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Autumn 2011 Update

Our link with Uru primary school in Tanzania continues to go from strength to strength. We have been linked with Uru school since 2004 and although the town of Uru is thousands of miles away, in a different country, located on a different continent to us here in Penrith, our link continues to thrive.
We’ve recently received news from Peter Shayo and staff to bring us up to date with developments at the school which North Lakes has helped financially over the past two years.
You may remember, just over a year ago Mrs Clark. Miss Hayes and Mrs Greenwood travelled out to Africa. During the visit in Oct 2010 funds were given to Peter Shayo to help with the renovation of the school dining hall and to connect this building to the electrical grid in the village. Part of this money was raised by the children of North Lakes School via a Harvest Festival collection and a copper coin trail. This was an amazing opportunity for all involved in Uru Primary to improve the conditions in which children ate and to help generate some income for the school by renting the building out to villagers for community weddings, local elections and co-operative societies. Peter and staff were amazed by the generosity and the whole of Uru are so thankful for our support with this project. Over the Christmas holidays, new photographs will be posted on our school website and NLS Moodle.
Maintaining the link is a challenge, but so important for the children at NLS as well as those at Uru. One of the ways is via pen pal letters. NLS children wrote in July 2011 and the year 3s in October 2011. Our mail system relies on friends and contacts mainly from the Brampton Tanzania Trust, travelling to Uru and delivering letters by hand. There is a national post system in Tanzania. however our experience has shown delivery by hand is the quickest and safest method! We have recently received replies from our friends in Uru and these have been distributed to the children this week. Many of the letters were addressed to specific pupils at our school, but others were general friend letters, so no one is left out!
I feel it is important to explain that English is a child’s third language in Uru. All children have a tribal language such as Chagga and speak Swahili from birth. Then, when they start school, all their lessons are taught in English and so they have to learn a third language very quickly. I’m sure you will be impressed by their English when you read the letters. However, this might explain why some of their writing is basic and not perfect.