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St Aidan’s CBS is embarking on a fourth biannual Tanzania Immersion project in 2015. 13 students and 3 teachers hope to travel to Arusha in northern Tanzania to link up with our partner school, Sinon High School. The boys will attend school in Tanzania for a half day each day and immerse themselves in the Tanzanian education system. In the afternoons, they will visit orphanages, a teenage remand centre and the Food Water Shelter, where they spend time playing with the children and helping out in any way they can. They will also get the opportunity to visit the Masai community, where a priest from Ireland has built two schools and a church.
In 2013, the previous Immersion team raised €11,200 to donate to the projects which we visited. We were able to achieve the following;

•    Pay the salary of 1 teacher for a year. This will allow 25 children to attend primary school who would not have the opportunity to do so otherwise.
•    Sponsor the secondary school education of 16 children.
•    Help build a dormitory at the school in the Massai territory, to allow more children to attend school here.
•    Provide projectors for the Edmund Rice school we visited.
•    Provide books, toys, clothes, stationery and other supports to children in two orphanages and a primary school.

Our own students benefited enormously from developmental awareness and gained a deep appreciation for the struggle that people in the developing world face each day. They are ambassadors for our school and Whitehall parish while they are out there and deep links have been forged between our school and Sinon in Tanzania.

Preparation for the Tanzania Immersion involves fundraising and preparing our students emotionally for the trip. In the past we have had race nights, quizzes, bag packing, bucket collecting and generous donations from local businesses. In order to ensure that the Immersion project is accessible to all students, all costs for Immersion are paid for through fundraising.

We are very grateful to parents, local businesses, school staff, parents’ association and Board of Management in their assistance in this very worthwhile project.