Gemma 03.10 (1)'St Jude's' 9781405037952This is my interview with Gemma Sisia.

Looking back, which experiences, jobs or personality traits have really helped you? I make lots of mistakes on a daily basis but I truly believe ‘Never a mistake, always a lesson’. I hate seeing inequality-simply hate it and so I think this personality trait really helps me to get through even the toughest obstacles. I have always loved challenges and logistics and so trying to get a school up in Australia really pushes every aspect of your both personally and physically. Finally my faith has been a huge help and support. Knowing St Jude is there looking out for the school and myself helps a lot.

Which traditions from your childhood do you continue? Love of family. Love of God and a desire to help others through the gifts that you have been given through your being blessed by simply where you were born (as sadly not everyone was blessed like myself to be born into my family, live in my country and have an education like I was given).

What’s the hardest part of your job? Trying to make everyone happy. With so many well meaning staff, family, boards and ideas being tossed around, it’s hard to please everyone as not everyone’s ideas can be implemented.

What’s the best part of your job? Seeing the older students giving back by helping people in their community as well as the younger students within the school.

What was the best thing about writing this book? The book has helped to spread the word about the school and as a result we have been able to help more Tanzanians through our Fighting Poverty Through Education mission.

What was the most interesting thing you discovered when writing this book? It forces you to step back and see where you have come from as usually you never get the chance as you are simply trying to keep your head above water most of the time.

What was one of the best things that happened because of this book? We now have close to 2000 students getting a free private education here in Tanzania, as well as employing hundreds of Tanzanians.

What do you love most about St. Jude’s? The fact that we are currently incubating the people who are going to bring big change to the country in the future.

What do you love most about the Maasai culture? Their simplicity and love of cattle (as I also love a great steak!).

Do you have a favourite place? I simply love being home with my 4 kids and husband. Nothing is better than that.

Read my review of ‘St Jude’s’ here.

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