The Power of a First-Hand Experience

Sponsor and Student Meet Each Other for the First Time

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Sega touches the lives of hundreds of people – our students, their families, the Morogoro community, our staff, our volunteers and so many more. For many people involved with Nurturing Minds and Sega, their support and involvement spans oceans – a sign of true commitment. However, one of the most significant experiences for all parties involved, is when Sega community members and supporters cross these oceans and expanses of cultural differences and meet each other in person for the first time. One of these special introductions occurred just last week…

Nicki Bibbo has been sponsoring and corresponding with Lucy, a Sega student, for the last 5 years. Despite their personal connection, they had not met each other in person until Lucy’s graduation several weeks ago. Below Nicki writes a powerful account of her experience meeting Lucy for the first time and attending graduation:

What an amazing experience it was to attend the first graduating ceremony at the Sega Secondary School! We were first greeted by the colorful Maasai warriors who guard the school. As we entered the campus the enthusiastic singing and dancing of the students engulfed us with great joy.

This graduation was such a joyous occasion. There was more dancing and singing by the students, which led to the inclusion of guests and dignitaries. There were songs the students wrote for the graduating class which reflected the affection the students have for one another. Speeches given by Sharon Croner, the head of Tanzania AID, Polly Dolan, and a few staff members were very heartfelt and encouraging for the girls.

Watching the students interact with Polly Dolan revealed how much personal involvement she has with the students. The buildings and structures and grounds reflect the superb planning and forward development of the campus. The heart of the school are the students, staff, and volunteers.

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Meeting Lucy … was incredible. What a beautiful and engaging smile she has! I was so surprised by her conversational English. Then I remembered that the written form of a language is the most difficult form to learn. She has such a delightful sense of humor.

                                                                                                                                                                          [We had the great privilege of listening to Lucy and the other girls] describe and demonstrate some of the various projects they’re involved in: the Business Club, the Anti-Ivory Club, the garden beds, and the Poultry Project. Not only were the students very informative in their presentations, they also fielded our questions very well.

Having had this personal experience with the school, students, and personnel there has strengthened my commitment to Nurturing Minds. It certainly seems that every contribution is put to great use and is greatly appreciated. 

                       — Nicki Bibbo