Testimonianza Maria Misa Pagnin

Schooling provides you with the luxury of choice. Education rewards you with self-esteem, inquiring and critical minds and the desire to continue learning for life. Education highlights what you can realistically do to help yourself to work towards a hopeful future. Ultimately it is the Tanzanians who need to be developed, not factories or straight roads. Claudio Turina knows this. Julius Nyerere knew it, too. He even laid down the foundations for, what he considered, an appropriate Tanzanian education system where productive work should be an integral part of the school curriculum and where meaningful learning experiences should be taught through the integration of theory and practice.
So why is it that all those Aid Agencies aren’t always aiding? After even such a brief period of time, the limited benefits of many large foreign aid campaigns became all too apparent. To start with, the flow of donations gets siphoned off into marketing costs, project management costs, personnel wages and expenses and a thriving and what well-intentioned donors just don’t realize, is that this reliable cash entry and these large scale life-improving projects have managed to perpetuate a form of ‘aid dependency’ resulting in idleness and apathy. I would dread to think that certain
Tanzanians’ ambitions were limited to getting charitable organizations to sponsor their desperation and not someone else’s but, if hand-outs are going to keep coming in from the guilt-ridden western world, it is not difficult to see why their struggling aspirations might take a turn for the worse. I worked with two classes of promising teenagers at the Ngombezi Seconday School in Ngombezi. They had very little means but big ambitions. Forty respectful students in each class who nurtured dreams of becoming nurses, doctors, teachers, politicians, tour guides, successful farmers and croppers. I hope they can afford to make it. I hope they don’t get addicted to the aid dependency agencies and lose motivation. I hope they don’t succumb to feeling incapable of achieving their goals as others have felt before them. I hope they will overcome feeling inadequate, belittled and disparaged by those who keep dictating what they should and shouldn’t be doing. The more educated Tanzanians the country can foster, the less external interference will be required. As Claudio Turina says, “Make them study.” Take it from an experienced missionary who doesn’t work for any large scale aid agency. A single man of great insight who has understood exactly what is required. Assist the children in getting educated – for themselves, for their families and for the love of their own country.
This is the only ambition anybody should have for this country.
Maria Misa Pagnin

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