In January of 2020, SHADE launched the first classes of our school!
Thirty students from our local area are enrolled in two classes, a baby class and a middle class. Aged from three to five years, students attend a half-day of school where they are taught in English, eat breakfast, get a healthy afternoon snack, and take a much-needed nap! In addition to the core subjects of English, Math, and Science, students participate in music, art, Bible, and sports classes as well.
Not only is the opening of Shade School a big step for our ministry, but it is also a major step in the actualization of the vision God gave for holistic care to vulnerable children. We believe that education is foundational to poverty alleviation and setting children on a path towards their destinies.
Our plan is to grow the school year after year, continuing to add classes until we have a complete primary school.
Wonder why you don’t see any children with albinism in these photos? Read the strategic plan for our school here.
The Tanzanian government has set up centers throughout Tanzania in an attempt to protect children with albinism. Parents leave their children at these centers out of fear for their safety or because they do not want them. Many of the centers, while providing guards and concrete walls with razor wire to keep potential attackers out, are overcrowded. For three and a half years, SHADE served these children at a center in Shinyanga.
SHADE launched two preschool classrooms in 2015 at the center after seeing education for the youngest as one of the greatest needs. In our classrooms, we provided education and supplies like books, clothes, and uniforms. We brought healthy food to help supplement the children’s diet. We sang with them and taught the love of Jesus through the Bible. In these practical and tangible ways, they received hope for their future and felt loved.
In 2018, after a policy change at the center which meant that preschool-aged children were no longer accepted, SHADE concluded our preschool services. While we were sad about this change, we are thankful that many preschoolers have had the opportunity to be prepared for entering primary school and that they have been holistically cared for and loved for the years that SHADE was able to serve them. When SHADE began our preschool, we knew that this would only be a temporary program.
Our vision has always been to have land and to build our own pre-primary and primary school in order to love and serve vulnerable children.
In early 2019, SHADE launched an education outreach on our land. The Education Outreach impacted elementary school-aged children through academic support, fun, health and hygiene training, and the love of Jesus. By exposing children to the truths of albinism at a young age, we helped to shape their views towards the value of every person, regardless of skin color. Not only did this program benefit children, but it enabled Shade to build relationships with our new neighbors!