THIRTEEN years of charitable support from the Inverell community comes to fruition this year, as The School of St Jude in Tanzania celebrates its first graduating class.
St Jude’s is a free, high-quality charity school in Tanzania, East Africa, built entirely through word of mouth and generous donations from Australia and around the world.
Inverell represents one of the schools strongest supporting communities in the world, with our local residents having provided the school with an extraordinary $250,000 in funding to date. This week the schools’ founder, Gemma Sisia, is in town to say thank local families, individuals, businesses and Rotary clubs who are making a big difference on the other side of the world.
Gemma will address the District 9650 Rotary conference this weekend, and offer a presentation to a mass at the Inverell Sacred Heart Catholic church on Sunday.
Gemma is a former Holy Trinity student. She first travelled to East Africa at 22 where she saw the overwhelming number of children living in poverty and being denied a good education.
Gemma sought support upon returning home, and in 2002, the school was born with a single teacher and three young students.
Thirteen years on St Jude’s has three campuses and more than 350 staff providing quality education to almost 1900 of the poorest and brightest students of the region.
As the school prepares to graduate their first class of students in May this year,
“I’m excited to come home and tell everyone about our graduating students.” Gemma said.
“Before, these kids had few opportunities for the future. Now they have this incredible gift of an education, and a very real opportunity to escape poverty.”