BISA is fighting climate change - please join us!

“There is still so much in the world worth fighting for. So much that is beautiful, so many wonderful people working to reverse the harm, to help alleviate the suffering. And so many young people dedicated to making this a better world. All conspiring to inspire us and to give us hope that it is not too late to turn things around, if we all do our part.”

—  Dr. Jane Goodall’s New Year Message For 2018

At BISA we believe that many tiny changes can make all the difference. Here are some of the changes happening at BISA as we play our part in the fight against climate change:

  1. Sustainable Events: You may have noticed that we have replaced bottled water at events with filtered water in jugs. By replacing buying bottled water with filtered water, we are reducing our plastic waste from events immensely. Within our daily school activities, our students and staff use refillable water bottles so this is a natural next step for our events. Please keep this in mind at future events at BISA and bring a refillable water bottle instead of buying bottled water at the bar. 
  2. Recycling Bins: Our Junior Dragon students are often at the forefront of tiny changes around the school as part of their Community Service award. Inspired partly by BISA's paticipation in World Clean Up Day, outside classrooms in Primary there are now three labelled bins: one for paper; one for plastic; one for organic waste. Year 4 have been focussing on caring for our environment and are creating a beautiful garden next to our new library. Part of their project involves recycling plastic waste to turn it into a shade over the garden, and collecting organic waste to make compost for the soil. With snack times and fruit breaks throughout the day in Primary, there is plenty of organic waste to be used - what a fantastic idea!
  3. Glass Recycling: BISA events generate a lot of glass waste but, don't worry, we are already making sure we recycle. Glass bottles that can be returned, cleaned and refilled at manufacturers are collected, and glass that cannot be returned is donated to Shanga, who recycle them into glassware, jewellery and houseware while giving skills training to disabled people in the community.
  4. Tree-planting: Our recent tree-planting day, in collaboration with Roots and Shoots,  helped replace many trees in our community and it is something we intend to continue doing around the Mateves and Kisongo area over the coming years.
  5. Fuel Consumption: Powering two school sites and transporting hundreds of children to and from school every day uses a significant amount of fuel. In addition to our daily practise of switching off lights and electrical equipment when not in use, as well as using more fuel-efficient bus routes, every year, BISA off-sets it's carbon footprint by buying carbon offsets with Carbon Tanzania and protecting forests here in Tanzania.

Please continue to support BISA as we consider our impact on the environment. What tiny changes can you make?

Climate Change is Real (Year 7/8 Report)

From Greta Thunberg's emotional speeches to world leaders to the global climate change school strike, more and more young people are stepping up to fight climate change, and the students at BISA are no different!

Recently Year 7 & 8 presented a passionate assembly about the frightening reality of climate change. Here are some highlights of what was presented:

"We need to be aware that the world is changing fast and not in a good way because of us humans. If nothing is done we will cause, not only our own extinction but also other species. Imagine a new born baby slowly dying in 10 years and all a president can do, in one of the most powerful countries in the world, is build walls....

This is the 6th mass extinction and we are entirely to blame. It is up to us to stop this from happening fast. " - James

"Let’s look after our mother planet.  To stop animal extinction, we should stop throwing our trash into our oceans. We should encourage our governments to stop burning fuel and taking fossil fuels out of the ground. We should start using electric cars, walking or cycling more and fly less. It is never too late to change." - Yusrah

 "We are the first generation to really experience climate change and the last generation to do something about it. Climate change is not something to worry about in the coming decades. It is already here and strengthening. Climate change is not just a statement to grab our attention. It is real and we need to act now!" - Shreya

"The UN has released a report this week, written by 50 scientists from all over the world, which confirms that a million species will be on the brink of extinction in DECADES, IN OUR LIFE TIME. We can all do something, no matter how small. If we all act, it will make a difference. And remember, it is not just about saving the earth. The planet will still be here long after we have gone. This is about saving ourselves, our children and our grandchildren." - Nicolas

"Global warming is something we all have to live with. Because of generations before us, we have to ACT NOW. We cannot ignore this and pretend it is going to go away and that it will all be ok. We need to change our lifestyles. We need to persuade grownups, businesses, governments to listen and change. We need to act fast. " - Myles

As BISA continues to make changes across the school to do our part to fight climate change, we hope that you will support our efforts.

The ban on plastic bags - what it means for you and why it’s a positive opportunity for change.

From the 1stJune this year, Tanzania will join other East African nations and many countries worldwide in banning single use plastic bags; but why? Well that’s easy, pollution. Plastic bags are made from oil, which, when burnt, release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. When buried, they slowly degrade into microbeads that end up in our water sources and food products. Let’s be clear here, microbeads are not part of a healthy diet! 

So, what do the regulations actually say? It’s quite clear; ‘a total ban on the sale, distribution and use of ALL plastic bags, regardless of thickness.’

There are exceptions to this, that is ‘any of the following materials that are sold in plastic bags: food products, medical services, agricultural and construction materials, sanitary and waste management.’ 

