I’m writing today with yet a final update on Noleen’s medical condition. I’m very happy to report that thanks to the medical care she received through Tariro, Noleen has recovered from the bladder and kidney infections which began to affect her earlier this year. Here is a report from our program coordinator Fadzi, which addresses both the improvements in Noleen’s health, as well as Tariro’s work with Noleen’s family to ensure that Noleen will receive adequate care at school.
Noleen is feeling much better and is ready to go back to school. She still has a catheter which she will continue to wear until her doctor advises otherwise. She also gets her bladder cleaned every month, hence her mother still has to take her to the doctor’s every month.
Noleen’s mum is very concerned about Noleen’s previous school. She thinks the school is short-staffed, and as a result the staff is not able to take care of health needs of disabled students. She believes this could be the reason Noleen ended up with bladder and kidney problems. She was very clear that she would only take Noleen back to her previous school if there were absolutely no other options.
I advised Noleen’s mother to look for a school that has a similar cost structure, so that we could facilitate a transfer. She got a place at St. Giles, where boarding fees are around $750, and day scholar fees are $350, including a new uniform and monthly transport coasts.
For now, we have decided that Noleen will attend St. Giles as a day scholar, until Tariro’s board is able to discuss the boarding option. I agreed to the transfer because it costs the same as the previous school, and also because Noleen’s mum was committed to taking her to school everyday. This is a major challenge since there are no buses in Zimbabwe that are accessible, meaning that Noleen’s mum has to carry her eleven year-old daughter and the wheelchair everyday, both from their home to the bus, and from the bus to her school. She also has to wait for Noleen to be done with school to do the return trip back home.
This arrangement works for now, as we were both eager to get Noleen to a better school, but I believe this will take a toll on either Noleen or her mother.
If Noleen gets into St. Giles boarding school, she will have access to a doctor, and physiotherapy. I’ve already spoken to Jennifer about discussing the option of enrolling Noleen as a boarding student at St. Giles with Tariro’s board. Since boarding school is $750/term, she will need $2250/year.
Fadzi’s update brings home the hard reality that small organizations like Tariro must always strive to balance the needs of individual students with our financial limitations, as well as our desire to help the maximum number of students possible to obtain an education. Our board will be meeting before the end of the month, and I’ll be sure to update you on our decision regarding Noleen’s attendance at St. Giles. In the meantime, if anyone is aware of resources or individuals who may be able to help us afford the special care Noleen requires, please contact me through our website.
Thank you for your support, and please check back later this week for an update on the wonderful benefit event held for Tariro last week in Eugene, OR.