The Partially Sighted Society News Page

Our Donations to Tanzania – An Update from Aleen and Brian

Our Donations to Tanzania – An Update from Aleen and Brian

The Partially Sighted Society has continued its efforts in donating our surplus bold-lined exercise books and visual aids to schools across Tanzania, with our latest shipment arriving this month. Aleen and Brian Medcalf are the leading force behind us being able to deliver all this life-changing equipment. Aleen has recently written to us to provide an update from all the schools that have benefitted from receiving our surplus items, Aleen writes:


Hello, again!


We hope all is well with you at home and at PSS.


The international AfB has been buzzing over the last 6 weeks! Your exercise books have been received in Dodoma, for use by the Special Educational Needs teacher at Lion King Academy, by your friends in the DCT Mvumi Secondary School Specialist Unit for the visually impaired students and by students at Kigwe Primary School for the Deaf.

Further, to the West, the Specialist Unit at Murgwanza School, Ngara District, Kagera Region have been delighted to receive more books and the Tanzania Albinism Society, also working in that region (out of Karagwe District), have identified (and will supply) yet more students in need spread over this very wide area.

Mvumi had first choice of the equipment you donated but that still left plenty of protractors for all as well as binoculars, anti-glare glasses, various magnifiers, and a keyboard which Ignas (TAS) and Ahia (Murgwanza) have shared between their institutions.


We felt some of the equipment was too sensitive to send by AfB and were delighted to make 2 new friends! We were put in touch with a lady in York who had a Tanzanian friend about to return, briefly, to the country. He very kindly agreed to courier them for us!


A few parcels have yet to arrive, but all have been welcomed with enormous gratitude - the following is from Ahia, in Ngara on behalf of himself and Ignas:


"Greetings from your many friends of Murgwanza Special Education Unit of Murgwanza Primary School. I am excited to let you know that I have just collected two parcels containing exercise books and protractors. I hope the other parcel is on the way... On behalf of the school authority, students and Ngara community at large, I am thankful... Be blessed abundantly."


The other parcel arrived a few days later when he wrote:


"These resources will be very positive for the learning of the children with disabilities in Ngara and Karagwe districts."

The pictures attached are from Patrick Matonya, the Liaison Officer for the Deaf Ministry (Diocese of Central Tanganyika) who distributed books to some students at Kigwe Primary School for the Deaf - there are those who have other disabilities as well.


Many students at Kigwe are identified and sponsored by the Ministry team. This is always a struggle as, although the teachers are mostly provided by the government, children still have to have uniform and exercise books - as well as toiletries for the boarders - before the school authorities will accept them. Patrick’s immediate response to my question as to whether he could use more books was, "Yes, please! I will need many to support the new students we hope to send in July." Thanks to your supplies, he will receive a top-up shortly!

Ernest sends his personal greetings to you all and stresses, again, how much the students like the books. They have recently started using NVDA Screen Reader and he asks, without wishing to be greedy, if you ever have any headsets to re-home, you may think of them!


We always include a slip, so recipients know the source of the books. I can only imagine ears at PSS have been burning recently.

Thank you all again for your kindness and assistance. We think low-vision students in Tanzania will be well-equipped for this year, now!