Why do we visit schools? To raise the awareness of the living conditions of the vast majority of children who live on the African continent with a special first hand account from the Tanzanians themselves and the role that Bethany plays.
Benefits to the UK schools visited: The pupils will benefit from hearing first hand about living life in a ‘mud hut’ with no water or electricity and how and why our children came to be admitted to the Bethany Family and their life after that. They will see and hear about every aspect of Tanzanian life. i.e. The contrast between the two cultures e.g. affluence of the UK compared to the poverty of Tanzania, discipline, (corporal punishment in Tanzania etc), dress code (girls wear kangas, dresses and skirts worn well below the knee) and relationships (not allowed between opposite sex throughout the young persons education). They will learn about the power and influence of the witch doctors and also the importance of song and dance within the Tanzanian culture. The UK children will have the opportunity to ask questions and to hear the children speak in two other African languages besides English.
Benefits to the Bethany Family: In the long term greater appreciation of the plight of the third world may at sometime in the future lead to a greater understanding, involvement and more appropriate help from the West. In the short term, pupils from the UK, having heard about Bethany, will sometimes want to help the children with a non uniform day or other fundraising initiative. As donations are our only source of income they are most welcome as they enable the work to continue. The Bethany children will of course benefit immensely from practicing their English to appreciating what can be achieved in a progressive culture.
School Syllabus: I understand that the experience we offer can enhance syllabus subjects with regard to responsibility and respect, citizenship, world poverty and provide an insight into how charities operate.
Assemblies Format: Our presentation is very flexible and (depending on time but assuming 10-15mins) usually involving a short introduction, where we are from, who we are, two songs (with dance), one song sung in English and the other in Swahili or Sukuma. It could also include a short talk about the differences between schools in Tanzania and the UK schools and the different expectations from African society for boys and girls.
Lesson (30 –45 mins) to cover the following:
- An appreciation of the size, climate and economies of the African continent especially Tanzania and the relative wealth creation/expenditure per capita - mortality rate, welfare available.
- The roles of boys and girls, men and women.
- How schools compare with the UK. How discipline is maintained. Boy/girl relationships. Marriage
Promiscuity/ HIV - other life threatening diseases.
- Famine. The scale of the problem - the resources available.
- Why and how does the Bethany Project help to provide opportunities? Employment and expectations.
- Personal stories from the children themselves
- Life at Bethany – community, accommodation, food, chores, education, possessions, discipline, daily routine, recreation, guidelines - etc.
- The aims and objectives and the Bethany motto.
- The long term vision
- How UK charities can and do make a difference
- Question time
- Our website www.bethanyonline.org
- Dress, Appearance and Behaviour: Each group (A, or B) is made up of ten children of varying ages (8 girls and 2 boys) + Tanzania leader / interpreter and UK volunteer (who will be in charge of the group). The girls will be dressed in traditional African dress (kangas) and the boys in long trousers and African shirts. Their behaviour will be exemplary.
Coordinator, Bethany Project UK