Frequently asked questions
What to expect if my student leaves the program?
You will be notified that your student has left the program, and if there is an explanation as to why, we will let you know. In the same notification, we will transfer your sponsorship to another child in need, and give you information about them.
What are some reasons that my student would leave the program?
Some reasons could be: families moving to another village, children needed at home for working the land, transferred to the government school (Standard of education is less), graduated and moving on, or learning difficulties.
Does my $30 monthly gift go towards administrative fees?
No! This program does not have any paying staff on the United States end. We all serve in a volunteer capacity so that all your sacrificial giving is used for educating your student(s), and nothing more.
What is a Duka basket?
Anytime during the year, you can purchase your students' family a $25 Duka basket. This basket is a wash basin wrapped in a kitenge (large piece of material used for clothing or carrying a baby), two bags of flour, two bags of salt, sugar, tea and oil. This gift will support a family of four for a month.
Why do we have food drives if sponsorship includes food?
The Sakila Sponsorship Program has not raised our sponsorship fees in about 10 years, and we would really like to keep it this way for you, as long as possible. Between inflation and the cost of purchasing food being dependent on either a drought or flood year in Tanzania, we have needed to reach out yearly for supplemental support.
What happens after my student graduates from Standard 7 (Primary School)?
Your student will have finished the government requirement for schooling in Tanzania. They have a graduation in October, and are finished in November. Then, they have a bit of a break before they start Form 1 (High School), in January. Students may choose not to continue on, and we will contact you once we are sure that they are not coming back. Sometimes, it takes a few months for kids to come back after a break because they need to help their families, lack of resources, and other unforeseen obstacles.
What happens after my student graduates from Form 4 (Lower Secondary School)?
They graduate in October, and finish in November, and then if they are willing and able to move on to Form 5, they will start school again in July of the coming year. This period of time gives them an opportunity to work and continue studying for the intense period of upper secondary school, before university. This schooling is about 3 times the cost of Primary School, and the intensity of work study is unlike our own. If you choose to continue to support your student this far, your financial support helps their room and board on campus, and educators tutoring them for the July start date. If they choose not to move on to Form 5, they are highly sought after by the government for trade schools. Your students English will give them opportunities that many people will not have.
What happens after my student graduates from Form 6 (Upper Secondary School)?
If your student passed the National Exam from Form 6 with high marks, then the government will send your student to a government school, and they may pay up to 75% of tuition and fees. Your student can still choose to go on to university with passing grades, however, they may need to take out loans to do this. In addition, some may even choose to go on to a trade school.
Can I contact my student via phone, email, social media or text?
No, we ask that you do not contact your student via these methods until your student is out of the program. This is for your security. If you would like more details on why this is a policy, please contact Jennifer Kamrath at 541-405-6650.
When I send money for the Monthly Family Assistance, does it go directly to the family of our student?
No. Your faithful giving to support the families of your students are placed in a separate account and evenly distributed to the families on a list that support this specific donation. Families on the list will come to the store (Duka) every two weeks and receive food and staples. We ask for a standard amount of $20 a month, in order to make this process work in a fair and loving manner. Tanzanian society is a “Share” society, and if the family standing in line ahead of someone receives $30 worth of goods for two weeks, and another is only given $10 worth of goods, it will cause conflict and strife. We hope that you can understand the necessity of this way of life that many be different from our own.
May I visit my student?
Yes, yes, and yes! Your presence in Sakila, Tanzania, would be most welcome. This would be very meaningful to your student, and it will bring a new level of understanding about why this program was started.
How do I correspond with my student?
You may mail your letter or email for your student to our correspondence coordinator, and it will be sent on via email or physically taken to Sakila, the next time someone goes for a visit. We ask that you please avoid photographs of your home, cars, and material possessions. These children come from poverty, and this can give then the wrong impression.
Will I receive anything from my student?
Yes, you will receive a minimum of one letter a year from your student(s). In Standard 1 (First grade), they start learning English and Swahili. For the first 3 years, they will need help with their letters, and most will draw pictures. After the third grade, they will begin to start writing you in English.
Can I send gifts to my student?
Other than a few small items such as stickers and stationery, we ask that your extra gifts are given through the Duka basket and Monthly Family Assistance. Due to the increase in fines at the ports in Dar es Salaam and our increase in student numbers, we are not able to send boxes over for families anymore.
If my student has been gone from the program for a month or two while updating is being done, what happens to my support?
If this happens, your support will go towards the students that are still waiting for a sponsor, and those that have lost their sponsors.
What does the I.D. number of my student mean?
The first two numbers are the year they started Standard 1 (First Grade), and the second two is simply the number as listed on a page. For example, the #2130 is a student that started first grade in the year 2021, and is the 30th student on the list.
Why does my students’ name seem to change sometimes?
The middle name should never change. This is the most important name, and it is their father’s first name. This is why there will be female first names with a male middle name. Students may change their first name because of preference, and change their last name because of living with a different family than their own.
Can I send mail directly to our student?
No. For your privacy and protection, we do not allow direct mailings. Mail your correspondence to the correspondence coordinator, and it will be forwarded. Also, our policy does not allow us to send maps, addresses or phone numbers to your student. There are no home addresses and post offices in Sakila, Tanzania, therefore, mail cannot be sent.
Do you monitor our correspondence?
Yes. This is for the protection of your student, as well as your own. In order to promote fairness and monitor the affects that affluence in America can bring, we ask that certain things are avoided mentioning in text, and showing in photos. We will forward your letter or photos on to your student, after we have made sure that there is nothing that can lead your student directly back to your home.
Didn't find what you were looking for?
If you have any questions about your current sponsorship or if you’d like more information about how to become a Sponsor in the Sakila Sponsorship Program, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We'd love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have!