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Help Us Provide 10 More Scholarships in 2021

What does a parent do when their daughter graduates at the top of her primary school class with the potential to thrive in high school and university, driven by a passion to learn and change her world…and the only choice is for her to attend an impoverished school that lacks books, internet, science labs, and highly educated teachers?

At TDS, we are determined to provide another road to career success for that gifted girl and others like her in the Mara region.

We launched the Rose and Karl Willmann Scholarship Fund in 2018 to guarantee a quality high school education for academically gifted girls who have demonstrated they are motivated to succeed. Rose was a dedicated teacher who spent her career working with gifted children in the Madison, Wisconsin area. She and Karl were dedicated to ensuring that girls in Tanzania stayed in school instead of marrying at 14 or 15. They knew that these girls were the key to lifting themselves, their children, and their communities out of the poverty they were born into.

This year we invite you to help raise money for our scholarship fund using a peer-to-peer format. The concept is simple. We will help you set up a personalized fundraising page and you invite your friends and family to donate to this specific cause. This approach reaches more potential donors and informs more individuals about our mission.

Scholarship recipients participating in computer training

About the Scholarship Program

Each year, community leaders in the Bukwaya area of the Mara region select a group of girls who are graduating primary school at the top of their class and who wish to attend Nyegina Secondary School. Nyegina Secondary is a private boarding school with a documented reputation for academic excellence. Not only does the school have 21st century resources and facilities, we know that boarding schools are highly effective in retaining girls through graduation. Since 2008, TDS has invested into the school’s facilities and there is now a modern dormitory with showers and flush toilets, a library with more than 10,000 books, a computer lab with an internet connection, full science labs, and study halls with solar powered lights so students can study in the evening. Impoverished area public schools have few textbooks, unmaintained classrooms, and teacher/student ratios twice as high as Nyegina Secondary. Even worse, students walk several kilometers each way to school, rain or shine, and the dropout rate is very high, especially for girls.

Willmann Scholarships are funded both by full-pledge annual sponsorships or by collective donations that add up to a full scholarship. The cost of a full scholarship is $900/year (fixed for four years) and covers a girl’s school fees, room and board, and any school or personal hygiene supplies needed for their four years at school. Full-pledge sponsorships provide the greatest stability and security for a girl in the program.

Example of a public school classroom in the Bukwaya area

The 2021 Scholarship Campaign

Our goal is to recruit enough sponsors and raise enough money that we can fund an additional 10 scholarships next year. Since we are not able to safely host fundraising events indoors this fall, we are relying on supporters to help us spread the word and fund the scholarship campaign. Promoting the program to family and friends helps us find individuals who would be interested in becoming full sponsors for four years. The fundraising campaign runs through the end of November, providing enough time for scholarship recipients to be selected before classes begin in January.

It’s easy to set up your fundraising page. Select a photo of yourself (or your group of friends on your scholarship team) and write a brief paragraph about what education means to you and why you decided to help raise money to provide a deserving girl with a scholarship. Then click on the link below to visit the 2021 Scholarship Campaign page. Click “Start Fundraising” and the website will walk you through a step-by-step guide to creating your custom web page. We’ve set up some templates for your webpage, emails you can send to your contacts, and automated thank you emails that will be sent to people that donate to your page.

If you’re not comfortable setting up your own page, we will gladly help you set up your page. Just email our Executive Director at, and he will get everything created and provide you with a custom link so you can start sharing it.

The first cohort of scholarship recipients posing outside at Nyegina Secondary

Still Have Questions about the program or 2021 Scholarship Campaign?

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you still have questions or have ideas that would help us promote our efforts to provide another 10 girls with scholarships next year! We always want to hear from you if something is not clear or if we can improve our efforts to support girls in the Mara region. Email us anytime at Asante sana. Thanks very much.)

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