Faith in Action: The School of St Jude, Tanzania
with support from the Joeys community
St Joseph’s College once again warmly welcomed Gemma Sisia for a “Talking Books” breakfast event in the Resources Centre. Gemma is the inspirational founder of The School of St Jude in Tanzania; no-one could hear her speak and not be inspired by her passion and commitment to improving the lives of Tanzanian children through education. She enjoys a close connection with Joeys as her seven brothers all attended the College, and over the term break, a group of students and staff will witness the remarkable work of St Jude’s when they travel there for Immersion.
After completing university, Gemma set off to volunteer teach in Africa — a trip that would not only change the direction of her life, but one that would have a significant positive impact on thousands of Tanzanians for years to come. Struck by the barrier to education caused by poverty, Gemma resolved to build a school for the poorest students and offer them the opportunity to achieve a full education, and ultimately contribute to Tanzania’s future. This ambitious goal became reality in 2002 with the opening of The School of St Jude, supported by many generous donors across Australia and the world. Since then, many graduates have entered university to study teaching, medicine, engineering and economics. These students would have had little chance of completing primary school, let alone tertiary education, without St Jude’s. What Gemma has achieved is truly remarkable and testament to the difference one person can make.
Faith has always played a crucial role in Gemma’s life and she has recently overseen construction of chapels at both the Primary and Secondary campuses. However, while the buildings are complete, she does not have the funds to fit them out with the many items required to run church services such as bibles, missals, lectionaries, a monstrance, censer and altar bells. The College has provided a number of items — several Year 7 students were very happy to help clean and polish two silver ciboriums to present to Gemma at assembly — but the St Jude’s students and Gemma would be very grateful for any help from the Joeys community.
Tax deductible donations to help purchase chapel items for The School of St Jude can be made via the Joeys portal and selecting The School of St Jude in the drop down menu. We are hoping to raise $4,000 to cover the cost of purchasing items.
The Immersion group will be taking stationery items and sporting goods to donate to St Jude’s and a local Tanzanian orphanage. We will be encouraging all Joe boys to donate items from the list below.
• red, blue and black pens, permanent markers, chalk, white board markers
• coloured textas and coloured pencils
• post-it notes, sharpeners, erasers, safety scissors, rulers, bulldog clips
• USB memory sticks (4 Gb+)
• 1 TB external HD
• Calculators – CASIO dual display fx-991MS (urgent)
1. Sporting items
• football (soccer) boots (used, good condition most welcome, to fit from 6 -16 years of age) – the kids at St Jude’s LOVE football.
• other sporting goods, especially footballs, basketballs or volleyballs (deflated please)
• black or blue school socks (mid-calf length or longer)
Gemma and the St Jude’s community thank you for your generosity, and invite you to follow their challenges and successes on their website, Facebook and Instagram, or come and visit!
Year 7 students helping to restore two ciboriums
Chapel at The School of St Jude, Tanzania
Gemma Sisia speaking at Assembly