In our last blog entry, you may have noticed that we included a section called “Success Stories” about children who have gone through the Toa program and come out stronger as a result of the intervention.

In Susan’s Q1 report, she highlighted the story of Ruth, a Standard One student at Msandaka Primary School in 2016 who “could hardly speak.”  After being found to have had a “heavy tongue” or Dysarthria, a condition in which the muscles used for speech are weak or atrophied, Ruth was enrolled in our specialized pull-out program, in which students who need a bit more care and attention are removed daily from their regular classes for short one-on-one or small group sessions with our trained tutors.  As Susan reported, in this specialized setting, our tutors were able to invest the time and skills needed to support Ruth and, little by little, she was able to start talking and participating in her regular classes!

For our second in the new “Alumni Annals” series, we have a look at Irene who started Standard One at Msaranga Primary School in 2013.  Irene was very shy and afraid in the classroom and would not engage with teachers or other students.  Her shyness was so debilitating that she struggled to learn how to read or write.

Irene’s teacher didn’t recognize her challenges as having an underlying root cause and thought her to be unteachable.  However, Irene was lucky enough to have The Toa Nafasi Project’s co-founder Mwalimu Vumi in the room.

Vumi recognized that Irene’s challenges could be overcome and invested the time it took to understand her underlying shyness and fear of people.  Irene was enrolled into The Toa Nafasi Project’s specialized pull-out program where she learned to trust the capable tutors who supported and nurtured her learning and built her confidence.  Irene excelled in this new environment, and she is now in secondary school and participates in her education as the bright, bold girl Mwalimu Vumi knew she could be!

Mwalimu Vumi with some young scholars