Posted by: Laura Hartstone | 17 January, 2011

A Day at St Jude


St Jude (Usa Campus) - Mount Meru in background

We boarded the bus early in the morning and made a quick stop at the local vegetable/fruit stand to purchase some gifts for the families we would be visiting later in the day. Then we were off to visit The School of St. Jude, Moshono Campus, which is the original campus created by Gemma Sisia in 2002. This campus is now home to all of the primary and upper primary classes. We were greeted by a few staff members as well as four children who were kind enough to give us a tour of the school on their day off!


Team with students

Pascal, Rashid, Muhudini, and Kelvin showed us the art room, music room, library, computer labs, playground, and boarding rooms. The kids absolutely loved our cameras. Once Doug, our cameraman, had shown them pictures of themselves, we found ourselves handing over our cameras for them to use. Some of us quite enjoyed this, as we love having photos, but hate taking photos. What an easy solution to that problem!

Team in a classroom they helped fund with Founder, Gemma Sisia

The school is breath taking. The buildings, the staff, the gardens, and the overall atmosphere of respect, responsibility, honesty and kindness are unimaginable and come to life once you step foot into this amazing establishment. The team was blown away by how far Gemma’s vision of fighting poverty through education has grown and flourished in such a short amount of time. After seeing the already standing school grounds, we were taken to the construction sites where new buildings were being built by hand to accommodate the upper primary students. This project is carried on by hundreds of local workers who have come in to excavate and construct the buildings all by hand. It is an amazing sight to see.

After the tour of the school, the team was separated into small groups to visit the homes and families of three students. The students that attend St. Jude come from impoverished families. We were honored to be able to hear the stories of each child and why and how they ended up being accepted into the school. The children and their families expressed that they were thankful for the opportunities St Jude’s has presented them with. The school is highly respected in Tanzania and gives children the chance to not only learn, but the ability to dream big. These children do not just see themselves working on farms, in a small shop, or possibly landing out on the street; they now see visions of being pilots, teachers, doctors, football players, etc. It is beautiful to see and hear their stories.


Kaitlyn, Laura, Julieth and Charlotte

Later in the afternoon, Charlotte, Kaitlyn, Laura, and Doug headed out to Usa River Campus, where the secondary school is located. They visited with Kim Saville, the deputy director of the school and then toured a few classrooms to see the students attending classes. The class sizes were small, and the teachers genuinely cared about their students’ success. Shortly after school ended, they boarded a bus to visit Julieth, a student that Charlotte has been sponsoring for many years. Julieth is now 15 years old and she started the secondary school this year. Her family had to move to Dar Es Salaam last year. They did not want her to miss the chance to study in a great school so she has been living with her aunt since then. The house is small and shared by five family members. Despite these rough living conditions, Julieth has managed to study well over the past few months. Her English is amazing and she was able to share stories about the books she read, the dreams she has and the goals she is so sure to reach one day. She wants to be a lawyer to fight for women and children’s rights. Laura, Charlotte, Kaitlyn and Doug were shocked by the wisdom and insight of such a young individual. The School of St Jude is definitely making a difference in the lives of those children and 3 Peaks is really glad to continue supporting such a great organization.

As the evening has rolled in, the team is packing and getting ready for the first day on Mount Meru tomorrow. Wish them luck!

FrontlineSMS updates are unfortunately not working due to technical issues. Please stay posted on this blog for all updates.

Posted by Kaitlyn and Charlotte



  1. Charlotte, I’m so happy to see you with Julieth! Hope you had a great day! J’espère aussi que tu as pris des tas de photos et j’ai vraiment hâte de les voir!!!
    By the way, super article!!
    Bon courage pour Meru, je sais qu’il te tient particulièrement à coeur.
    Des bisous!

  2. “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.” Ethiopian Proverb

  3. Wow, sounds like you all had an amazing day visiting St. Jude’s. I can’t imagine the pride you must feel, making a difference in the lives of these children. You are inspiring!
    Good luck girls!
    Love you Sarah!

  4. A world full of Julieths : Now wouldn’t that be something?!!

  5. It sounds as if your visit to St. Jude’s school was quite an experience. You can’t give anything more valuable than educational opportunity. Val, it’s great to see you in the photos with your group as you continue to have amazing experiences.

