Since 2004, the staff and families of Perimeter School have served, visited, prayed for, and equipped the students, teachers,and local church family in the remote village of Karanse, Tanzania. This emphasis is a part of the overall transformation of that village that God has done through the leadership of Global Outreach at Perimeter Church. Many of our school families financially sponsor the village children and provide scholarships for Christian teacher training. A team of our teachers and administrators take an annual ten day trip to Karanse to train Karansi teachers in effective educational techniques, but also to be blessed by close relationships with the joyful believers in that nation. Through friendship, worship, prayer, letter-writing, and economic support, our “school village” in north Atlanta has risen up to love, provide for the educational needs and otherwise support our fellow saints of the church of Jesus Christ in north Tanzania.
The vision for the School in Karanse came through our Lord to Pastor Wariaeli Maphie, who is the pastor of the local church. Originally from a village approximately 30 minutes away from Karanse, he had the vision for teaching the poorest of the poor. Because Karanse is a very poor community with a high number of widows, orphans, and families living in extreme poverty, and is known as a former safe haven for thieves, Pastor Wariaeli felt led to move with his family to Karanse to live out the gospel as he ministered to the needy inhabitants of this village. Originally met with suspicion and strong opposition by those who wanted to drive him out of the village, he is now a venerated leader of the village and a major catalyst for desirable change in the village and beyond, having established over 15 churches in nearby villages. The School now employs 14 teachers and has an enrollment of over 200 children, ranging in age from 5-13 (K-7th grade).
Indigenous Christian Teachers
The School in Karanse employs indigenous believing teachers. The teachers go to Joshua Teacher Training College (JTTC), a western-run college outside Arusha, Tanzania, for two weeks of intensive on-the-job training. JTTC staff also go to the village to offer professional devleopment for the teachers. Additionally, Perimeter teachers visit annually as part of an on-going training program. This year they will be working with teachers in the areas of math and science, as well as helping to implement more investigative and hands-on teaching methods in the lower grades. Perimeter School will also be participating in launching an exciting new venture - a village library.
Many of our school families sponsor children to attend the school in Karanse. These sponsorship opportunities are available as a result of a program called PROJECT CHILD, through Perimeter Church. This program, similar to those of Compassion International, provides the sponsored children with daily nourishment, education, health benefits, and biblical study with worship, all of which aid in their development. The children are also connected to the spiritual nourishment and discipleship through the ministry of the Karanse Church, who administers much of the program.
Teachers Training Teachers
Our teachers and staff have worked closely with the School in Karanse in assisting the local teachers to develop their own curriculum and teaching methods, drawing upon our more than 25 years of experience in Christian education. We are intentional in encouraging but not directing their efforts. It is their school under God’s control. We do provide tools they can use to expose their students to a quality education, living books, and the best minds, in a safe and loving Christian environment. Their own vision is to plant the seeds that will move the next generation to see themselves as they truly are, unique creations of God and therefore worthy of respect, love, and dignity. They believe their students will transform the nation.
The students in Perimeter School participate in supporting the Karanse School in many ways. Through the contributions of their families, our students may sponsor and pray for a child individually. A classroom may adopt a Karansi classroom of children and pray for them by name, regularly writing letters, sending pictures and small gifts. There are also several popular “Jeans Days” throughout the year in which the children pay a fee to take a break from our standardized dress and wear ”non-uniforms” to school – with collected funds going toward purchasing school supplies and other support for the school in Karanse.
The picture above is taken from a letter from one of our first grade students, Alexandria, to Denis, a student at Punchmi. Alexandria is playing with Denis on the new playground at the Punchmi School. Take a moment to enjoy the following letters from our students to Denis: from Alexandria, from Kristine, from Jonathan, and from Sienna
Reasons to Celebrate!
Celebrating with the School in Karanse in the graduation of their first 7th grade class in December 2009, all of whom passed their exams to enter secondary schools, Perimeter School has been blessed with seeing the fruit of the efforts of our staff and school families in supporting this school. These students ranked at the top of their entire region on the national exams, to the glory of God! Though the current situation in Tanzania looks hopeless with the spread of HIV-Aids and the extreme poverty, Christ is doing a great work in the hearts and the minds of this next generation school, bringing hope for all of East Africa.