Tag Archives: HIV/AIDS

An update on Noleen

Noleen C., pictured with Tariro's new director Kenny Magwada at St. Giles school

Noleen C., pictured with Tariro’s new director Kenny Magwada at St. Giles school

In today’s post, Tariro’s new director Kenny Magwada takes the helm, with an update on our student Noleen C.

For those of you who have not previous met her, Noleen has a medical condition known as spina bifida, which confines her to a wheelchair.  Several years ago, Noleen experienced physical complications from her condition, which required special care.

Thanks to generous donations from YOU, our sponsor, Tariro was able to transfer Noleen to  St. Giles, a school that is capable of attending to her special needs. Since her arrival she has taken well to this environment and her headmistress describes her as a “good, honest and loving girl.”

Recently, we had a few moments with Noleen. She seems a shy and reserved girl (or it could be that she was seeing us for the first time). She smiled heartily when her teacher told her that we were the ones from Tariro and responsible for her education. Noleen expressed her gratitude by thanking us.

Because Noleen had limited access to education before enrolling in Tariro, she is still struggling to catch up in school, and at fourteen years of age she is currently enrolled in grade four. However, Noleen has made great strides with her physical therapy during her time at St. Giles, including taking her first steps unassisted. Noleen continues to face an uphill battle in her studies. She also struggles with loneliness, as her family rarely comes to visit her during the school term. Yet she has particularly enjoyed the opportunity to participate in special activities at St. Giles, and her teachers note that she has become a “pro” in wheelchair racing.

As we approach the beginning of a new school year in Zimbabwe, I encourage you to donate in support of Tariro’s work with students such as Noleen. While the amount we need to raise for 2014 is large – about $40,000 – even a small gift can have a major impact in the lives of our students. For example:

  • $30 will provide a student with school supplies (pens, paper, and sanitary ware) for the year.
  • $80 will provide a student with a new uniform, including shoes, socks, pants/skirt, shirt and tie.
  • $100 will cover the annual cost for a student to participate in Tariro’s music and dance ensemble.
  • $150 will enable a student to write her Ordinary Level exams.

It is also worth looking into finding out if the company that you or a spouse works for matches non-profit gifts, as that is an opportunity to make your gift count double!

You can donate to Tariro online, or mail your donations directly to PO Box 50273, Eugene, OR, 97405. Thank you for your support, and happy holidays!!

Exams are Underway!

We’re excited to share that we have several students completing their O and A level exams this year. The exams are taking place right now, from late October to late November, and are a chance for the students to prove their knowledge in various given subjects.

“Ordinary level” exams take place after Form 4 while “Advanced Level” take place after Form 6. A deeper explanation of how the school system works in Zimbabwe can be found here.

This year, we have 5 students taking their A-levels, and 10 taking their O-levels! Please join us in wishing our A and O Level students the best of luck on their exams!

A-Level students

Nicole M.

Nicole M.

Jane J.

Edwinner S.

Edwinner S.

Not pictured: Tracy G., Jestina T.


Chido C.

Chido C.

Loveness M.

Loveness M.

Gillian M.

Gillian M.

Rosa S.

Rosa S.

Julia M.

Julia M.

Pride R.

Pride R.

Not pictured: Vimbai C., Rumbidzai M., Charmaine M., Winston N.



Meet Patience, a teacher at Chinhoyi High School: She was kind enough to let me, as the UR’s student intern, ask her some questions about how education in Zimbabwe is currently working, and how it affects her.  Her comments were … Continue reading

Hello! From Tariro’s New Intern

Hello followers of the Tariro blog! My name is Amelia and I’m the new intern.
Amelia Picture

Some Background

I’m attending the University of Rochester which is home to the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies. Through this department, I am able to help out Tariro and receive University credit.   Although I’m studying for a degree in Biochemistry, I have always been interested in issues of social justice, and have incorporated Women’s Studies classes into my schedule to get a more informed opinion.

Social Justice through Education

It has always bothered me that the family, geographical region, and culture someone was born into has such an influence on their ability to succeed and live comfortably.

Socio-economic differences within the western world alone seem to have quite an effect on the opportunities available to individuals, but being disadvantaged in the western world is quite different than being disadvantaged in the third world. Western teens accustomed to privilege may choose to not take their education seriously, because they have options to fall back on, whether it be support from parents, family, or society.

However, in areas of Africa the ability to attend school may be the only opportunity to improve your family’s socioeconomic standing and to provide your siblings with some security.

My Motivations in Working with Tariro

I’m privileged enough to be receiving an education, and so it only seems fair that I take advantage of my resources to help provide educational opportunities to individuals who weren’t born into the same circumstances.

I think Tariro is particularly effective in addressing social justice because it recognizes the interplay between the HIV/AIDS epidemic and education.  Prior to looking at the Tariro website, I hadn’t realized the extent education plays in combating transmission. Yet this quote from the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS says it all:

Evidence from Zimbabwe shows that among 15-18 year old girls, those who are enrolled in school are more than five times less likely to have HIV than those who have dropped out.

