join the school community at St Ignatius for six months. During the recent volunteer training, which she attended along with other new volunteers, she said,
“I’m really looking forward to teaching the children and experiencing a different education set up and I’m also looking forward to being part of the community and meeting different people but with a similar mind set and a similar mission.”