St Michael School, Kilolo, is an Anglican secondary school within the Diocese of Ruaha in Tanzania situated 35km south east of Iringa at an altitude of 6,200 feet above sea level. It is open to students of all religious denominations. The school opened in 2005 as a project initiated by David Tilley with the charity Soapbox. Its development was the inspiration of Bishop Donald Mtetemela, first Bishop of Ruaha who had a vision for a secondary school which would give the people a future.
St Michael attracts pupils from far and wide and has continued to expand with continued support from visits by Soapbox. The school has gone from strength to strength – from a village which had no electricity to one with nearly 400 students. Despite only having been open for 6 years, it now ranks within the top 15% of schools nationally in Tanzania.
The school has eight classrooms, two for each of the four academic years up to Form IV (GCSE level). Future developments will double the current capacity and, in addition, provide education up to Form VI (A level). Hostel accommodation is also available for students who need it.
The Foundation has a sponsorship programme to enable young people to attend St Michael School. Many of the students are orphans or from very poor rural areas local to the school and, as such, cannot afford the costs of secondary or higher education. Students who apply for sponsorship are carefully screened by teachers and then selected on merit by the Sponsorship Committee. This sponsorship can cover both tuition fees and hostel accommodation close to the school.
Around 15% of the current student body is supported for fees and hostel accommodation with the sponsorship funds coming from international sources like the David Tilley Foundation. Several of the highest academic achievers are included among the supported students. St Michael’s school aims to provide regular feedback to sponsors as stipulated in their sponsorship policy.
It costs around £30 each month to cover the full cost of tuition fees and hostel accommodation for a promising young person who otherwise could not attend St Michael’s but who wants an education and a future.
To download a sponsorship form for St Michael school, click here.
“Your education is your life, Guard it well” – Motto of St Michael School, Kilolo, Tanzania
To find out how the SoapBox Trust is making a difference around the world in orphanages, schools and community based projects then click here