The School of St. Jude in Africa

The School of St. Jude in Tanzania

The School of St Jude is an English-language school in Arusha in northern Tanzania. It provides free education for children from the poorest local families.

We at the Rotary Club of Moonah provide ongoing monetary support to this amazing school.  We do this willingly for a variety of reasons…..

Some of the reasons are obvious & are will become apparent as you read on,  or you could go to the school of St Jude’s website (above) to find out the more details of why this school is always in our INTERNATIONAL donations list each year !!!

mission statement.jpg

The aim of the school is to “fight poverty through education”  – By providing the students with a quality education, which will assist them to find well-paid jobs and help break the cycle of poverty. In a larger sense, it is also hoped that the students will go on to be agents for positive change in Tanzanian society.

The School of St Jude

The school employs as many locals as possible to help break THEIR families cycle of poverty as well – not only can they afford health care & food for their children, but they can also afford to send them to other local “fee paying” schools & by doing this it helps to provide more space in St Judes for one of the cleverest child from the POOREST of the local families.



In 2002 Gemma Sisia(née Rice), an Australian woman, opened a small school in northern Tanzania with the help of her family, friends and local (Australian) Rotary Club. Starting with only a handful of children, it now has 1151 students, 130 teachers and 200 staff. In January 2008 another free primary school with an initial enrollment of over 550 children opened. (information sourced from Wikkapeedia)

The photo below shows ROTARIANS working with a RAWCS project at the school

Volunteer Rotary Teams

Over 90% of the children at the school receive a totally free education. Local and international sponsors cover the costs of not only the educational fees but also the uniform, stationery, transport, hot meals, snacks and drinks of each child.

Our Staff

Some of the dedicated teaching staff at the school !!

By 2015, the school plans to serve 2,000 students from kindergarten through to High School graduation. By providing an excellent education to bright children from the poorest families, the School of St Jude has the potential to influence the quality of Tanzania’s future leaders.


Gemma is the only daughter of Sue and Basil Rice. They raised their eight children on a fine wool sheep station just out of Armidale on the New England Tablelands, about a six-hour drive north of Sydney, NSW, Australia.

When 22 year old Australian, Gemma Rice, went to volunteer in East Africa for a few years, she witnessed first hand the results of people in the Third World caught in the tragic cycle of poverty, intensified by a lack of education. Crippling manual labour or a life of crime were, for many, the only means of survival.

Following years of volunteer work in Uganda and East Africa, Gemma returned home to rural Australia to a rewarding teaching job and a comfortable lifestyle, but never forgot the poverty and suffering she left behind in the country that still had her heart.

At some stage we may have said to ourselves, “Charity begins at home”, as we’ve put the small change in our moneyboxes and felt justified in doing so. Gemma, now 24 years of age, saw it differently. With the powers of persuasion, honed by growing up with seven brothers, she easily convinced some of her friends and family members to pledge at least $5 a month, to be put into an account at the local bank, and the proceeds of which enabled 2 young women to go to school in Uganda.  This was the beginning of Gemma’s amazing journey to start “Making A Difference in the World !!”

Go to the School of St. Jude website for more incredible facts about this inspiring school that is on the other side of the world, that is lead by a woman who decided to not just sit by, but instead decided to make positive changes in the world in which we all inhabit –

–  it only takes one person to decide they care enough to DO SOMETHING !!

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