By: Ngaire McCubben, Communications, External Relations and Fundraising Officer, Tanzania
Photo: Betsy and her Kisa Scholar, Hosiana
Betsy Hoke first learned of AfricAid in 2003 when her daughter got involved in an AfricAid fundraiser at her high school, soon after Ashley Shuyler, a student at the same high school, founded AfricAid. Six years later, Betsy was on the AfricAid Board, where she volunteered her time tirelessly until mid-2015. For 2 ½ of those years she was the Secretary. She also acted in the role of Interim Executive Director for four months, and headed AfricAid’s major annual fundraising event, Art and Soul, in 2013 and 2014.
Betsy has visited Tanzania a whopping nine times, but it’s not all play! She is heavily involved in a Montessori education program at Upendo Primary School, has facilitated volunteer visits, and helped AfricAid recruit new Kisa Sponsors.
As part of her commitment to AfricAid, Betsy also became a Kisa Sponsor herself. She has already seen two Kisa Scholars successfully through the program, and is now sponsoring her third Kisa Scholar, Hosiana. On her most recent visit to Tanzania, Betsy and Hosiana finally had an opportunity to meet face to face. There were lots of hugs, and much to talk about! Overcoming her initial shyness, Hosiana told Betsy about her family, her hopes and dreams for the future, and how much she was enjoying being part of the Kisa Project. It was a brief but rewarding catch-up for both Sponsor and Scholar.
Hosiana’s Kisa Mentor, Hadija, says that Hosiana is an outstanding student. She describes her as ‘open-minded, articulate, pro-active, and focused’. Hosiana is in Year 2 of the program and hopes to study Political Science when she finishes school. She will sit the National Examinations for Form Six in April next year.
Betsy says she got involved with AfricAid because she strongly believes in the value of educating girls in low income countries like Tanzania, and in the value of education in general. She says the strengths of the Kisa Project are the amazing Kisa Mentors, who inspire Scholars and who are incredible role models; the Kisa Curriculum, which was originally developed by AfricAid founder Ashley Shuyler; and the Year 2 practicum, which spreads the impact of the Kisa Program to other young women in Tanzania.