If education can help reduce the spread of HIV, and a reduced impact of HIV means that more teens are able to get an education, then a strong effort should be taken to get this virtuous cycle started if we hope to improve the living conditions of individuals in HIV affected regions. I would very much like to be a part of this effort and am excited to get started working with Tariro to make this change happen.

I plan on updating the blog regularly, so keep a look out for future posts!

We’re almost there!


In recent days, many of you have responded to our urgent call for donations, and we have raised over $1,200 toward covering the costs of the final term of the Zimbabwean school year. This takes us partway toward our urgent need of $6,000, but we’re not quite there yet.

Here’s how your donations will help Tariro educate girls in some of Zimbabwe’s most vulnerable communities.

University students: We need $2,745!

As I mentioned in my last post, part of our increased need for financial support comes from the extraordinary success of our three new university students. Yet attending university in Zimbabwe is still an incredible bargain when compared to the rising cost of a university education in the United States. For full tuition, room, and board, our students require only $915 each per semester. This means that for this entire semester, Tariro needs a total of only $2,745 for our three students combined! It is a modest sum, but we can’t do it without your assistance.

High school students and exam fees: We need $1,557!

Yet most of our funds are still going directly toward our high school students. We’ve covered the cost of new uniforms and supplies, but we haven’t yet raised enough for our total operating costs. This term alone, we’re paying $7,900 to cover school fees for our nearly sixty high school students. In addition, we urgently need $1,557 for our students who are writing their Ordinary and Advanced Level exams, which determine whether they will be able to proceed to the next level of academic study.

Can you help?

We’re almost there! Please help us raise the $4,800 left for Tariro to fully cover our program costs and staff salaries this term! For our students, the opportunity to complete their education is an incredible privilege, and true to their nature, they are making the most of it by succeeding beyond our expectations. Join us in supporting them as they work toward their dreams.

Tariro needs your help – donate now to send our students to University!

Tariro's student Tariro (yep!) needs YOUR help to attend university this fall!

Tariro’s student Tariro (yep!) needs YOUR help to attend university this fall!

As the beginning of September approaches, we need your help to ensure that the Tariro students who have been accepted to the Zimbabwean university system are able to attend! At this point, we are $6,000 short of the money we need to cover the school fees for the sixty students we are sponsoring this term, including our three university students, and time is fast slipping away. Please consider making a donation to help us!

As you may already know, the name of our organization, Tariro, means “Hope,” and is a common names for girls among Zimbabwe’s Shona speaking communities. And today’s featured, university-bound student is named Tariro!

As our program coordinator Fadzie writes, Tariro K. has a passion for helping others. Reflecting the deep influence our program has made in her life, she has decided to enroll in a social work program, with the ultimate goal of working with vulnerable children. She has been accepted to Bindura University, which belongs to the Zimbabwean public university system.

Tariro has been enrolled in our program since 2009, when she was in Form 3. Soon after writing her Form 4 exams, her widowed mother moved the family to a new neighborhood, in search of affordable housing, and Tariro missed a year of school. Finally, we located her and learned that she had passed her Ordinary Level exams. reinstated her file, and paid for her to continue as an Advanced Level student.

We’re very proud of Tariro’s accomplishments, as well as those of her university-bound peers Politeness N. and Melody M. But we can’t help her proceed to university level study without your assistance! Please consider giving to Tariro today to help us cover the cost of sending our students to school!

Politeness N. goes to university!


Politeness N. is one of the three Tariro students entering university

For the three Tariro students who have been accepted at the University of Zimbabwe, the excitement of beginning a new, and long dreamed of adventure is fast approaching. While the school year begins in January for most of Tariro’s students, Zimbabwe’s university calendar runs on a semester system, beginning in September. Your help is critical in enabling us to cover the tuition costs for our wonderful, university-bound students, including Politeness N.


Among our university bound students, Politeness N. stands out for her incredible level of dedication and achievement. As our program coordinator Fadzie relates:

Politeness is very committed to giving back and has been a mentor to younger Tariro students. She is our strongest role model, and her positive attitude is very encouraging. Politeness is currently teaching Accounting at a local school, and has already started saving for college expenses. She is assertive, and her strong leadership qualities led to her being selected the school headgirl.

As an A Level student, Politeness attending the UMMA Institute, a boarding school in Marondera. As Fadzie observes:

Through Tariro funding, she attended boarding school, where most of the children came from “middle-class” families. She did not have many sets of uniforms, or extra food like other students. Yet she was not distracted by many of the challenges she faced. Politeness also received a partial scholarship from UMMA. This was the first and only scholarship UMMA has ever given to a student.

Politeness plans to attend the University of Zimbabwe, where she intends to study accounting or business studies.

As we approach the first day of university, we need your help to raise the donations necessary to pay the tuition for Politeness and her peers! Your donations to Tariro will make a huge difference in the lives of these three students, who have struggled against all odds to rise to the level of a university degree.
And once again, I will leave you with photos of Politeness throughout her years with Tariro.

Tariro student Politeness N (right) in 2008, with Tatenda C. (middle) and Pamela K (left)

Tariro student Politeness N (right) in 2008, with Tatenda C. (middle) and Pamela K (left)

Tariro student Politeness N. in 2008

Tariro student Politeness N. in 2009

Politeness today!

Politeness today!