Zimbabwe Rural Schools

(Reg. Charity No. 1085718)

Our aim is to improve educational opportunities in rural Zimbabwe and to provide new facilities and resources, by working in partnership with schools and other institutions. ZRSDP was established in 2001, and since formation has raised more than £15,000, which with our contacts in Zimbabwe, we direct our funds where we believe they will have the highest impact. Many of the people involved with the charity have spent time teaching in rural Zimbabwe, witnessing at first hand the lack of educational opportunity afforded to so many children, and we have consciously decided to make the charity an entirely apolitical and non-religious organization.

We are currently seeking funds for the building of a classroom block for Makowe School located in the rural area approx 150km north of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare. Our commitment from the schools is that we will provide the building materials and in exchange they must provide the labour free of charge. The parents of the school children will make the bricks and help out in construction where safe to do so. This way the school has a stake in the project and feels ownership of the buildings to ensure that it is looked after when the project is finished. The approximate costings of the materials and furnishings are: Double Classroom block – Enough for 50 pupils per classroom between $10,000 and $12,000 USD. This consists of roofing, metal frames for window and door, wood for construction of the roof supports, nails, cement and sand to make the cement. In addition to this we aim to furnish the classroom and provide text books which would cost an additional $4,000. We can provide copies of these plans and detailed costs break downs of everything spent.

Our previous projects have included:

1. The development of Batanai school for the last three years. In 2005, we funded the building of a new double-classroom block for Batanai Secondary School. In 2007 we sent further funds to provide for the completion of a roof on another classroom block. The school has around 400 pupils but only had six classrooms, which means that many of the children have been having their lessons outside, often in extreme heat. Local parents worked together to build the bricks and dig the foundations. ZRSDP then provided funding for all the materials to build the classrooms, the roof and the furniture and fittings. Now the school has eight classrooms, which has greatly improved the quality of education for many children at Batanai.

2. Together with a UK-based charity called The Chidayomo Trust, paying one quarter of the costs to build a new AIDS Education & Counselling Centre, attached to Chidamoyo Hospital. HIV/AIDS is rife in Zimbabwe, with around a quarter of the adult population infected. This means that many children are left orphaned or lose other family members to the disease. There is therefore a huge need for counselling and, perhaps more importantly, education to help to loosen the grip of HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe.

3. Supporting the development of two new classroom blocks at Kemapondo Primary School over the past three years and has supported the completion of two new classroom blocks. The school was opened in 2003 and, by the time they got in touch with us, the local community had already built two classroom blocks, a teacher’s house and an administration building. They then started work on the construction of a two-classroom block in March 2005, which involved moulding and burning about 120,000 bricks. The community provided labour, pit sand, river sand, concrete stones and other services. ZRSDP agreed to grant additional funds in 2006 and again in 2007 to Kemapondo for the remaining costs, including window frames and panes, trusses, vents, fixtures and fittings.

4. Providing Marirangwe Secondary School with text books, desks, chairs and sports equipment. The school is located about 40 miles north of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare. It is situated within the Musana communal lands where subsistence farming is a way of life for most families who live here. Consequently, local incomes are very low and many children miss out on the opportunity for an education. The school has 400 pupils aged 12-16, with eight classes of approximately 50 pupils each and has no electricity and no running water. Marirangwe Secondary Schools is desperately under-funded and items such as furniture and textbooks are in very short supply. ZRSDP has worked extensively with Marirangwe and the Headmaster, Mr Arnott, to provide textbooks for maths, science and geography. In these subjects, the ratio is now one textbook for every two children.