Serving God's Children in Tanzania, East Africa
Serving God's Children in Tanzania, East Africa

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question which isn’t included here please contact us…we LOVE to talk to people about The Lion of Judah Academy and what God is doing there.  Call 772-245-8693 or email us at loj@thelionofjudah.info

Sponsorships

2021 school fees for dorm students are $1000 and $500 for ‘day scholars’ (students who live nearby the school).

For a day scholar, sponsorship provides yearly tuition costs and school fees at The Lion of Judah Academy, but no meals or housing.   For a dorm scholar, sponsorship provides yearly tuition costs and school fees at The Lion of Judah Academy, plus three healthy meals a day, clean water to drink, a safe place to live and sleep (in our school dorms), and basic medical care.  Here’s more information about what a sponsorship provides.

Yes.  Every sponsorship, no matter what the amount, is a great blessing to the students and makes a difference.  On each student’s sponsorship page there are several options, including a one time donation, and even starting your own campaign for your student — where you can invite family, friends or an organization to join you!  If none of those are appropriate please don’t hesitate to contact us.  We really would like to have you on the team…so we’ll find a way that works for you!  Call us at 772-245-8693, or reach us by email.

A day scholar walks back and forth to school every day. These students live in the villages surrounding the school, and return to they own homes to eat and sleep.  A dorm scholar lives at school. Except for long school breaks, dorm scholars live on school campus. Their food, water, shelter, medical care, etc. is all received on campus.

No.  75-80% of our students are receiving scholarship assistance through the school, provided by sponsorships and other resources.  Those families who can afford to pay the full amount for school fees are expected to do so.

Yes.  Every family – even the most poor – is expected to contribute something toward the education of their children.

The Board of Trustees of The Lion of Judah Academy considers this an essential principle in operating the school:  all families are required to make some sort of contribution toward the education of their children.

The reasons for this are largely cultural, to help avoid an attitude of dependency and entitlement, and to build a sense of ownership, responsibility and pride.  The school staff works with each family, assessing need and ability, to reach an amount the family is able and expected to contribute.  Often it is only a few dollars…but it is expected.

Of course some are unable to afford any financial contribution.  For years a pastor with carpentry skills has been spending a week each year at the school building furniture.  Some living in the community help with cleaning or other chores.

But everyone is expected to contribute something.

Letters are welcome (see below concerning gifts).  Letters should be written in English…all of our classes are taught in English and even the youngest students are learning English skills.

We are developing a process through our sponsorship platform which will enable sponsors and students to communicate with one another, and will let you know when that is operational.  Until then, address all mail to:

The Lion of Judah Academy, Box 268, Magu, TANZANIA

IMPORTANT:  Do not write the name of your student or anyone else on the outside of your letter or package.  If a mail worker in Tanzania sees a person’s name on an international letter or package they are more apt to tack on “additional charges”. Address your letter/package as indicated above, then inside your letter or package, write the name of your student. The school only has one post box. Lion of Judah staff will pick up your student’s mail.  Once opened they will see your student’s name and deliver it directly to your student.

It is possible, but we advise against it.   Your student is very blessed to have you as his/her sponsor, but many others in our student body are still waiting for their sponsor.  Children and young people all over the world are the same…when one student receives a gift, students without sponsors sometimes will respond with sadness or jealousy.

There are also various culture factors at work, and “having a sponsor” to an East African child can be a different experience than it is for a child in another culture.  There is a tendency, for the students, to understand sponsorship in a way that can begin to revolve primarily around gifts.  That is something we want to avoid at LOJA.

Therefore we suggest you offer gifts only on special occasions: birthday, graduation, etc. We have also found that giving smaller gifts to entire classes or groups of students can be another great way to bless your student, and many others. Following are some practical suggestions:

Donate a book/books to our student library in honor of your student.

        Your student will enjoy the book every week during library time.

 Donate a toy/toys to our student play room in honor of your student.

        Your student will enjoy the toy every week during play time.

 Donate school supplies for your student and his entire class.

        Keep it simple, like pencils or erasers. Students use these supplies every day in the classroom.

Also, it is often much more wise and practical to arrange to send funds to Tanzania and have a gift purchased there for your student.  We do this regularly and it not only avoids very high shipping costs and potential import taxes (which are sometimes more costly than the gift itself!), but often the gift can be more culturally appropriate and sometimes even cheaper when purchased in Tanzania.  And that doesn’t even take into account all the reliability issues inherent with international shipping.

