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Chinhoyi School Community

Meet Chipo Yotamu

By | Chinhoyi School Community | No Comments

In 2015, Fredrik Eklund and Derek Kaplan generously sponsored 55 students, funding their high school fees and enabling them to complete their education.

Chipo Yotamu is one of those students.  Here’s how it has changed her life.

chipo

Chipo is a smart and fiercely determined 16 year old. In fact, her teachers once said she was one of the most intellectually gifted and hardworking girls in the entire school.

But this drive to succeed doesn’t always go very far in the poverty-stricken, arid regions of rural Zimbabwe. Before Fredrik and Derek’s funding, Chipo had been forced to miss two years of school. Despite her talent and intelligence, her future once looked hopeless.

At home, Chipo carries more responsibility than any 16 year old should ever have to. She lives with her elderly grandmother and her mentally ill mother who is a single parent. Both are unable to work, and require a lot of care. Every day, the family must struggle with acquiring enough food just to keep them going. Her grandmother often has to set out in the scorching heat to find food for them. When her granny is away, Chipo must stay at home to study while also looking after her sick mother, who disappears whenever she is left unattended. It is such an incredibly huge burden for a young girl to have to carry, and she dreads the day her grandmother will leave this earth.

It is because of this incredibly financial struggle that Chipo has fallen behind in her education. Her primary school years were once sponsored by UNICEF, who saw the potential Chipo had. However most of that funding has now come to an end.

Yet Chipo remains desperate to learn. She understands that only through education will she be able to support her mother in the future, and create a better life for the two of them. Today, thanks to Fredrik and Derek’s incredible support, Chipo is back in school and working as hard as ever. She is now in Form 2 (the second year of high school), in a class made up of children much younger then her. Although she is impatient to catch up, Chipo is progressing well and her teachers have no doubt that her determination will now finally pay off.

 

Chipo’s future has been changed for the better. But there are still thousands more children who are forced to leave behind their education for a life of poverty and struggle. It costs just £30 to put a child through an entire year of school in Zimbabwe. Whose life will you change?

Donate here.

 

 

Chinhoyi: Then and Now

By | Chinhoyi School Community | No Comments

You often hear of schools in Africa being built by donors and volunteers. But do you ever stop to think about the impact that building has on a child, a teacher, a parent, a community? 

In the remote and forgotten area of Chinhoyi, over one thousand children are registered at the local school. But this school had nothing when we started working together back in 2010, save for a few dilapidated, bare and unsafe buildings. There were no facilities, no learning materials. Only 90 children could even afford to attend.

Many of them had to walk long distances to get there, sometimes on an empty stomach and with a dry mouth. Once they arrived, they had to squash up with others on a hard stone under the shade of a tree. If they weren’t early enough, they had to sit in the scorching 30 degree heat for as long as they could endure it. An old blackboard lent against a tree and hardly any of the children could even make out what the teacher was writing. If it rained – lessons were over! They may have been going to “school”, but this kind of environment was just another struggle as they tried desperately to focus and learn a little something before the long walk home again.

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Today, over 1000 children are attending the school each day. Many still have to walk to the long distance, and many are still hungry. But they all arrive to a new school. Classes are held in new, concrete buildings, providing safety and relief. These rooms are filled with the necessary learning materials to stimulate and inspire. There is clean water flowing from the borehole pump, readily available to drink all day. Green vegetables are growing in the field, which the community have planted themselves. Lunch is served each day and there are clean toilet blocks to use.

Now the children feel a part of a real SCHOOL – giving them a sense of self-worth and hope. Today, the school is the centre of a community, where children can uncover knowledge and discover their creativity, teachers feel valuable, and parents come to meet for prayer and entertainment.

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Water Pump Continues to Improve Health & Learning in Chinhoyi

By | Chinhoyi School Community | No Comments

In 2011, Fredrik Eklund donated enough funds to install a borehole and water pump on the Chinhoyi school premises, for the children and wider community to use.

Children, teachers and parents now have a permanent water source that they can readily access.

The addition of clean water to the school has had immeasurable benefits and has truly transformed the life cycle of the entire community. It’s remarkable to see the difference clean water, washed hands and a quenched thirst can make to remote rural schools!

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How is the water pump helping the Chinhoyi community today?

  1. Improved Learning

The children of Chinhoyi now have clean water to drink in between their classes. This has had such a positive impact on pupil’s performance as enduring thirst makes both teaching and learning very difficult, affecting concentration, motivation and ability. The school’s water source has also contributed to an increase in the overall attendance at school. It is known throughout the community that there is a reliable source of clean drinking water here, which most families do not have at home.

  1. Better Health and Hygiene

The water source has provided better hygiene and sanitation amongst the community. As well as fresh water to wash with, families now have clean water to use for cooking and preparing food. This has reduced the risk of water-borne diseases that previously forced many children to be absent from school, if not threatening their lives. There hasn’t been a Cholera outbreak since the water pump was installed four years ago!

  1. Community Harvesting

Good water harvesting by the community means that any excess is used for the agriculture plot, turning dry dirt into flourishing vegetation. The produce is given out on harvest day to families with many orphan children in their care. Being able to grow nutritious food means that families can now provide for their starving children, many of whom are HIV positive.

Thank you Fredrik Eklund for your incredibly generous support within the Chinhoyi community!

Water harvestingReceiving veg from garden