April 2019 - Fruit Party Frenzy at Tumaini Schools
At the beginning of 2018, Tanzania Education Corp introduced fruit parties at Tumaini Schools. Through donation, enough fruit is purchased to serve a whole school. Fruit is not a regular part of the daily diet at school, so both the students and staff are excited for this nourishing occasion.
Approximately 350-475 bananas, 350-475 oranges and 17-18 watermelons are purchased depending on the school population. The fruit is always purchased from the market in Mto Wa Mbu, a village located midway between Tumaini Junior School and Tumaini Senior Secondary School.
Local women vendors, known as mamas, are able to benefit from the fruit party as this one transaction will total to a whopping 117, 000 Tanzanian Schillings or $50 USD. One fruit party is the equivalent of more than half a month’s salary for a mama at Mto Wa Mbu. The fruit party enriches the diet of one community and strengthens the economy of another.
Mr. Bernard, teacher and organizer of TJS fruit parties, has noticed the impact of this initiative. “The whole school community was very impressed with the success of the fruit parties. We really do appreciate the donors because of the amount of fruit we are able to provide the students.”
Fruit parties have altered the fruit intake of the boarding students, as they typically do not eat fruit. A great source of vitamins, fruits really balance meals that typically consist of carbohydrates and proteins.” He also notes among the benefits, that the rate of illness among the students has decreased. Mr. Bernard loves watermelons most, but the students also have their own opinions on the fruit parties:
Fauster Lazaro, Class 4
Fauster thinks fruit parties are nice because everyone in the school can enjoy the fruit. She likes fruit because it gives her energy and it’s fun sharing it with friends. Bananas and watermelons are Fauster’s favorite fruits.
Abel Elfuraha, Class 7
Abel feels that fruit parties help the students to learn different kind of fruit. He’s very happy on fruit party days because everyone is happy. He enjoys bananas, especially banana juice. Apart from liking the taste, he likes fruit because they provide vitamins that are useful for the boy’s protection.
Jackson Vangaeli, Class 7
Jackson is always excited for lunch on fruit party days. Apples and bananas are his favorite fruit. He enjoys eating fruit not only because of the sweet taste, but also the nutrients that support his immunity to illness.