Quite simply, these students and their teachers are all motivated with a desire for change in their lives! I mentioned in my last post that many of Patience’s students are orphaned, poor, hungry or struggling to succeed, but they keep coming back because they know that this is the only way for them to succeed. Although these children are not in the best of situations, they still have people who love, care and worry for them. Teachers, like Patience, are continuously caring for their students. Patience explained how on a daily basis they must deal with students who have fainted. She said the teachers try to bring a little bit of food everyday but it is VERY hard because of their poor salaries. When teachers report that students are fainting and hungry, the higher administration usually speak to the guardian about the need to feed their children but it is usually impossible to ensure.
When I asked whether successful students ever came back, Patience replied that they usually ended up moving to other countries with better economies and jobs. Some may think that this would result in a lack of connection or role models, but in fact students treat these stories, of emigrated workers, as their motivation to go further in their education. One year, Patience’s former student became a teacher at her school and she was proud to introduce him as an example to other students that they too can do better.
Patience has a familiar yet unique story about what continues to motivate her. Patience stated, “I lost my brother. I know the pain of orphans. I feel for others. I know that it hurts, so if people come to me, why not help others? No one should suffer, I can help.” Patience helps cares for four of her nieces and nephews. One of them, a girl named Gillian, has been sponsored by Tariro since 2010, after her father passed away. Another two of her nieces, who had already finished secondary school by the time their father died, received Econet Scholarships for university level study. Their brother is also partially sponsored by a group of American Students at Shona Music. If it weren’t for these opportunities, it would have been impossible for Patience to financially support each child’s educational needs.
YOU can help!
Patience is grateful for all the help she received and wishes there were more sponsorship opportunities for Zimbabwean students. In our interview, Patience made a direct appeal for people to help Zimbabwe. If you can, please donate to support Tariro’s School Program, which enables orphaned and vulnerable girls to stay in school! Please also share this post to help Tariro spread awareness about Zimababwe!