Did you know?
- Zimbabwe is home to over a million children who have lost one or both parents, most frequently to causes related to HIV/AIDS.
- All Zimbabwean children must pay to attend public schools.
- The average cost for a high school student to attend school is now about $500/year, including school fees, uniforms, and exam fees.
- International organizations widely recognize school attendance to be the single most effective intervention in preventing new HIV infections.
- School attendance is particularly important for teenaged girls, who have an especially high risk of contracting HIV.
Together, these facts shape Tariro’s mission! By educating girls in Zimbabwean communities affected by HIV/AIDS, Tariro seeks to reduce our students’ risk of contracting HIV, as well as empowering them to work toward a better future for themselves and their families.
The effects for individual girls: Nomatter C’s story
The facts above have powerful consequences for individual girls in Zimbabwe, as illustrated by the story of Tariro student Nomatter C.
A vibrant 14 year-old, Nomatter lost her father in 2003. During primary school, she was a beneficiary of Zimbabwe’s government-funded education program, known as BEAM. However, once she reached secondary school, Nomatter was told that BEAM funding was no longer available. Nomatter’s situation at home had also deteriorated dramatically, as her unemployed mother, utterly destitute, could not afford even to provide food or lodging for the family.
Nomatter’s situation improved slightly when she moved in with a sympathetic teacher from her former primary school, who agreed to act as an informal foster mother. However, her new foster mother likewise struggled to cover the costs of sending Nomatter to school. As a result, Nomatter missed an entire term of school before being accepted into Tariro’s sponsorship program.
With assistance from Tariro, Nomatter returned to school late during the first term of 2012. Her teachers report that she has caught up with her peers despite missing the first two months of the school year. Combined with Nomatter’s excellent scores in Grade Seven, Tariro’s program director Fadzie is optimistic that Nomatter will continue to do well.
Nomatter’s dedication to her studies is reflected in the 2-hour walk that she makes to and from school almost every day, with a few exceptions when her foster mother is able to provide her with money for public transport.
Join us in our work!
Once again, it is time for Tariro to begin our annual fall fundraising campaign. Your donations to our campaign are critical in enabling Tariro to provide the funding necessary for Nomatter to attend school, as well as more than 50 or her peers. Please consider making a donation in support of our work, and check back regularly on the blog for updates on work, as well as our fundraising progress. You can also visit our website for more information about our organization, which is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.