Offering free education in Tanzania with Gemma Sisia

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Gemma Sisia grew up in Australia and has been living in Tanzania for the past 20 years. In 2002, she founded the School of St. Jude, a charity school in the Arusha Region of Tanzania. Today the school has more than 1800 students.

Gemma saw for herself how her parents always made school fees the priority, even when times were tough. When she graduated as a maths and science teacher and had the opportunity to teach in Tanzania, she did. But in the mid- 90’s, many of the students she was teaching had to leave because they were losing their parents to AIDS and weren't able to pay the school fees. That really upset her.
Back in Australia she told her parents: ‘I'm going to build a school in Africa that doesn't charge school fees’. She was under 25 and thanks to her vision and a friend's $10 donation, she opened a bank account and started fundraising.
When she arrived in Tanzania in 2001 , she built the first classrooms in six months. Today she manages an impressive USD 6 million budget to run all of their schools.
Their staff is mainly local and their ethos is based on keeping their students in the country or in Africa to make a difference in the long term.

Listen to some of her students too in this incredible interview!
I would love to hear any comments you might have on this episode and respond to any questions. You can find me on the Brave New World Facebook page, on Linkedin or on my website:

Cecilia Poullain
Founder of Brave New Women
Coach - Empowering Women to Find their Voice

Music: Stephen Marquis
Editing: Talal Bouroki

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