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|In January 2009, Sister Jackie Goodin, CSJ, embarked on a physical and spiritual journey to Songea, a small rural town in southwest Tanzania, an East African country. She ministers at St. Joseph Hostel, a residence for girls and teenagers sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery. The Hostel provides a safe and caring environment which allows the girls to complete their high school education in town. She works alongside other Sisters of St. Joseph caring for the girls’ day-to-day needs.
SISTER JACKIE'S BLOGFebruary 2014
FULL OF JOY, GRATITUDE, AND HOPE
| Sister Jackie, Nilza and Eliana (from left to right).|
Whew! Where has the time gone? I’ll tell you where: we’ve been welcoming and organizing 59 girls at St. Joseph Hostel in Songea, Tanzania (capacity is 60). All have now begun a new school year at five different schools—every school has a different set of uniforms and daily schedule. It’s a lot to track! The 15 new girls (mostly Form I) are busy themselves learning the routines and expectations of the Hostel. It’s a real challenge for these 13- and 14-year old girls to realize that Secondary School means hard work, commitment to learning, and good use of precious study time—not to mention they must also master the basics of English as a Second Language.
We are so very grateful that Sr. Nilza has returned to be a part of the Hostel staff. She has jumped in, learning names and catching up with all the changes and improvements at the Hostel since she left in February 2011 for an unplanned two-year hiatus.
In the midst of a full day’s work of helping girls live, study, and work together, we have taken time to be joyful, as we want you to be. Of the 14 girls who took their Form II National Examinations in November 2013, ALL passed! We thank you for your remembrance of them by name in your prayers:
Bihawa, Camillia, Martha, Winifrida,
Janeth, Jackline, Sophia, Faidha, Mektidis
Viana, Loreta, Faraja, Grace, and Frigid.
Of course, they think they can take Form III a bit easier, but the “mean” Sisters here at the Hostel remind them daily that next year they will be taking Form IV National Examinations for which they need to study this year. We are still waiting for results of the Form IV National Examinations for Beatrice and Imani—whatever the outcome, they will have at least one year of vocational training paid for by you, our generous donors and supporters.
Neither can you rest because now we have a very large group of girls who begin intense study and preparation for 2014 National Examinations for Form II and Form IV. As God calls each of them by name to become the best she can be, please remember our girls—your global sisters and daughters—by name in your prayers:
Upendo, Hery, Helena, Ritha,
Devota, Lucy, Monika, Diana,
Elizabeth M, Elizabeth K, Evoldia, Roza
Anitha, Shakila, Asante, Bahati,
Esta, Fortina, Jane, Joyce,
Priska, Shamira, Avelina, Beatrice,
Elizabeth P, Hilda, Maria, Rosemary,
Amina, Mwanaimani,Sponsor, Sharifa
Each of these girls carries the hope of her family to pass the examinations and to have more options in her life. They all, too, carry our hopes, that they will become full participants and contributors to their villages, their nation, and our fragile world.
One of the activities that the girls love is to learn new songs, especially the music of Sister Kathy Sherman, CSJ (Chicago, IL)! The newest music we’ve introduced is “Circle of Life” which has become the theme for the Hostel this year. Sr. Eliana, Sr. Nilza and I are so excited to share Sr. Kathy’s music with the girls and for us, together, to explore the prayer and hope—so deep and wide—contained in the lyrics.
We continue to be grateful for all the ways that you support the mission and ministry here at St. Joseph Hostel in the southwest corner of Tanzania (East Africa). Because of your generosity, this year we are able to:
• Guarantee payment of school and Hostel fees for four years of secondary school for four girls (in addition to the 41 girls supported by Italian donors;
• Provide athletic shoes and socks to the Hostel girls who play on their schools’ sports teams;
• Purchase and bind 50+ textbooks for our well-used Library (we’re training 2 student-Librarians);
• Give school socks, undergarments, and personal hygiene items to the girls whose families who simply cannot provide these basics;
• Pay for two experienced Math teachers to give after-school tutoring for all students (it is now two months into the school year and at least two government schools have NO math teacher)
• Build a stand for a new water tank to ensure a 2-day supply of clean water during the hot, dry, rainless months
And especially, we say thank you for your prayerful words and love which support us Sisters here. Through you and with you, we bring our best selves, our full energy to each and every girl so she may grow her potential through secondary school education.
If you would like to learn ways you can help Sister Jackie's girls, contact
Pat Milenius at 216.252.0440, or email@example.com.