I became acquainted with Nurturing Minds about two years ago due to a mutual friend who introduced me to Tracey Dolan, sister of Polly Dolan, founder of the SEGA School in Tanzania. I lived in Tanzania for five years and was very aware of the need for the education of young women. The more I learned about SEGA, the more impressed I was. This year I recruited a group of friends to join me in funding a scholarship for a SEGA student, and we have just started our sponsorship. We are all excited to learn more about our student and to follow her progress. I encourage anyone interested in helping a young woman succeed to contact nurturingmindsinafrica.org to learn more about the school.
This past summer I discovered Nurturing Minds and the SEGA Girls School through my internship at Penn State. I was so moved and excited by co-founder, Tracey Dolan's, presentation on the school, that I became immediately involved. I led a fundraising effort with the help of my intern cohort to sponsor a SEGA student named Grace! By the end of the summer, we had raised enough money to support Grace for the remainder of her time at SEGA, and I had become even more involved as a social media assistant.
The opportunities that SEGA is able to provide these girls are truly amazing and could only be done through passionate and driven volunteers/staff and altruistic, generous donors. I can't wait to see how much the organization will inevitably grow due to its organization, ethical and responsible approach, and commitment to providing a well-rounded education for the girls of Tanzania!
In October/November (3 weeks) of 2015 I worked as a volunteer English immersion teacher at the SEGA school in Morogoro, Tanzania. That experience was one of the most memorable of my life. SEGA is providing an exceptional opportunity for local girls to get an excellent education free of charge. The boarding school serves as a "learning community" for the girls as they share experiences and needs in a safe and controlled environment. The teaching staff was well-qualified and friendly; we met with them almost daily during our stay. Additionally, the administrative was top-notch; always trying to improve the lives of the girls through education. Very nice housing was provided for us on the campus, as well as all meals and snacks. Several Masaai tribesmen provided security, along with 5 dogs.
The girls were reluctant to speak at first, but as we teachers got to know them more each day, they soon opened up and were speaking English freely, without worrying too much about making mistakes. We had many great lessons planned and sometimes he girls would play music and dance for us. We taught them many popular American songs and sang with them each morning. All in all, I think the SEGA school provides a unique setting for young ladies to learn all the information they must know to pass their very difficult exams. I eagerly look forward to volunteering there again in 2017.
I wanted to get involved with a nonprofit where I felt I could really make a difference in someone's life. Through a friend I became involved in Nurturing Minds. I sponsored a student for four years and went to her graduation in Tanzania. It was an amazing experience. After seeing the school and meeting the girls, I am even more committed. The administrators and teachers are passionate about what they do. It is evident that many girls' lives have been changed by attending the SEGA school.
I have limited time to volunteer and so choose my non-profit boards very carefully. But after visiting the SEGA school this past year, I was honored to be asked and wholeheartedly agreed to be on the board. It's a very special school that helps vulnerable girls who would have few options otherwise and profoundly changes the trajectory of their lives. I have run non-profits myself and can say that this one is incredibly well run.
I got to know Nurturing Minds about a year ago and have been very impressed with the work they do. They are committed to improving the lives of girls in Africa and have spent much time and energy on developing a program to do that in the most effective way. As someone who has run a non-profit, I am keenly aware of the need for good structure, oversight and management as well as a passion for the mission. Nurturing Minds has all of that which is way I recently agreed to be an advisor to the organization and why I continue to be a donor.
I spent three weeks at Sega as a volunteer. The place is extraordinary. The girls are highly-motivated, polite, funny, curious, generous, incredibly hard-working and smart. Equipment, furniture and buildings are simple (Spartan, by American standards) and solid. Teachers and administrators are completely dedicated to the students and the success of the school. This is a place where girls grow, blossom and find opportunity where there had been little or none.
Small and mighty is how I would describe Nurturing Minds. As a Board member, I feel deeply connected to our mission and the staff does an amazing job at keeping us engaged and inspiring us to do more to support our work in Tanzania. It is a privilege to serve on this Board, and immensely rewarding to see how our girls and our school are thriving.
We learned about Nurturing Minds through a neighbor and have been hooked ever since. We have attended several fund-raisers, seen videos, received newsletters and have contributed as often as we could. The work the school is doing to empower at-risk Tanzanian girls is unparalleled. Women are a key part of Africa's future progress and are an under-used resource. Through its work to educate young Tanzanian girls that would have no other chance, Nurturing Minds is assisting mightily in the progress of the entire continent.
By engaging US donors with the stories of girls in Tanzania, Nurturing Minds continues to promote education for girls world wide. Through the experiences of the students Nurturing Minds supports, I've learned just what secondary education means in Africa and in the developing world. It is also clear the Nurturing Minds values small donors, and that small donations make a difference in the life of a girl.