JBFC’s Graduate Girls Update

July 1, 2016 11:37 am Published by
Eight of JBFC’s residential girls graduated from Joseph and Mary Secondary School last December. They were part of the school’s first graduating class and they’re the first group of JBFC’s residential girls to move off of campus and pursue higher education.  

JBFC established a transition program to help our first class of graduating girls make the leap from living on a campus surrounded by family to living independently. All eight girls moved into a group home in the city of Mwanza at the beginning of the year. While they remained under the supervision of a matron, for the last six months the girls have learned how to run their own household (including paying bills), volunteered at a local primary school, and taken a computer class to keep their skills sharp, while they awaited their Form 4 exam results.

Scores on the Form 4 national exam determine the girls’ future prospects. Those who score in the top percentile can continue on to Form 5, which is the first step to pursuing a university education. Those who score the second highest can be placed in training colleges, and the rest pursue vocational training. The Tanzanian government places students in programs based on individual test scores and available openings. With the help of JBFC’s Social Worker, Felista, our girls have completed their applications and are now anxiously waiting to hear where they will be placed.

In the meantime, each of the girls have now completed 100-150 hours of community service at a local primary school, called Isenga Primary. The girls volunteered as teaching assistants, helping students with reading and math skills. JBFC also enrolled the girls in computer courses through VETA to help them increase their familiarity with technology. 

JBFC’s COO in Tanzania, Seth Diemond, asked the graduates what challenges they’ve faced since moving off campus, what they have enjoyed most about their computer courses, and what they are looking forward to regarding their futures.
“There have been a few challenges with living away from JBFC. The first was meeting new people. It was hard for me to make friendships with new people. I had many friends at school and I was used to being around my JBFC sisters, so meeting new friends was challenging. The second challenge for me was living in a new place. I miss the whole family at JBFC – I also miss dad because he has moved to America. I have really enjoyed our VETA computer course. I have loved learning a lot about computers and now I am able to use Microsoft! We have a water bill now so we are learning to be careful with how we use water! I want to study mining because I want to protect Tanzania’s minerals.”

“What I miss most is the people, and by people, I mean my JBFC family because all the people at JBFC are the reason why I am who I am right now. I am really excited to reach the next level in my education. The hardest thing about living on my own is that I have to take care of myself and use my own thinking capacity to do good things and to know the difference between good and bad without having our parents’ help.”
(Neema has been playing club soccer with Marsh Sports Academy, and is getting ready to start a one-month long intensive soccer camp)
“My favorite part about living in town is playing soccer, because I have made many friends and I get to meet some of our leaders like the Regional Commissioner. The thing I miss most about JBFC is the girls and the administration! I would like to study Social Work.” 
“It has been challenging making new friends and volunteering at Isenga Primary School. I enjoy teaching, but the kids can be very very stubborn! What I miss most about being at the JBFC campus is playing and having fun with all of the other girls. I hope to study dentistry so I can help people with their teeth.”


“There are many changes we have had to learn to deal with living in town. At JBFC we have solar power, but in town we have to buy our electricity. Transportation on the bus every day also costs money, so we are learning how to budget. I want to be a lawyer now because I want to help people who have problems.”

“The most challenging part of living away from JBFC has been staying in a new place. I have really enjoyed working with the kids at Isenga because they are very welcoming! I have applied to study community health and journalism!”


 “I have missed everybody at JBFC, even the workers! The think I am really looking forward to is meeting new people at college, getting new teachers, and studying! I want to study nursing.”


“The thing I miss most about JBFC is the education and the way they have helped me. I have loved learning about computers at VETA and now I know many programs because of these classes. It has been a challenge at times because there are so many students in the class and living in town has been challenging because it is very different from Kitongo. I am also excited to learn so many more skills at college in August!”

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This post was written by Mainsprings