Zero Our New Hero

In December 2015 Tariro successfully hosted “A Cultural Retreat and Showcase for HIV/AIDS Awareness” under the theme, Zero, Our New Hero, aimed at youth aged 14-23 from Harare. Made possible by a grant received from the Society of the Celtic Cross, the retreat enabled Tariro to create a safe space for dialogue and experiential sessions, with the assistance of experienced and local facilitators in the field of HIV/AIDS.  Through these educational and awareness building sessions, the participants were not only the recipients of this rare opportunity for open discussion and education, but will continue to help in of the ongoing fight against the HIV/AIDS crisis which continues to impact Southern Africa at an alarming rate.

DSCF9019According to recent information by the PANOS Institute Africa (PSaF), girls between 15 and 19 years old account for 71% of new infections, indicating that a significant number of our beneficiaries fall within this target group.  Tariro’s beneficiaries have lost parents and guardians to the disease. The chosen theme, Zero Our New Hero, was derived from the theme of the 2015 International World AIDS Day commemorations: ‘getting’ to zero in three ways:

  • Zero new HIV infections
  • Zero AIDS-related deaths in Southern Africa
  • Zero stigma and discrimination

The retreat hosted 31 girls between the ages of 14-23 from high-density areas of Harare (Epworth, Glen Norah and Highfield). Under the facilitation of Reverend Nyarumwe from the Anglican Church, and staff from the Transformative Youth Development Association- a Harare school based organization for youth empowerment- the girls participated in activities including songs, poetry, dialogue, storytelling and drama that explored the many HIV/AIDS-related challenges facing the girls and their communities.

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Specifically, Reverend Nyarumwe led participants in discussions ranging from the causes and affects of HIV, his experience with HIV/AIDS in the church regarding discrimination, and safe sex practices. The facilitators from the Transformative Youth Development Association led the students through various activities, incorporating the arts with dialogue regarding HIV/AIDS. Topics covered were the importance of testing, disclosure of one’s status, and the importance of medication for those infected.  Importantly, the girls were able to personalize the workshops by talking about how to deal with infected people, how to socialize and stem stigma arising from the community, how to deal with negative cultural practices that fuel HIV/AIDS and how to prolong the life of someone infected with the disease.

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This was an incredible learning experience for all involved, and Tariro is grateful to the facilitators who were adept at engaging the participants in a dialogue that built on their current understanding while addressing gaps in knowledge. We believe the girls were positively impacted and will act as ambassadors in their communities.

Thank you (Tatenda!) to our facilitators and to the Celtic Cross Mission Society for the opportunity to positively impact our beneficiaries so they can carry on this vital work!

International Women’s Day

According to the International Women’s Day website, the pace we are progressing toward gender equality means that closing the gender gap wouldn’t be complete until 2133. That’s right, 117 years from now. That isn’t acceptable to us. Closing this gap will take all of us working toward women’s equality and equity, and Tariro is working to do our part in the Harare region of Zimbabwe.

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Equal educational opportunities are a major force in creating equity for women. This is a large reason why Tariro exists, yet statistics also show that providing opportunities for women and girls benefits everyone in her community. Here are just a few ways equality for women creates a “ripple effect” that benefits all of society:

  • Women are the largest emerging market in the world. More equality equals more GDP. Countries with better gender equality and equity, and less gender disparity in primary and secondary education, are likely to have higher economic growth (Global Partnership for Education).
  • Women have the most influence on their families. According to Camfed, when you educate a girl she will earn up to 25 percent more and reinvest 90 percent of her income into her family.
  • Educated women are more likely to have smaller families, have healthier and better-educated children, and participate in political processes that influence their well-being.
  • Educated women are less likely to contract HIV/AIDS, and less likely to be exploited. Evidence shows that among 15-18 year old girls, those who are enrolled in school are more than 5 times less likely to have HIV than those who have dropped out of school (Global Coalition on Women and AIDS).

Tariro was founded in 2003 by Memory Bandera and Jennifer Kyker who know benefits of educating girls and saw a need during their time in Zimbabwe. Tariro addresses the particular needs of Zimbabwean teenaged girls who face higher risks of dropping out of high school and contracting HIV. With much of the educational support in Zimbabwe focusing on younger children, our founders saw a gap to fill. Tariro started with 12 students and has grown to support as many as 60 students, all of whom have lost one or both parents to illness and poverty.

Meet Tinotenda.

