Greetings from Sr. Mary

May/June 2024

Dear Friends,

Greetings from cold Arusha. Our rains have tapered off and the cold is coming in as we move toward our “winter”. Our students are coming to the end of their first term and they are beginning to trickle in to Emusoi, ready to begin their holidays. Our Form 6 students have all returned as they finished their National Exams. This year there were 30 of them; the largest number in our Emusoi history.


These girls will now wait for their exams results which should come our in late July to see if they will qualify for university. If they will qualify, they need to apply for courses and apply for student loans. I am sending you my semi-annual appeal and thanking you for your support of Emusoi. Your generosity is what enables us to educate and empower these young women, preparing them to contribute to their communities and families.


Tiyosi in 2017

I would like to share with you the story of one of our Form 6 graduates, Tiyosi. She is the relative of one of our watchmen and she took the entrance test for Emusoi in 2016 when she finished primary school. Tiyosi was a so-so student, positioned in the middle of her class. She passed her primary school exams, but scored 38% in math and 13% in language on our entrance exams. Her father has 2 wives and she is the first born of the first wife. Her parents are poor with a few head of cattle and they wanted her to marry when she finished primary school so they could get more cows for her dowry. But her Uncle (our watchman) said she had to come to Emusoi so she could continue in school. We accepted her into the 2017 pre-secondary program.


Tiyosi was a small, scared child when she joined Emusoi and it took her a while to get used to living in a boarding school with many girls from many different villages and communities and she scored a 30% average at the end of her first term, placing 46 out of 51 students. But by second term she began to improve and was accepted into Mwedo Secondary School at the end of 2017. She worked hard and scored a 54% average (30 out of 74) first term and 65% second term. She just went up from there, scoring a division one in the Form 2 national exams and a division 1 in Form 4, even scoring an “A” in Chemistry. She loves science and was selected to join Form 5 to study Chemistry, Physics and Biology. She wants to be a doctor. She continued well in Form 5 getting Division 1 each term!


A number of girls from Tiyosi’s village have passed through Emusoi but most have not been able to good beyond secondary school. A number have become pregnant while in school causing them to leave school and get married. Tiyosi is the first to reach this possibility of joining University. She spent many holidays at Emusoi instead of going home in order to avoid temptations and pregnancy so she could attain her dreams of becoming a doctor.


Margaret and Tiyosi in 2017 and 2024

When I think of Tiyosi, I am so thankful for the work of Emusoi. Here was a young girl, from a poor family, attending a poorly staffed, poorly equipped village primary school. She had little support from home; both her parents never went to school. She was the first child, so there were no role models for her. She was a below average student, but when she had the chance to live in an environment that gave her 3 meals a day, cared for her health, provided teachers who were interested in her progress and taught every class period, she blossomed and became one of the best students in her class! Without Emusoi, her talents and potentialities would have never been discovered and developed. And now hopefully, she will study to be a doctor!


All this has been possible because of your help and generosity. You are the ones we thank for the success of these girls. I am asking you not to tire helping us. What do we have in front of us for the next few months—We need to prepare the newly selected Advanced level students to get ready for school. That means sewing uniforms, buying mattresses, sheets, blankets, mosquito nets, brooms of all sizes and kinds, buckets, hoes, slashers, school supplies for at least 10 girls and then finally pay their bus fare to go to schools in all corners of Tanzania. We also have to buy our annual supply of dried beans and maize for food for 2024-2025 and buy hygienic and school supplies for all the girls returning to school in July along with all the school fees for the next term. I count on your response to this appeal to pay for these needs.


All these needs will cost more than $40,000, with school fees close to $50,000. We have been forced to decrease the number of girls whom we can help due to rising prices and less donations and funding. I thank you all for your faithful support and generosity. I wish that you could come visit and see the difference that you are making in these girls’ lives. They remember you in their prayers every day. Please pray for us.


With peace,

Sr. Mary Vertucci

Tiyosi (in pink in middle) sharing with her classmate Margaret and our Social Workers, Naino and Paulina.


Note:  All donations should be sent via Maryknoll Sisters, Box 311, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0311.  Checks need to be issued in the name of “Maryknoll Sisters”, with “Emusoi Center” written on the memo line.  Please include a note designating the gift for Emusoi Center, Arusha, Tanzania.  You will receive an acknowledgement from Maryknoll which can be used for tax purposes.  I will also send you a thank you from here.  If you do not hear from me, let me know about your donation.  It will take 2 months or so for me to get news of your donation. You can also contribute electronically; use this link: Write “Emusoi Center/Sr. Mary Vertucci” in comment/intention field.  If any of you would like to receive this newsletter by email, just write me at and let me know.  Thank you.