We can help you make these arrangements…contact us.  Our Tanzanian staff can help and they are very reliable and responsible.

If you do send a gift please carefully observe the instructions under, “I’d like to write a letter to my student,” directly above.  Failing to follow those instructions are almost guaranteed to result in import taxes which may be more costly to the student than the value of the gift.

If you have additional questions about gifts, just ask!

Please notify us if you would like to receive communication from your student. We will work with the level of communication you would like to have.  We realize some international sponsorship organizations have the expectation the student will write the sponsor and the sponsor will write the student.  We do not have that expectation…we know not all sponsors want that.  But we certainly can and will help arrange it.  Do not hesitate to contact us.

We will notify you of any changes in your student’s enrollment status. If and when your student leaves the school you will be given the profile of another student who is in need of a sponsor.

Some students are, of course, born on January 1…but probably not so many as have that date listed!  There are two reasons.  First, if we don’t have a specific date, we list it as January 1 of the year we know.  But the fact is, we don’t have a specific day for some of the students because birthdays aren’t nearly as important to East Africans as they are to us.  Many students don’t even know their actual birthday!

Yes, you can.  But we may need to work with you personally to set it up a bit differently…and it probably won’t be on an automatically recurring basis.  We can only set up recurring payments on a monthly basis.

On each student’s sponsorship page there will be the option to give a one time donation, and you are welcome to use that to make an annual contributions on behalf of the student.  Many of our sponsors do just that!

And you can always sponsor a student by sending a check to:  The Lion of Judah Ministries, 12523 SE Old Cypress Drive, Hobe Sound, FL  33455.  Include a note with the student’s name and 100% of the contribution will be sent to the school for the student’s school fees.

Feel free to contact us with any questions:   772-245-8693  or via email:  LOJ@thelionofjudah.info

Donations

We have set up three main options to contribute to The Lion of Judah Academy…we hope at least one of these will be easy and convenient for you:

  • through our online sponsorship and fundraising platform, ReachApp
  • through the popular online site, PayPal
  • through conventional paper checks sent directly to The Lion of Judah Ministries in the U.S.

Conventional paper checks, either written by hand or sent through your bank’s bill paying process, are always welcome.  There is no service charge, bank fee, merchants fee, etc., for using checks, so 100% of the amount of your contribution goes directly to The Lion of Judah Academy for its designated purpose.  Checks should be payable to:  The Lion of Judah Ministries and mailed to 12523 SE Old Cypress Drive, Hobe Sound, FL, 33455

We realize, however, that many donors appreciate other options, especially for recurring monthly contributions.  So we also work with two other platforms which allow us to provide other donation options.

The sponsorship platform, with ReachApp,  is set up to receive credit card and ACH contributions, on either a recurring monthly basis or a one-time contribution basis.  You can use this through the Sponsor Students. We also use ReachApp for other purposes, such as for Projects.

PayPal  is familiar to many of you.  You can contribute through PayPal through this link on the school blog:  Donate Through PayPal.  PayPal can also receive either recurring monthly donations or one-time donations through your credit card, and you do not need a PayPal account to use a credit card.  If you have a PayPal account you can use either your account balance or a credit card.  Contributions through PayPal are acknowledged by PayPal, but actual tax receipts are issued by Lion of Judah Ministries.  The current rate to use PayPal is about 2.3%

If you have any questions about, or issues with, any of these contribution options please contact us at 772-245-8693 or email at LOJ@thelionofjudah.info

Thank you so much for your support.

The Lion of Judah Ministries exists for the sole purpose of supporting The Lion of Judah Academy in Tanzania.  Your contribution to The Lion of Judah Ministries goes directly to The Lion of Judah Academy.

The Lion of Judah Ministries is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization so all contributions are tax-deductible.  It was started in 2003 for the purpose of building partnerships between the school and individuals and churches in North America.  One aspect of that is helping interested donors get resources to Tanzania, which can be a challenge!  We use the fastest, most cost effective and reliable methods for getting your contribution to The Lion of Judah Academy…so it can bless and benefit the students there.

Lion of Judah Ministries is all volunteer, and has one of the lowest overhead percentages in the entire charitable world.  Typically our overhead expenses are about 1%, and that 1% is paid entirely through contributions designated specifically for the purpose of overhead expenses.  So when you make a contribution to The Lion of Judah Academy through The Lion of Judah Ministries, 100% of your contribution goes to the school (take note…that is true for contributions made by check…contributions made through one of the online platforms — PayPal or ReachApp — are reduced slightly by the fees to use that platform)