As much as we believe every kid should go to school, we don’t believe in building schools for people. Instead we partner with them. The opening of every one of our schools is the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work by thousands of people. When their school is up and running, they know in their hearts that they have sacrificed to build a better future for the youth in their village.
We believe every child - every boy and every girl - has a right to go to school. Some believe in educating girls because of its strategic value - we do too! But even more so, we simply believe it is a matter of justice. Girls have the right to go to school. We therefore provide large scholarships for every girl, no questions asked, no forms to fill out, no criteria to meet. And it works! Today we have 8,180 (52.2%) girls in our schools. We consider every girl who comes to school a great victory.
Just as our secondary schools are built for those who would otherwise never get to go to school, so too our college has been built for those who would otherwise never get to go to college. We purposefully seek out those who really need to go to college. We believe that if we provide our students with a college education that is practical, transforming and empowering, they have the potential to become leaders dedicated to serving those in society who are in greatest need. Our college opened in 2015; our first graduates are already hard at work at expanding the ministry of Village Schools -- not only in their own country of Tanzania, but also in the neighboring countries of Malawi, Zambia, Uganda and Kenya.
Our HIV/AIDS Community Treatment Center was built by our students and is staffed by our graduates. It serves those who would have simply died quietly in their villages because they were too far away from cities where they could get treatment. Village Schools is not a medical charity, but it is simply impossible for our students and teachers to turn a blind eye to what was happening in the villages where we are serving. Today we are helping over 1,200 people every month.
We send missionaries to the villages where we have schools to get so involved in the community that sharing the Gospel with people is the natural result of loving them. Some of our missionaries come from North America and Europe; others come from Tanzania and go to serve in other African countries. We ask all of them to work under our leaders in those countries, to live at the same standard of living as our teachers, and to be a part of the communities where they serve. Humility and sacrifice are key to the kind of service we are seeking from those we send out.