Salome, girl at school in Tanzania

Early life

“My name is Salome from the Sisters of Mary School in Tanzania. I am part of St. Monica family. I am 14 years old and have come from Tabora Region, Tanzania. We are 6 children in the family and I am the 5th child. Both my parents are farmers and our family is very poor. My parents separated in 2011 and we didn’t know where they were, until last year that we found out our mother was living with another man in Mbeya, another region of Tanzania.

The year of my parents’ separation, my brothers and sisters and I went to live with our grandmother, when I was only 4 years old. I started school – Standard One – in 2014. In Standard Two, at age 7, I started to sell small buns and I could earn between 2,000 to 3,000 TZ shillings a day. We used the money to buy exercise books, toothpaste, and pens because my grandmother could not manage to buy everything for us. The following year in 2016 there was scarcity of food and my grandmother really had a difficult time to get food for us. Sometimes we would eat once a day or drink only porridge, which was not even a complete meal. Or we asked the remaining food from our neighbours.”

Sister with two girls in Tanzania

Life at school

“After I completed Standard Seven I came here to study at the Sisters of Mary School. I thank God so much! I arrived here in January 2022. I was very happy I came with my friends Aisha, Maria, and Happiness. We were very happy.

In the Sisters of Mary I am seeing many changes in my life. Example, here we eat 3 times a day, we eat chicken on Sundays and rice… and on feast days we eat more delicious food. This helps me study with more enthusiasm. Here also I received good bed with a nice mattress and good clothing to wear. Also in my life it is the first time I see a school that provides two certificates, first the academic certificate and another for the Training Courses.

My biggest challenge is only one – I cannot understand well all the subjects because of the English language that is why I need to practice more and more. My hope while I am here at Sisters of Mary school is that one day I will be a very good student who can quickly understand my lessons, learn many more things because I know this will be useful for my future and it will help me to change my life. I will develop my skills not only academically but also the ability to associate and deal with other people. I want to be a teacher someday. When I fulfil my dream I will be able to help support my family and at the same time help others also to get good education and good behaviour and I will teach them also things which I learn here in the Sisters of Mary.”