The Hoja Project was set up as a UK registered charity in 2005 and since 2013 has now run under the charity registration of COCO (Comrades Of Children Overseas). COCO has supported Hoja since the very early days, so this represents no real change in the day-to-day operation of Hoja.

COCO's webpage on Hoja can be found here, and they regularly produce news on all their projects.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Oswin in the UK, and mullet book raising money for the Hoja Project

Oswin with Steve Cram and the COCO team
last time he was in the UK in 2009
It's quite an exciting couple of weeks for Hoja, so I think it's worth an occasional update.

Oswin is in the UK, and has been spending the last week or so in Newcastle, visiting schools and supporting organisations, and attending COCO events.

At the weekend he'll be coming down to London, where a number of us Hoja UK volunteers are based, and we can't wait to see him!

He'll visit more schools and supporters down here, and attending a Christmas Hoja get-together.

In other news, a friend of mine Simon Varwell has released his second book, The Return Of The Mullet Hunter, into the wild.  It's nothing to do with the haircut or the fish (well, it's slightly to do with both), but about his attempts to visit every place in the world with the word 'mullet' in its name.

His project started off as a little silly challenge that got way out of hand.  So much so that it's required (at least) two books to tell the story.  This is his second book, and it's a fun and engaging read, as you follow him around the world, facing both success and disappointment at different stages of his journey.

A few months ago Simon asked me to design the cover for the book (I talked about that on my own blog), and as part of that deal he has promised to give 10% of the book's proceeds to Hoja.

So you could do worse than pick this book as your Christmas read when the family get a bit too much.  It's available on Kindle from Amazon.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

All Change!

You may have noticed that this site has become quieter and quieter in terms of providing news about what Hoja are up to in Songea.  However, this doesn't mean that Hoja has been winding down in any way.  Just that I've been ridiculously busy with other commitments, and haven't been involved in Hoja so much lately.

Hoja continue to produce excellent exam results for their students, give out microfinance loans so local people can start small businesses to create their own income, and help farmers get the most out of their land.

In fact an important change has been made to Hoja recently.  In the UK it's no longer operating as its own charity, but is operating as part of COCO.  Don't worry though, Hoja have in practice been operating as part of COCO for years, so this doesn't represent any change in operations.  Rather, a bit of housekeeping.  It just seemed a bit silly to keep them as separate organisations.

As such, I've done a bit of an edit of some of the content on this site (contact and donation details, mostly).  I'm also going to stop pretending that I have time to keep typing out updates on here, when COCO have their own News Page anyway.

You can find out Hoja's news there, as well as all of the other wonderful projects that COCO run.  If you ask them nicely, I'm sure they'll even add you to their mailing list.

Next time I make it out to Tanzania, however, I may well post some updates on here of what I've learned.  Sadly that won't be all that soon.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Hoja Secondary Students Top The Regional Exam Results!

Our Form Two and Four students produced
outstanding results in the recent mock exams
Update from Oswin:

In Tanzania, Form Four and Two students enter the Regional Mock Exams before attempting the National Examinations.

In July 2012 Hoja secondary school students attended this examination.  The results of this exam came in August, and Hoja Secondary School (at the VTC) has performed the best in the region.

I did not expect something like this.  There are very big, experienced and famous schools in Ruvuma, and Hoja Secondary School has only entered this examination for the first time, yet is the first school for results.

Teachers, students and the community of that area are very happy with what has happened.

The Form Four students are siting their National Examinations in October this year.  Everyone in the region is looking forward to hearing the results.

From these Mock Exams results, if these were the National Exam results, then all students would have passed .

Volunteers Andree, Kat, and COCO Director
Lucy Philipson a few days before the exams started
I asked some of the students, why they think their results are such better, they said:
  • They are used to the examinations because they are doing similar examinations every month;
  • They have enough books;
  • The presence of light (Electricity) enables them to have more time to study unlike other schools in the region;
  • Also teachers are working very hard.
When I asked them, which thing do you think might affect these results in the future, they said water.

They have to go far to find water every morning, sometimes some of the students are missing the lessons because of this.