MPA Expands Education Programs During 2019

MPA received two major grants in 2019 to explore the ways in which the framework of microfinancing can be incorporated into education and scholarship programs.  In addition, MPA has received several smaller grants to support individual scholars who are connected to our partner organizations.  If you are interested in this grant program, please contact us at 314.776.1319.  Here are the highlights of the two major grant-funded projects.

St. Francis Vocational School

In 2019, MPA funded a new microfinance scholarship program to help 50 young women at St. Francis Vocational School in Poli Singisi, Tanzania, courtesy of a $25,000 grant from CPPS Heritage Fund. This pay-it-forward program provides critical scholarship support and sanitary pads for female teen students learning vocational skills, (cooking, sewing, etc.). Program supervisor Sr. Aloysia Nyange, CPS, offered these words of appreciation:“ Thank you so much for the scholarships and sanitary towels, basic needs for the young women in our school. Because of their poor backgrounds, most of them afford just half or a quarter of the school fees. Most of their parents are peasant workers and barely make ends meet.

The students are doing well. Some students are now saying when they finish the school, they will open their own business. As for pads, most of them were using pieces of material that were washed after use on a monthly basis. Providing them with pads is a great joy and makes them feel more comfortable as women. This supply of pads has cut down costs for toiletries, and students can spend more time on their studies with less worry. One student was so happy: ‘Thank you for the gift of pads. It also makes us feel free and comfortable when we go for fieldwork experience in different hotels in Arusha, Moshi and Zanzibar to serve visitors and work in the kitchen.”

Victoria’s Academy

In 2019 MPA received a $15,000 grant specifically to support a particular CPS Partners project in Zanzibar.  Victoria Issack, a longtime member of the Welezo Young Friends Self Help Group, runs a primary school as her income project, and has been able to give more children access to education by increasing the school’s capacity from 68 to 153 students in less than one year.  Victoria’s Academy provided direct scholarship support for young students in need, painted the entire school, expanded existing classrooms, and added additional space and equipment.  Further, the school supported the other members of the microfinance self-help group by purchasing goods and services from other group members’ income projects.  Lastly, Victoria’s Academy started a poultry project which provides needed protein for hungry students and generates extra sales income.

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