Enforcement of the regulations will be by the police, revenue authority, ports authority and local councils… essentially anyone who is anyone in enforcement. In short, the best approach here, that is if you want to avoid some pretty hefty fines or jail time is to do what needs to be done - stop using any plastic bags.

If you’re a massive plastic bag user, change is coming. But this change shouldn’t be seen as a negative, it’s actually an alternative for many Tanzanians to create an economy making bags out on less polluting materials. You can support your local women’s groups by buying a kikapu and take your own bags to the shops. But remember, if you are caught with a plastic bag, it’s you that gets the fine.

For now, single use plastic bottles will remain, but based on what’s happening in the rest of the world, they too will soon be banned. 

- Marc Baker (Carbon Tanzania)

Year 9 Graduation

On the 3rd May 2019 was the Year 9 graduation. It was a wonderful night and was beautifully decorated. The amphitheatre was transformed and it glittered with fairy lights in a creative Caribbean theme.

The students arrived at 6pm to choose their IGCSE subjects before the ceremony began at 7pm. The evening included some incredible musical performances by the students. The Year 9s performed two original and catchy songs. Speeches were presented, awards were won and snacks were eaten. There was the cutting of the cake to complete the event. What a magical evening!

by Tiffany Shumbusho

London Creative Arts and Science Trip

Students from Braeburn Dar and Arusha joined together for their first week of the Easter Break to explore the Arts and the Sciences in London. In true Braeburn spirit, the students from both schools immediately connected and became firm friends from day one. The sixth form students from Arusha supported the younger students on arrival in navigating the tubes with all our cases to make it right across London to the East – where we were staying in Ilford. After eating lunch and settling in, we gained an orientation of Ilford and the main shops there, before settling into our hotel and getting ready to go on our first theatre trip to the West End to see ‘The Lion King’. We were all amazed with the imaginative costumes, incredible make up and inspirational puppetry that dominated this show.

The next day we visited a local UK school called Mayfield which is a real contrast to our school with over 2000 students. We were lucky enough to join 3 of their classes where we learnt alongside their students how to play the steel pans, do a contemporary dance and work on slow motion movements in drama. While we were busy, the A level students joined A level science classes for the day to work through some practical experiments. In the afternoon we ventured into a huge supermarket to get an idea of the items and prices of products in the UK. This was important before we visited the biggest shopping centre in Europe – Westfield at Shepherds Bush.

On Saturday we spent the day at the interactive Science Museum where we enjoyed lots of hands-on experiments, before returning back to Mayfield School for our first ever Alumni event. It was wonderful to meet lots of our previous staff and students and to find out what they are all doing. The Rowes, the Bongos, Ms Kapinska and the Patels all came to join us as well as many of our students – who are in University or at work. It was great to eat together and catch up.

On Sunday we took a trip back in time when we went to visit the Tower of London to see, amongst other things, the crown jewels. We learnt a great deal about the Tower’s rich history and about Henry VIII. This later helped us to make sense of history told from the perspective of his six wives in a musical about girl power called ‘Six’, which we saw on Wednesday. On the same day we also followed up our knowledge of British royalty by visiting Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard. 

The artists amongst us loved looking at William Blake’s poetry, paintings and prints at the Tate Britain as well as Turner’s paintings of stormy seas. However, the favourite art exhibition for all of us was Chihuly's vibrant and dazzling glass sculptures located around Kew Gardens and glasshouses. They were simply stunning.

The highlight for the scientists, after the Science Museum, was the London Aquarium, where we all learnt about the damage we are doing to our oceans whilst looking at sharks, jelly fish and sea horses. On a more positive note, we were amazed by the sight of our incredible universe, with its endless possibilities, beamed in ‘real time’ to the Greenwich planetarium. Before leaving the observatory at the top of the hill we also put one foot in the East and one in the West – by standing across the Meridian line. This is similar to standing with one foot either side of the equator. Our Physics teacher Mr Asher, was amazed by the information on the engineering of the tube line in the Transport Museum and we all enjoyed the views from the cable car across the Thames.

The artists were enthralled by the incredible set design and special effects at the opera, Mozart’s Magic Flute. The Musicians also loved seeing and hearing a full orchestra. Ms Noela took the opportunity to test us all on the names of all the instruments. But the favourite show for our musicians was the musical Motown. The 80s music and dancing were electric and when we met the lead lady, playing the role of Diana Ross, after the show, we discovered she was Tanzanian. We have invited her to our school when she is next home to do some workshops.

Our Drama students loved being scared out of their seats during Ghost Stories at the Hammersmith and Lyric Theatre, but everyone loved the clever physical theatre in a play about a boy suffering from autism: The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night time. Our heads were brimming full of ideas for our next production, after watching it.

The Media and Art students were further excited by the Harry Potter Studios which we visited on Friday and in particular the special effects. Learning how to make monsters come alive and to see the set for this much loved film was amazing.

In conclusion, England was very cold, and very hectic and we were busy for 16 hours a day. As a result, we were all happy to return to the sunshine and to enjoy two weeks of doing very little – we felt we deserved it! It also gives us the time and space to mull over all our photos and to remember all the incredible things that we have seen and
experienced.