Most of our students live in the local Simonga village in one- or -two-roomed mud houses with their entire families. At home they cook outside on firewood or a charcoal brazier, and they take a bucket of water to a grass enclosure when they need to wash.
Families have no access to running water and little or no electricity, so children will be sent to collect water and firewood every day. The closest town to Simonga village is Livingstone, which is 17km away. Families in Simonga are often unable to pay for a taxi into town, let alone the fees of a Livingstone school.
Our students live between 4 and 10km away. They all walk or cycle to school, which can take up to two and a half hours. And yet every day they wake up early and make that journey, always arriving punctually and smart. Often they stay late, and during the holidays Tujatane teems with children who have signed up for extra activities. This is partly because we provide two meals a day for each child, but also because our students love to learn.
Tujatane children have big dreams. They aspire to be pilots and teachers, accountants and lawyers and clinical officers and nurses. They have seen their older friends and siblings succeed through education and they want to as well.
Our students want to grow up to live in homes with running water and their own beds, and they work hard to realise these dreams. Without places like Tujatane, however, they would simply not have the opportunity.
We currently have over 280 children between the ages of 3 and 17 who attend Tujatane. None of them pay school fees. It is thanks to the International Tujatane Family - a collection of wonderful sponsors living all over the world – that our children are able to come to school every day and use our computer lab, write songs, solve equations, and learn about how to create a better future for themselves and the people around them.