  6. Dear Laura and the 2011 team,

    At this time of year the efforts of the 3 peaks team gives me a wonderful feeling of joy and renewed energy as I follow your amazing achievements.Despite the horrendous floods in Queensland,this sense of excitement is still present in 2011.
    I love reading this blog and following your day to day challenges and opportunities.
    Congratulations,enjoy every minute of this journey that you have all worked so hard to achieve and good luck.
    Warm wishes,
    Kerry Chick

  7. Hey Laura, bon courage for your next stage, particularly after partaking in the bread. Hope the visit to St Judes has given you even more inspiration for your teaching and music. Love Mum and Dad.

  8. Thank you Kaitlyn and Charlotte for today’s post. I imagine that it is a drop in the bucket compared to what you actually experienced. I am sure that it gives perspective to how much we have and how much of it we take for granted. All of these experiences you are sharing, is reaching out to many people around the world. Bravo!!! Love to the entire team and best wishes for the climb on Meru which is absolutely stunning in the background of the school. Love that photo.
    Till tomorrow, XXOOMOM/DAD/SEAN

  9. i feel your every step Kaczor:) love you Ty wanted me to tell you he misses you;) xoxo

  10. Wow… have just caught up on your past week. What you have achieved in a week is amazing… I have been to work, put on about 0.5kg (due to pregnancy) and read 1/2 a book. So it is so amazing to see what you have achieved in just 7 short days. AWESOME effort girls! Looking at your photos it is hard to believe you are experiencing this all first hand. It looks like something out of a book or a travel brochure. I hope it is as inspiring in real life as it is via a computer screen… no doubt it is times 1,000,000! Taz you are SO skinny and the smile on your face is priceless. It is brilliant to see you living the dream…we are all actually kind of scared that you will never come home and will run off to become an African Princess. I am in love with Simba… it is funny how characters like him make the trip… I think of Raka in Bali and Dax in Canada… mates that define your trip. Not much news from home… QLD has been flooding and it is amazing to see the Aussie spirit in play. People helping people! just like you girls are. I’m getting fatter… baby Mein is very proud of Frauntie Taz and is SO looking forward to you coming home. Sydney is hot and muggy and gross… so don’t stress about missing summer. It really isn’t a good one. Better fly… lots of work to do (boo! would much prefer to be at St Judes with you all). Stay safe. Look after each other and remember… not many people get to experience what you are. Enjoy every second of it… even the blisters! xxx Hayley

  11. Mt Meru tomorrow! That is unbelievable! Watch out for the buffalo on the trek! We are hear to offer prayers and support to the entire team as you conquer mountain number two. Best of luck and all our love and support 🙂 Remember Sarah, babci is already there waiting for you to take her hand!!!

  12. Holly
    You’re amazing. I hope you’re having a wonderful time and what you’re doing is truly an inspiration. I miss you Friend and I’m so proud of you!!!!!

  13. Congratulations to the whole team for making it this far, and good luck on Mt Meru. I can only imagine how emotional Charlotte was at returning to St Judes after committing so much of her life to seeing it grow from infancy – and to have been part of Julieth’s life for such a long time to see her grow into such an amazing young woman.

    Stay safe, and have a blast 🙂

  14. Congrats to all of you girls!

    And a special bravo for Charlotte!
    Garde le sourire, tourne ton regard vers les sommets et avance, avance sans reculer!


  15. Hey team, good luck with Meru! I’m sure you’ll rock the second mountain. x

  16. Great to see you Tara and the girls relaxing and enjoying your visit to the school of St Jude . Hope the climb to Mt Meru goes well and you can enjoy it a little more. Take care and love and best wishes from all the family xxx

  17. Hey Holly~ Zoe and I continue to follow your journey. We took out the map today and took a look at where you were and where you are now. Good luck with Meru. We love you.


  18. Hey team..I have you guys in my thoughts and prayers as you head off to Meru!! Tell Aunt Lynnie that Abe is reciting prayers in the native Meru launguage! Although it sounds much more like “mama-mama-mama” But I know if he could, he’d say “I Love You Aunt Lynnie. I’m so proud of you and I can’t wait to play with you when you get home!” We miss you and we are sooooo proud we are beaming!
    Love H.

  19. Can’t wait to hear today about where you are and what you have encountered. I know that St. Jude’s and Gemma gave you tremendous inspiration. Education is one of the finest ways to ensure peace. Love and prayers to all of you and an extra special hug for my darling Lynne.

  20. Charlotte
    Je ne peux que te féliciter pour ton engagement envers St Jude, le sourire de Juliet est ta récompense, je le dis encore une fois, je suis très fière.
    Je vous souhaite à toi et tes coéquipières une super ascension du Meru, ton voisin de St Jude
    Plein bises
    Ta mum !


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