Pamela

TFFT has developed a Peer Mentoring Program as a part of our existing Scholarship and Psychosocial and Health Programs. This allows for experienced scholars to serve as mentors for new and younger scholars in their Family Cells. TFFT staff act as Family Cell Heads to supervise the peer mentoring sessions. 

It is a daunting experience to change schools–often transitioning from rural areas to urban areas; move from the public educational system to the private system; or move from the home to a totally new situation in a large school. Added to this is the pressure, scholars must study in a new language (our scholars predominately go to an English medium school), adjust to more difficult academic expectations, navigate new relationships, and build an identity within a new community. Adapting to such a new and different context can be scary, stressful, and intimidating. Having spoken to our scholars who have gone through this experience, we have learned some lessons on how best to support our scholars during this challenging time. TFFT is continuing to build a stronger support network where the scholars do not have to face this experience alone.

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TFFT’s Scholarship Program is designing a more comprehensive and responsive orientation process for new scholars and their guardians who will join our family in 2017. As we continue with our selection of the most vulnerable children, we are taking time to think through our orientation process to best help these new scholars. Together with scholars, guardians, and TFFT staff, we will review expectations and responsibilities, explain TFFT programs and the opportunities they bring, tour schools, introduce relevant people, and get to know each other before the start of the academic year.

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New scholars will be assigned membership to Family Cells within their schools, where they will be able to build relationships with other TFFT Scholars. This will also create a space where they have regular supportive contact with TFFT staff who act as Family Cell Heads.

The Peer Mentoring Program is also a very important intervention to help support both new and continuing TFFT Scholars build their capacity to navigate a very different environment. New scholars will be assigned a mentor in their own Family Cell who will meet with them regularly throughout their first year and assist with their progress in all aspects of their lives. TFFT staff will work with mentors to more effectively monitor a new child’s progression and intervene where necessary.

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We appreciate that the transition and adjustment to boarding schools can be stressful without proper sensitivity and management. As TFFT expands, management and staff continue to discuss the best ways to support scholars and maintain a child’s culture and identification with their families. Boarding schools are an integral part of the Tanzanian education system, and often boarding schools offer a child the best chance of a better education. With proper orientation, support from Family Cells, and ongoing mentoring through the Peer Mentoring System, TFFT can support a child to have the best experience possible as they embark on their educational journey.

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Would you like to assist a child’s transition to a new school environment? Perhaps you could write welcoming messages or cards or posters for the child’s living quarters or fund some refreshments for orientation. We are also always looking for new sponsors. There are a few scholars in need of a sponsor, and we also need sponsors for the new scholars we will add in January 2017. Email Kaitlin (at) TheFoundationForTomorrow (dot) org if you are interested to learn more about any of the above!

Thank you to all who make this work possible!

2016-08-31T08:00:30+00:00