Meet the People of GHTA
We interview about 100 women each November and select 50 new students who start in January.
When we interview and choose students, we strive to meet these goals:
Women over 30 with extreme economic challenges and families to support
Priority is given to single mothers who have only primary education
Goals of opening a small business, or finding better employment
The ability and commitment to attend classes, do homework, and study hard
Our Team The GHTA FAMILY
Meet the School and Program
Margret Samsoni: Asst. Mgr & CookGHTA Graduate (2009) Margret is truly the nicest person you have ever met. She brightens everyone’s day, whether by singing in the kitchen, or laughing when our volunteers teach her to cook a new meal. She genuinely loves her job and all of our volunteers. She always goes above and beyond, helping everyone in any way she can. She is a single mom and her son George is her pride and joy. In 2017 she started assisting our General Manager with administrative tasks.
ZuwenaTeacher, Translator and GHTA Graduate (2014) Zuwena graduated from GHTA as one of the top students and was selected by her peers to be a translator. She is now working at GHTA as a Teacher/Translator and assists with Vocational and Business classes. She loves the students, is very patient and dedicated. She is raising her little girl by herself and aspires to being a small business owner one day.
TausiTeacher, Translator and GHTA Graduate (2014) Following graduation she was offered the opportunity to run the GHTA kiosk with two former students. When a position later opened at the school for a Teacher/Translator in the Business class, Tausi was top of mind. She easily translates between Swahili and English, and has strong business skills. Tausi is excellent with the students and the volunteers. Married, with a teenage son, and twin boys, Tausi hopes work at the school for many years.
BahatiTeacher, Translator, and GHTA Graduate (2017) Bahati has been translating English since 2018. She learned English by watching foreign movies and perfected it in our school. She lives with her daughter and mother in Moshi.
CeciHousekeeper and GHTA Graduate (2013) Ceci is responsible for maintaining the volunteer living quarters. Throughout the school week she spends each day cleaning and helping with chores around the house, including washing the volunteers’ clothes for a small fee. She loves working at GHTA, and being around the students and volunteers gives her a chance to practice her English. Ceci lives with her daughter and granddaughter, and working at GHTA has enabled to support her family.
SophiaBookkeeper, GHTA Graduate (2013), College Graduate (2017) Sophia completed a diploma in Accounting from Tumaini University in 2017. She has been gaining professional experience as a bookkeeper in our school, while she continues to complete her degree. She lives with her husband and two children, Hamisi and Mwanaidi in Moshi.
MaryChildcare Provider and GHTA Graduate (2014) Mary has been looking after our students’ children for the past 4 years. She has her hands full every morning making sure the children are well taken care of and stimulated. She is a mother of two beautiful children, Annette and Ezekiel.
Gabriel, Frank & Johachime: WatchmenOur three caring and responsible watchmen, who provide 24 hr security to our school and volunteer house. They are part of our family as area all of our team members.
Laurie Mackechnie:Volunteer DirectorI first visited Tanzania, and GHTA as a volunteer in 2013. Before choosing GHTA, I spent months looking for the right organization. I was not disappointed in my choice. I fell in love with the students, GHTA, and Tanzania. It was truly the most amazing, and impactful experience of my life. At the end of my five weeks I was already hatching a plan on how I could return the next year. Since that time I returned two more times, and now serve on the volunteer board.
At Give A Heart To Africa, we run a free Adult Education Centre where disadvantaged women learn basic business skills, English, math, and vocational skills. The school runs Monday to Thursday, from 9 a.m. to noon (local time). Each class is taught by a volunteer (or volunteers) in combination with a local Tanzanian teacher/translator.
English is the (unofficial) second language of Tanzania, and knowledge of English opens up job opportunities for women. Many jobs require employees to speak English, especially if people will interact with tourists. The students we accept into our school come with varying levels of English, depending on their previous schooling.
Our English classes are divided into three groups. We teach the same core curriculum to all groups, however, the pace and progress is different.
Group 1 has limited or no knowledge of the English language. They rely more heavily on our Tanzanian English teacher to explain concepts and the students require more practice. This group moves more slowly through the curriculum and learns the basics of English within six months.
Group 2 and 3 have a basic or good grasp of the language. They are able to move more quickly through the lessons and to learn more, and more difficult, English concepts.
In all 3 groups, we incorporate conversation classes. These classes allow the students to practice having conversations in English and try out the concepts they have learned in class that week. These conversation classes are wonderful for our students and our volunteers to learn more about each other’s lives and cultures.
Many Tanzanian women operate small businesses as a way to support their family, but often lack a basic understanding of the concepts of business operation. With this new knowledge, our students are equipped to operate more successful business and better support their families. The business curriculum is structured to equip students with enough knowledge to help them start a small business.
The curriculum was developed from business and marketing classes and textbooks in Canada and tailored specifically for the realities of business in Tanzania. The students learn the basics of accounting, sales, and marketing. Students also have to write a Business Plan and a Marketing Plan during the course, and have to execute 3 hands-on assignments.
Vocational Skills Classes
Our students learn various hands on skills which they can turn into a career or small business upon graduation. Currently, we are teaching the students how to make various arts and crafts, soaps, candles, tye dye fabrics. Some of the new skills our students have learned have come from our volunteers’ experiences, skills and passions. The skills our volunteers share with our students often give them arts and craft ideas which are new to Tanzanian culture. We very much welcome when volunteers come and share their unique skills with our students and our students appreciate it as well.
Our students learn basic mathematical skills such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, as well as how to solve problems related to business accounting.
Our previous students come together on a regular basis to attend sessions which provide further education and support in business, and vocational skills