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Tinotenda was forced to drop out of school after losing both of her parents. She had been out of school for two years when she heard about Tariro through a friend and sought out our headquarters. Although it wasn’t recruiting time, our coordinator agreed to do a home visit, and noticed that Tinotenda had a closet full of school uniforms though she seemed to own little other clothing. She had been collecting them from friends who had outgrown them, so when the day came for her to return to school she would be prepared. Her determination was inspiring and Tariro sponsored her. After missing two years of school, it was difficult to place her in a school, but eventually we found one that would admit her at entry level. Attending this school required her to walk and hour each way, yet Tinotenda never missed a day.

Though Tariro is a small grassroots organization, we don’t take lightly the large impact we have on girls such as Tinotenda. We are proud to have several girls we now also support through University.

In addition to paying school fees for the girls, Tariro purchases uniforms and supplies, provides books through our lending library, offers tutoring and extra curricular activities including traditional Shona music and dance, psychosocial support and an annual conference on HIV prevention. Nearly 100% of donations go directly to our students and staff on the ground in Zimbabwe. To make a donation, visit us here.

Tatenda (we thank you) for your support of Tariro, of closing the gender gap, and of women and girls around the world!

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Welcome Tariro’s New Executive Director

We extend a warm welcome to Simbarashe Crispen Kanyimo, Tariro’s new Executive Coordinator in Harare, Zimbabwe!

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Simbarashe grew up in Chiredzi and attended one of the leading mission high schools in Zimbabwe (St. Anthonys High School). He then attended a local university and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in English and Communication Studies with Education. After graduation, he taught at St.Anthonys High School where he served as the guidance and counselling teacher in charge.

He left teaching in 2008 to join the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council Global fund where he served as Youth Health Coordinator, working to fund Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health. Simbarashe worked closely with the youth in raising awareness on HIV and AIDS and other sexual and reproductive health and rights issues in Chiredzi district. He was instrumental in the set up of an anti-retroviral centre at Chikombedzi Mission Hospital through his lobbying and advocacy efforts.

In 2012, Simbarashe joined the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) as a Programs Officer –Educator where he was part of an eight man team that successfully implemented two projects: 1. ) The Youth Education Pack- a vocational and life skills training project that targeted vulnerable internally displaced youth in Mutare, Chiredzi and Chipinge as well as refugees at Tongogara Refugee Camp, and 2.) The Second Chance Learning Project – targeting school dropouts, particularly girls and young mothers in difficult circumstances, giving them an opportunity to return to school. These two projects were co-implemented with a number of partners and government ministries, namely the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Ministry of Youth, Caritas Masvingo, Simukai, COPAZ, FACT Chiredzi and the United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe.

Simbarashe then joined the Centre for Cultural Development Initiatives (CCDI) in January 2015 where he coordinated the education and health portfolio. CCDI is a local trust that works with indigenous communities in the Southern Lowveld of Zimbabwe.

Simbarashe has acquired a number of qualifications from local institutions including Systemic Family Counselling, Program and Project Monitoring and Evaluation, and Humanitarian Assistance and Project Management. He brings to Tariro a wealth of experience in education, youth, sexual and reproductive health and rights and education programming.

Simbarashe is a firm supporter of womens’ empowerment and throughout his career has been involved in projects that uplift the girl child, youth and women. He is married to a lawyer Dorcas Makaza, a gender activist who works at Women and Law in Southern Africa Research Trust. In his spare time, he enjoys watching soccer, fishing and playing chess.

We look forward to working with Simbarashe!

 

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Tariro Benefit Event: Mid-Winter Dance Party

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Looking back at 2015

IMG_2877Dear Tariro supporters,

Thank you so much for your continued support for Tairo: Hope and Health for Zimbabwe’s Orphans!  You make such a huge difference in the lives and futures of the girls we support.  I’m so proud of our students this year – they have been working hard at their studies and many have won awards and accolades and been selected for leadership positions at their schools! Our 2015 Annual Report is full of highlights from 2015 — please click here to read the full report.

A big first for Tariro in 2015 was taking part in the international giving movement, #GivingTuesday on 1 December – and what a success it was!  Between donations made that day and over the course of the Fall Fundraising Campaign, we hit and exceeded our funding goal!  Between online donations, checks mailed to our PO Box, and benefit events over the holiday season, you helped us raise more than $10,000.  Wow.  On behalf of our students, we are so grateful – Thank you!

