Stephen Hatch, Tanzania
Investing in children’s futures and spiritual growth through working as a maths and IT teacher and in chaplaincy at St John’s Seminary
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Many children in Tanzania are denied lots of opportunities as they grow up because of a poor foundation in education, especially maths.
Stephen is a gifted maths teacher with a real heart for children’s education. We praise God for the way he has called Stephen to the edges to serve the people of Kilimatinde through:
- Investing in children’s futures through teaching maths and IT
- Making sure the school is fully equipped
- Investing in children’s spiritual growth and encouraging them in their walk with God through chaplaincy
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Imagine if your education had to stop after primary school. How different would your life be? In Tanzania, many children fail their secondary school entrance exams, which puts an end to their education.
Eight out of ten children attend primary school but only one in four makes it to secondary school, even though most children are academically capable. I am helping to provide education to as many children as possible at St John’s Seminary (which provides education for close to 200 children from nursery age to Bible college), transforming the lives of one of the most vulnerable groups within Tanzanian society.
Maths is a key weak point, with the lowest pass rate of all subjects in Tanzania – only 15 per cent of those taking the exams. I am working alongside other teachers at St John’s to improve this across the whole school to help give all students the best chance at a good education. To this end, I am also making sure that we have the appropriate equipment in the school laboratories for use in science lessons and exams.
Alongside my teaching role, I work with the school chaplain, investing in students’ spiritual growth and coming alongside them as they come to know Jesus more. I help to lead the church services at the seminary across all ages and help manage the team of pupil volunteers who preach and help out. I also speak in the morning services once a week and sometimes more.
I grew up in Cornwall and completed a maths degree and teacher training. I then began looking and praying for a chance to make a difference in the world and a friend told me about Church Mission Society and St John’s. I saw an opportunity to be part of God’s mission and went to Tanzania in 2013, initially for a one-year placement, which was then extended to two, and I have been working here ever since.
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