In one of Zimbabwe’s largest townships, just outside Harare we have been able to offer sponsorship opportunities to young children who live in extreme poverty but have the potential to advance well through education. Township life can be brutal for these children – living squashed up in tin shacks with up to 11 others sharing scraps of food, whilst open sewers and rubbish bring severe health conditions and school is but a distant dream. In many cases young girls end up pregnant and trapped in the cycle of poverty.
Unlike our rural area programmes where we try to reach as many children as possible, in the townships we have a select few whom we know personally and try to support entirely – if funding allows. This includes school fees, uniforms, books, mahewu porridge, food hampers, access to health professionals, start-up income generating projects and in some instances – building a small home. Their sponsorship depends very much on the child’s and family’s approach to the importance of education and working ie. do they help and support their children in school? Are they willing to work towards being independent?
Living in the townships, nearer the cities is more expensive than the rural areas and, on average, sponsorship costs £25/month (or £12.50/month for shared sponsorship) for schooling and food. Healthcare, income generation and building is done at the sponsor’s discretion and ability to finance. We ask the children to communicate their appreciation and encourage them to write as often as they feel comfortable doing so. It is vital to note that the protection and welfare of our children is of paramount importance and it is up to their families how much personal information they choose to divulge. Results have been mixed with some children not managing the trauma and pressures of their environment no matter how much we all try to help, whilst others excel beyond our expectations and have wonderfully inspiring stories to share with their sponsors.
Please read Bridget’s story here if you are interested in sponsoring a township child, according to the costs and specifics mentioned above. Please kindly contact firstname.lastname@example.org or continue to our donate page here. Thank you!