Happy New Year from Tariro!

A student's family relaxing at home in Epworth, from our Kids with Cameras workshop

As we move into 2012, I’d like to thank all of the many people who donated to our fall fundraising campaign.  I’m pleased to report that Tariro raised $20,484 in the final months of 2011!  This amount is enough to cover the costs of our educational sponsorship programs in Zimbabwe for one school term, enabling us to sponsor 60 students from January through the end of April.  As always, we’ll be working hard to continue to raise funds throughout the year, in order to finance our sponsorship programs during the second and third terms of 2012.

Even given all of the work Tariro does, however, it is even more important to remember that the largest share of responsibility for our students, both social and economic, is born by the extending families supporting Zimbabwe’s orphaned children.  As our program coordinator, Tafadzwa Muzhandu reports,

The frontline service providers for Tariro girls are families, households and communities. Tariro provides a complementary service, and for the organization to remain relevant and effective we have to listen to guardians and students as well as appreciate the various challenges the households we work with face. Schools also play an important role in each of our student’s lives, hence cooperation with the different school heads is very important, as well as identifying teachers and staff who may be able to assist in our outreach programs.

Our grassroots approach is essential in enabling us to maintain the kind of community relations that enable us to work effectively with our students and their families, and continues to produce wonderful results.  In our forthcoming 2011 Annual Report, for example, our program coordinator has highlighted our strength in re-integrating students who have found themselves compelled to withdraw from school due to a lack of ability to pay school fees.

In a few days, I’ll be posting a profile of one of our exceptional students, Tinotenda B., whose story illustrates our success in using community connections to reintegrate students who have dropped out of school.  Stay tuned for this moving portrait, and thank you again for your support!

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