Stephen Mattowo is a devout Lutheran who has devoted years to teaching mathematics in the Lutheran schools system. He attributes his strong to his family’s connection to some of the early German Lutheran missionaries. The story begins in the 1800’s with Stephen’s grandfather. The Village Chief had selected the 12-year-old to represent the village in assisting a German Lutheran missionary with jobs around his home. This would seem to be an honorable job, but the boy and his mother were quite terrified. A rumor had been circulating in the village about the German missionaries, a rumor of cannibalism. His mother could not object to the decision of the Chief or his Council, but she took it upon herself each day to visit the missionary’s home. She would peer through the brush just to catch a glimpse of her son, an assurance he was still alive. Fortunately,
the rumors of cannibalism were quite false. Stephen’s grandfather was treated very well. In fact, he was eventually converted and baptised into the Christian faith, a far cry from being eaten!
The story of the German Lutheran cannibals is mirrored in Stephen’s own experience with the Mwangaza program. There had been discussion of a resource center, but he was unsure of what the project could truly become. When he was selected as a participant, he had his doubts about the impact of a small resource center and how it could make a difference for teachers and students alike. “When we were just talking about it, we never thought it would be what it is now. It’s more of a miracle, more of a God-given gift,” he said to us. “At first, there were only 5 diocese. Now, Mwangaza is national.”
“Mwangaza has really changed me to become a student-centered teacher. Students are improving. Mwangaza techniques are very suitable, even to low-level learners. This is the right system of teaching,” he said. Mwangaza has helped Stephen reflect upon his own teaching strategies, guiding him to make the proper changes to benefit his class and encouraging to continue applying effective strategies. He is so grateful for Mwangaza and is thrilled to have his original doubts blown out of the water. God worked miracles through the people of Mwangaza, and Stephen was able to play a role in it. “For the donors who helped us do this, I must say we greatly appreciate what you have done. The work of Mwangaza has affected not only teacher-leaders, but also students. Mwangaza is ahead of most of our national teacher-training colleges.”