In 2015, Tariro supported a total of 34 students enrolled at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels. The number of students we supported has decreased significantly over the past few years because of the increase in students who have been admitted to university.  As we move into the future, Tariro will be actively seeking partnerships and scholarship opportunities for our students who are accepted to university so as to be able to build up our numbers of secondary school students again. The cost of sending one student to university is about the same as sending six students to secondary school, so we need to find new funding partners to join with us in supporting our university students.

Core to Tariro’s mission is helping girls finish secondary school – this is because this age group is the most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, and staying in school is one of the single most important ways to bring down the risk of contracting the disease. I’ve seen several articles lately about the continued problem of HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe, and I am reminded that by keeping girls in school and providing a safe, caring community for them to learn about HIV prevention, Tariro – with your help – is contributing to the solution.

The biggest change for Tariro in 2016 will be welcoming a new Executive Coordinator to take the helm of Tariro’s programs in Harare.  We had to say goodbye in December to our previous coordinator, Kenny Magwada. Our candidate pool for the new hire is exceptionally strong, with hundreds of applicants. We are currently in the final interview phase and expect to have a new coordinator in place by 1 March. In the interim, our former coordinator, Fadzie Muzhandu – also a member of the Zimbabwe board – has stepped into the gap.

Thank you for your faithful support.  On behalf of the entire board of directors, but most especially on behalf of our students – thank you.

Elizabeth Davis,
President, Tariro Board of Directors

Tariro: Hope and Health for Zimbabwe’s Orphans
P.O. Box 50273
Eugene, OR 97405
USA

Student Profile: Meet Moleen W.

IMG_2828Meet Morlene! Jennifer Kyker, the founder of Tariro, was able to go to Zimbabwe this past summer and interview Morlene. 

Morlene was unable to continue her Grade 7 in 2010 due to the fact that her family had no money for school fees. Her mother was single-handedly raising the family as her father left them when Morlene was young. Her mother and her went to Domboramwari High to seek support. In 2011, Morlene meet Sisi Fadzie, who is the program coordinator for Tariro. With that, her school fees was paid for by Tariro and Morlene has been with Tariro since.

Morlene has passed an incredible number of ten O level subjects. She has passed with seven A’s, one B, and two C’s specifically. She now attends Harare High for her A level study, and is on the Junior City Council of Harare. As Morlene explains, she was a member of Junior Parliament during her O level study  at Domboramwari High, during Form 3 and Form 4. Now, she has transitioned to the Junior Council. In her words, council members “serve the children so that they become the voice for these people that are voiceless… and take problems such as having no water at home, and other basic needs, and take them to Senior Council”

To get into Junior Council, it was a difficult journey. In all of Harare, there are only eight people total serving on the Junior Council. Out of fifty people who applied from her school alone, she became one of only two elected counselors. From writing and delivering speeches to conducting interviews, Morlene proudly stands to represent her community.  She describes her experience by saying, “It is a big commitment because we are called to serve”. Using this as a bridge, she hopes to pursue Political Science at University and eventually become a Minister!

Here is the full interview, for those interested in watching:

Check out the message she gave to those that are hearing about Tariro for the first time at 10:12.

“We are prospering with Tariro… Tariro is doing much for us as orphans”

She ended off the interview with a beautiful poem that she herself wrote. You can listen to it at 10:51

As the Fall Fundraising Campaign is almost over, we encourage and greatly appreciate donations to our Razoo Fundraising Site, to help Morlene and all the other Tariro girls to be able to continue their education and achieve their dreams. Thank you for your support!

Giving Tuesday is tomorrow!

Save-the-date-white2-1024x438Tariro is trying something new this year for our Fall Fundraising Campaign – we’re joining up with the power of #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back.  After a week of thanksgiving, you can join us on Tuesday, 1 December in Tariro’s first ever attempt to unlock some #GivingTuesday prizes.  Also for the first time this year, the Board of Directors will match the first $1000 donated on 1 December!
Here’s how it works – Razoo, our fundraising website, will award prizes to the nonprofit that gets the most donations during a specific hour.  We qualify for both the education hour at 10am and the children and youth hour at 1pm, so we have two opportunities. Just log on to our Fall Fundraising Campaign site to make your donation!

So .. mark your calendars for Tuesday, 1 December at 10am or 1pm Eastern time (7am or 10am Pacific)!

Can’t make a donation during those windows?  Don’t worry!  Any donations made now and until midnight Pacific time on 1 December count toward our #GivingTuesday totals and we could still win other prizes!

Thanks for joining Tariro for #GivingTuesday!