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St Jude's/Sisia, Gemma/Paper/1405037954/S030-F
St Jude's is the remarkable story of an Australian girl from the bush who's busy transforming the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of African children. Her name is Gemma Sisia, and she runs a school in Tanzania called The School of St Jude.
Gemma's idea is simple. Her school is for the very poorest kids, the ones whose families can't afford the clothes or books or even pencils to send their children to the supposedly "free" government schools. These are the children of illiterate parents, whose destiny is to remain trapped in a cycle of poor education, illiteracy and poverty. Her slogan is "fighting poverty through education".
Gemma started St Jude's (named after the patron saint of hopeless causes) in 2002 with an 18-year-old volunteer teacher from Sydney, three kids and her own boundless energy. From those humble beginnings, the school now has over 850 students, and one of the best academic records in the country. There are plans for a second campus, and a long term aim of reproducing the hugely successful formula across Tanzania and East Africa. St Jude's is an astonishing success for kids who would otherwise have no hope and no future. This is a truly amazing story about how the determination of one person can help change the world.