Secondary Campus News

Learn the Life: Sending hope to Tanzania

Posted on: April 6, 2017 12:00 am

All week Finneytown Secondary students are learning about the struggles of three Tanzanian villages -- and finding creative ways to help.

Six years ago, Finneytown student Phil Reinhart started Learn the Life, a project to help students not only raise funds to help the impoverished Rorya district of Tanzania but feel the struggles residents faced. This year, Finneytown Secondary students and staff resurrected the project.

During the week of April 4-7, students have been given the chance to fast for a day and donate their lunch money to a village nutrition project; to donate their spare change to a water filtration project; to spend a day in silence to recognize victims of malaria, AIDS/HIV and malnutrition; and to buy a ticket to a staff-versus-students basketball game to raise funds for mosquito nets to prevent malaria. All week, students and staff could also purchase Bead for Life jewelry to support Ugandan female entrepreneurs. By April 6, Finneytown students had collected $1,300 for the project.

"I learned about how the community can come together and help a greater cause, and that this is a school tradition that we're proud of," said senior Anna Amend, who volunteered with the project. "Being hungry for a day opened my eyes to how hard it is to go through even one school day without food -- how it affects your learning and your energy level."

Finneytown students have been in contact with Dr. Chris Lewis, also a Finneytown alumnus, who created the Village Life foundation to help provide aid and education for the Tanzanian villages.