The children at Buguruni School are wonderful: extremely well-behaved, clinic keen to learn, order and always excited to meet new people. Visitors to the school are mobbed by pupils eager to show them around and give them a name-sign (deaf children give people signs rather than spelling out names). They smile a lot and are very responsive to any interest people show in them. The school tries to challenge them just as much as hearing children are challenged in school: they are expected to be polite and greet each other and guests with correct Tanzanian greetings, and there is a school percussion band and dance class. Pupils are also encouraged to vocalise: the school is a little quieter than other schools in Tanzania, but it is certainly never silent!
James is always full of energy. His parents have HIV and cannot look after him at home, so he boards at the school. He is very bright. His best friend is…
Laurence also boards, because his parents live a long way from the school. He is very shy and smiles a lot. He is top of his class and particularly loves maths. His teacher told us: “He only needs a tiny bit of teaching and he remembers it for ever.”
Amina lives near the school. She graduated from the nursery class in January 2009 and is very excited to be wearing her new, grown-up blue uniform. She absolutely loves school and tries really hard to get her numbers and letters right.
Richadi boards. He is very responsible and helps look after the younger children at playtime. He loves art and has his own paintbox.
Janethy is the leader of the school band. She has a huge personality, and conducts very strictly but with extraordinary charm.
Dickson is in the carpentry class. He was homeless and now lives in theDogo Dogo Centre, which looks after Tanzanian street children. He is very relaxed, makes friends very easily, and his big news is that he visited the UK recently as a guest of David Blunkett!