Graduating the Class of 2016

December 7, 2016 5:14 pm Published by

Last Friday, December 2nd, JBFC saw its second class of Joseph and Mary Secondary School Form 4 students graduate. This graduating class of seventeen students included four of JBFC’s own residential girls. Only 1 in 4 girls in Tanzania ever start Secondary School, with even fewer finishing, so completing their Secondary School education is such an achievement for all of our students. 

The graduation ceremony began with our Guest of Honor, Mr. Shindika, District Education Statistics Officer, and the JBFC leadership entering the beautifully decorated dining hall. The graduates marched into the hall afterward, and their entry was followed by performances from both Primary School and Secondary School students.

A truly moving moment of the ceremony was when three of JBFC’s residential girls, Happy, Jackie, and Leticia, sang a medley of songs by Adele. These girls had been hard at work practicing these songs for the past two months as a way to send off their older sisters with something memorable. There were lots of emotions around the dining hall as the girls sang their rendition of “Hello”, and it was clear to all present that our JBFC residential girls have an incredible amount of love and support for one another!

After the moving performance, it was time for speeches. First, graduates Nasogani and Kulwa gave a speech on behalf of the Form 4 students. This was followed by a speech from Mr. Kidapanda, the Head of Secondary School. JBFC Administrative Director, Melinda Wulf, then addressed the crowd and encouraged students to work hard, be kind, and to make themselves and others proud.

Seth Diemond, JBFC’s COO in Tanzania, then took to the stage to encourage students to be thankful to those who have helped them get to where they are, encouraged them to never forget the lessons of their parents and guardians, and asked them to each be a leader in their families and communities. He also reminded students about the importance of being careful with social media and networking.

Special Guest of Honor, Mr. Shindika, then spoke to the crowd and encouraged the graduates to see finishing Form 4 as just the beginning, and discussed strategies for how to deal with life’s challenges.

The speeches were then followed up by presentation of class superlatives, academic certificates, and finally, the diplomas!

Once the diplomas were in hand, all guests enjoyed a lunch of rice and pilau, chicken and beef, fruit and greens, and of course, soda. It was a fantastic day for all of our students, staff, and especially graduates.

Here are some quotes from the day:

“Graduation was fantastic. My favorite part was the time of giving certificates. I loved the food too.  loved the speeches by Seth, Melinda, and the Guest of Honor. I was so proud of JBFC. What can I say, I will really remember this!” – Rose (Form 4 Graduate and JBFC residential girl)

“I was so happy. I was happy because I was singing to say bye to the Form 4 students. And happy because we have been practicing for so long- at least twice per week for over two months I felt sad singing “Hello”, because the song is so emotional- all of its words. It felt good because I sang from my heart and I was happy because they (the audience and graduates) felt the way I was feeling. I will keep on singing…” – Happy (Form 2 and JBFC residential girl)

“The graduation was great. All around great! Good for our JBFC family and for the students. Everyone enjoyed it!” – Mzee Kitula (Campus Manager and father of Maryciana Kitula, who was part of the graduating class)

“It was amazing. Of course there were challenges, but overall it was good! My favorite part was having the disabled students from our school help hand out superlative certificates and gifts to the students and the JBFC girls.” – Samo Matiko, Dean of Students

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This post was written by Mainsprings