Opening eyes and hearts with our University of Wollongong partnership
Since 2018, So They Can has partnered with the University of Wollongong (UOW) to bring together Teaching students from Australia and Tanzania to share practices and learn from their international peers.
UOW has a strong reputation for educating quality teachers in Australia, which attracted the attention of our team at So They Can. With both organisations committed to a shared purpose, we saw an amazing opportunity to improve the quality of teaching in Tanzania while also creating a life-changing experience for students from UOW’s Master of Education program.
The UOW Tanzania Teaching Program is a two-week intensive that’s equal parts teaching, cultural immersion and community development work. Immersed in rural Tanzania, the UOW students have to meet the challenges of teaching with a lack of resources to very large numbers of children while navigating a language barrier – with goodwill and grace. Brianna Throsby, one of the UOW students who travelled to Tanzania earlier this year said the experience opened her eyes and her heart.
“What really hit me was how happy and enthusiastic the students are to be at school,” she says. “People were really beautiful, grateful, open and welcoming.”
This opportunity to broaden their teaching horizons is, in part, thanks to the generosity of University staff contributing to the UOW Cares workplace giving program, of which the Tanzania Teaching Program is a beneficiary. UOW Social Sciences Faculty Executive Manager, Katrina Gamble, worked closely with the local community and So They Can to ensure a well-rounded experience for both the Tanzanian and Australian teachers.
“It’s a journey where we see our students start out really idealistic and they come away having found out lots more about themselves, about the world. It’s definitely a two-way street, the Tanzania teachers have phenomenal outcomes and our UOW students learn so much – about themselves, about being flexible and resilient.”
We’re so grateful for the partnership with UOW and we look forward to being able to welcome their Teacher Training students back to Tanzania when borders reopen.
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