Saturday, March 19, 2016

Hapa Ni Kazi Tu

This simple Swahili phrase has the general meaning of "It's time for hard work, nothing else."  It was a campaign slogan employed by new Tanzanian President John Magufuli and it reflects his austere style of governance, namely that the time for meaningless and wasteful shenanigans is over, there's a new sheriff in town.

I personally love the phrase and Hyasinta and I often repeat it to each other with various inflections - righteously, indignantly, jokingly - depending on context.

Just as Magufuli is determined to bring about change for the nation with kazi tu, so are we, the teachers of Toa Nafasi, determined to bring about change for the Standard One students of Msaranga, Msandaka, Mnazi, and Kiboriloni Primary Schools.

I think we are on the right track.  Though this year is still young and the process of expansion has uncovered fresh and frustrating new challenges, we now have the data from our colleague, Angi Stone-MacDonald, which reflects the results of the program on the Standard One kids from 2015.

Though they have only been tested twice and there was a gap of nearly a year between the assessments, due to Vumi's death last July, we can see that these guys are on the up-and-up, for the most part.  Those who have not progressed much, approximately six children out of fifty, are either still enrolled in tuition or receiving services from the Gabriella Center.  We are hopeful that by their third test, which will likely take place in June or July this year, they will have reached even further heights.

Vumi, wherever you are, be proud of the work you did with this last group.  And know that we are carrying on, in your name and honor, HAPA NI KAZI TU.

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