Iambi Secondary School
Headmaster: Rev. Allan Kingu
Iambi Secondary School is one of two secondary schools sponsored by the Central Diocese of the ELCT (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania). As such, it is included in the diocese planning and the diocese has people on the school board. Iambi Secondary School, however, is not sponsored financially by the diocese.
In Tanzania the secondary schools, or high schools, consist of six years referred to as Forms 1-6. Iambi Secondary School has Forms 1-4 as is common. This means that students must go somewhere else to complete their secondary education. Iambi is a small village north of Singida and is the district administrative city in Singida Region. Singida also is where the head of the Central Diocese is located. Iambi is a bumpy two-hour drive from Singida. The school buildings are very basic. There is no electricity at the school nor in the town of Iambi, and thus no electric lights to study by, no computers, and no power for a water pump. There is a well that is pumped by hand. Recently, however, funding has been raised by a sister congregation in the Southeastern Minnesota Synod for a solar powered pump. Because there is no plumbing, there are no bathrooms as we know them, just outdoor toilets. Food for the students is cooked over an open fire and they eat outside if the weather is nice, as the dining room is too small to hold everyone.
Students sleep in dormitories. Last year Bethlehem Lutheran Church helped with funding to refurbish the walls in the boys' dormitory. When Wintersteens recently visited, they noted the great improvement of the freshly plastered and painted walls. In the dormitories there are bunk beds for the students. There are no closets, no dressers and no desks or bedside stands. Students store their belongings on empty beds, under the beds, or suspended from the ceiling! A few have mosquito nets, but they must provide these themselves. Students also must provide their own mattresses!
Both boys and girls attend Iambi Secondary School. In fact, there are a few more girls than boys. It is a boarding school with tuition of around $500 per year. As this is more than most families can pay, the SE MN Synod has had a program for some time to send scholarship money to help with scholarships for students. Bethlehem Lutheran has helped for several years with scholarship money for students. It makes the difference between a young person going to school or not, as most of the parents are poor, subsistence farmers.
According to Pastor Kingu, the Headmaster, the #1 priority now is for electricity for the school. He and others in the town are working to get electricity to the village and to the school. This is one of Bethlehem's monthly mission projects this year along with the mission project of providing scholarships for education for teachers for Iambi Secondary School.
Bethlehem youth have begun a project of communicating with students from the school. It is a slow process, as they don't have e-mail, but it is an opportunity to get to know someone from another culture. The school, the faculty and students need our interest and our prayers as they struggle with few resources to get an education. The address for Iambi Secondary School is P.O. Box 685, Singida, Tanzania.
Iambi has many needs. Click here for a list.