Festive gifts - a trip to Mbizimwenje Primary School, Zimbabwe
Our Customer Relations Manager, Florence, visits her family's local school with ASIC's Christmas Gift.
In November 2023, following our inspection visit to an institution in Zambia, my colleague Geoff Boston and I travelled to my birth country of Zimbabwe, where we visited Mbizimwenje Primary School, not far from where my parents live. The school serves the rural community of Guruve, Mashonaland Central district, and, although I did not personally study there, many of my family did, so I know of its continuing struggles with a lack of resources and teaching materials - and that many of its pupils struggle to pay fees.
A few years ago, ASIC staff decided that, at Christmas, instead of buying each other gifts, we could put the money to better use by donating to different charities; each year, we now collectively choose a cause to support (past projects include food banks, homeless shelters, and sponsoring gifts for local children). Mbizimwenje Primary School has been on my mind for some time. So, this year, knowing I was travelling to Zimbabwe after the inspection, I mentioned the school's plight. ASIC agreed that we could direct the funds to them, with a total of $330 contributed.
I arranged a visit with Geoff and my brother Shingai. Upon arrival at the school, small, with only a few blocks housing classrooms for Grade 1 - Grade 7, we met with the Headteacher, Mr Stanford Nyadimbo. He described the school as a pillar of the community, with many pupils travelling for miles to attend, and outlined his vision and his passion for the school to improve. On our tour, we found a great need for improvement, especially of the facilities, teaching equipment, and materials. He told us that although they currently teach ICT, they have to teach it without any computers, even for the teachers. Here, and throughout the visit, I was struck by the sheer determination and commitment of the Head and his staff to see the school develop and keep students informed despite the lack of modern technology and resources.
Our visit was well timed, as Mr Nyadimbo had recently started a fundraising campaign encouraging parents (a community consisting mainly of rural farmers - who themselves do not have much) to contribute towards a new school block. Thanks to the admirable efforts of the parents, the building has reached roof level, and we donated the money raised towards its completion. We also contributed some pens from ASIC and books donated by my colleague's daughters, the Aldersons. The donated materials were gratefully received by both pupils and staff, and we are looking forward to receiving future updates from the Head about the school's progress.
I would like to thank my colleagues for their generosity, and if anyone would like further information about this specific project or would like to contact the school about offering their support, please email me, Florence Waniwa, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dedicated to the continual improvement of education.
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