was successfully added to your cart.
All Posts By

Sharon Thompson

How are Esther, Obert and Grace?

By | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Our dedication to Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children is unquestionable.  With the support of our extremely loyal and generous donors throughout the world, we can reach many more children just like Esther, Obert and Grace – the 3 who started this, and will continue to champion our cause for thousands more children!

Speaking of which – how are Esther, Obert and Grace?

In one word – GREAT!  Can you believe it’s been 6 years since we were introduced to them in the film Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children?

Esther and her (not so little) sister Tino live at the SOS Children’s Village outside Harare in a safe, secure and loving environment. They are excelling in school as can be seen in this short film of Tino reading from one of her school exercise book.  Esther is a young teenager now giggling with her friends and asking when she can travel out of Zimbabwe to the UK to meet everyone.  We remind her that she has been a huge part of changing many lives and she simply replies” That’s good – it makes me happy”.  She really has no idea!

Grace still lives in her family home and Michelle has recently got married and had a baby son called Leo.

During 2016 Grace continued with her studies (thanks to you, our loyal donors) at Young Africa College where she has been studying for more O’level subjects.  Young Africa is the same college she attended to get her Early Childhood Development qualification to be a Nursery teacher.  She is presently looking for more volunteer or paid work as a Nursery assistant, whilst studying.

Obert is in the last stages of his A’level exams – thank you to everyone who sent him a message on our Facebook page, he was very grateful to receive your support.  We are in the process now of moving Gogo from her home in the rural areas to a small 2 room home nearer the town (thank you Fredrik Eklund and Derek Kaplan) as she requires constant medical attention after many years of working extremely hard farming land.  This is a big step for her and one she has wanted for so long so she can see more of Obert and be closer to our Community Field Officer, Peter, who has become like a son to her now.

Brief Preview of 2016

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Thanks to Fredrik Eklund and WTMD we started 2016 with a feeding program for the youngest children at our Chinhoyi school and were able to assist many grand-parent headed families in the community – the very elderly struggling to look after young children whose parents have passed away from HIV/AIDS.  We all remember Esther and Obert’s heart-breaking stories – there are just too many children just like them within this remote, rural community.

Our priority has always been to keep these children in school!  Hearing stories of children fainting, either on their way to school or during lessons, and attendance levels dropping are all totally unacceptable, especially after your loyal support and the hard work of our volunteers!

 

To complement the school feeding program, we piloted a family Conservation Agriculture program, whereby we provided training and specific inputs for families within the school community to start their own Pfumvudza (“new beginnings”) plot at home.

This plot is a mere 16x39m area making it easy to plant, mulch and manage, using only natural techniques such as composting, and a hoe! At the end of the season, during one of the country’s worst droughts, those who had correctly followed the principles not only achieved their goal to feed a family of 6 for the whole year, they exceeded our expectations by a long way.

 

With the feeding program and the Conservation Agriculture program we are on the way to children receiving 3 meals per day, improving their well-being and enabling them to attend school.  We will be continuing and expanding the family Conservation Agriculture program through this 2016/2017 season where we will encourage those who did so well to train and pass their knowledge onto their neighbours – many have already started!

Whilst this CA pilot program continues to grow we are extremely fortunate to have partnered with Ruffs Kitchens who committed to increasing the feeding program through 2016 and into 2017.  Ruffs Kitchens will be feeding an astonishing 4,100 children at 6 primary and secondary schools in the community we work in, as well as 4 pre-schools.

Our goal for 2017 is to not only feed the tummies of these children to keep them in school, but to feed their minds with a quality education. We will be partnering with Redearth Education to deliver training to their teachers using strategies to make lessons more engaging, exciting and effective.  The children will become more motivated and inspired improving the quality of their education and their life chances.