Helen Paul
Chapter 01
Chapter 02
Chapter 03
Chapter 04
Chapter 05
Chapter 06
Chapter 07
Chapter 08
Chapter 09
Moza Helen


How are you? My name's Moza Said Salum from Pemba and I'd like to answer your questions. I'd like to answer the questions in Swahili. I hope that you can hear me well. I got to know Helen Paul in 1992 through a project for English teachers. That was organised by the British Coucil at that time. I was then a primary school teacher and was chosen by the Ministry of Education to work alongside Helen. Helen was then here with VSO, the British development organisation on Pemba and then we became a team. We organised and ran practical workshops and seminars for primary school teachers of English.

We had a mobile library at that time because the people who lived in remote, outlying villages couldn't come to town to borrow books for their children. In that way children could improve their knowledge of English. We observed teachers and and advised them on methods. That's how we got closer and are like sisters. And now Helen belongs to our family.

The initial cooperation with Sisi Pamoja was in my nursery school in Chake Chake, the main town on the island of Pemba, when it supported our work. It is the first private pre-primary schhol on Pemba. The community approached me 12 years ago and asked me to set up a nursery school where the emphasis was on the English language. Helen has helped us financially as well as with materials. She has really helped me. Year by year Helen sees how successful we are and that is why Sisi Pamoja continues to support us. Our school has now existed for eleven years and we have over one hundred children.

My teachers have profited a great deal from the workshops to improve their teaching. The teachers have learnt modern, child- friendly methods which in turn helps the children to learn and speak the English language. In the workshops the teachers also had the opportunity to create teaching aids and then to laminate them so that they could use them over and over again. That was very important as teaching aids were not available here. We ran these workshops annually and the teachers were always very grateful.

We still have great difficulties in pre-primary English . The teachers don't know how to deal with and plan their lessons according to the syllabus from the Ministry of Education. There isn't anywhere where they can get information or help. Nor do we have any computer lessons in primary schools. Children need that to get ahead in today's world.

We would like Sisi Pamoja to help us pay the teachers in our nursery higher salaries as the ministry is now employing them because they not only attract the teachers by offering higher salaries but also because we have qualified our teachers well. This has happened a few times.

We were able improve the environment of our school with Sisi Pamoja's help. It also gives us the opportunity to put a sum aside for emergencies. For example when a teacher has personal problems or for our children when the families have an emergency. What I am really happy about is the sponsorship project which Sisi Pamoja inititiated which enabled orphans or children from one-parent families to be supported financially so that they can attend the school. These children are often the hardest-working and get the best marks.

I would very much like to open a primary school so that we can create continuity for the children who have studied here. So that we can see how they develop. This wish for a primary school also came from the local community. The other thing is that we desperately need a new school bus; a second-hand one. Because our children come to the school from places further away.

We have a further project we have had a 'Train the Trainer' project for the past five years. We have chosen two teachers from each of the four districts on the island and offered them a week-long seminar about specific topics. Thes teachers then go to their districts as trainers and support the teachers there.

transcript by Helen Paul