Whilst shooting “Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children” in 2010, the film crew came across a very remote rural area school, where they found Obert.
The school allowed them to film a very regular occurrence happening that day – desperate young children being humiliatingly sent away, unable to afford the small fee of $2. Only 10% of the hundreds of children in the area were able to attend school. This was a shocking discovery.
With the donations that flooded in to help these children, we were able to cover many of the most disadvantaged children’s school fees, and get many more access to a UNICEF scheme for school fee assistance. This resulted in over 1000 children going back to school. With the school fees, we have been able to provide essential education materials, build 5 new classrooms, new toilet blocks, install a borehole and water pump flowing with clean water, and provide training and community programs which have benefitted 2,500 people. Today, our school and its pupils are rated at number 13 out of 100 in the district for passing exams.
However, simply paying these fees each year is not a sustainable way to ensure the children in this area continue an enriching and successful education. What’s more, with such a high rate of unemployment in Zimbabwe, we need to leave this community with the ability to provide for themselves.
We work in close partnership with the children, their parents and the teachers. We stretch each child’s levy as far as possible to create a centre of hope and education in healthy survival. Using the research and knowledge we have acquired over the last 5 years – we hope to continue creating sustainable agriculture, water, education and teacher training programs within the school community to get the guardians, school and children to a point where they are receiving a quality education and are able to live independently without the need for aid.