Category Archives: Tariro news: updates on our programs and activities

Spare a thought for that child in Zimbabwe!

Zimbabwe has had it’s fair share of economic challenges with HIV/AIDS, massive unemployment, growing urban and rural poverty being the order of the day.The woes bedeviling this beautiful nation are no secret and recently, things took a new twist with the mass job terminations that resulted from a Supreme court ruling that allowed companies to terminate their employee’s contracts on three months notice without benefits.  As much as 22 000 workers lost their jobs in less than a month.  We have witnessed heads of households losing their source of income. In Zimbabwe it is typical for one to be the breadwinner, not only for one’s immediate family but for members of the extended family as well hence the domino effect is felt by everyone.

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Zimbabwe on the African map

In addition to that, there have  been demolitions of illegal dwellings in the capital city, Harare, reminiscent of the 2005  “Operation Murambatsvina” by the local authorities. So far, hundreds of houses have been destroyed leaving many families homeless and destitute.

Amidst this doom and gloom, one wonders  what is to become of the Zimbabwean child.  Many children now live in abject poverty with or without guardians. The Social safety net is well-worn porous. Many children have dropped out of school, due to lack of funding. We have witnessed  young girls turning to prostitution, as a way of fending for themselves thereby risking their health and lives to HIV/AIDS. In short, things are not looking good for the Zimbabwean youth and the nation in general.

As Tariro, we are obliged to act in support of the orphaned and vulnerable children to ensure they are empowered through  uninterrupted access to quality education. At the moment, our offices are inundated with applications and pleas from desperate parents and guardians seeking to have their children enrolled into our educational support program. Just like our name means, we have the ‘hope’ of a brighter future for our youth and our nation. Please  take a moment to to spare a thought for that child suffering because she has no one to fend for her, that child whose guardian no longer has a source of income and that child whose home has been destroyed.

Nowhere to go: young children look at their former home now reduced to rubbles. (Picture Credit; Aaron Ufumeli, Newsday)

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.”
  — Stacia Tauscher, dancer and artist 

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Tariro students excel: get recognition!

One  wise man once said that good news is rare these days, and every glittering ounce of it should be cherished like a priceless diamond. Today,  I am sharing a piece of good news concerning two of our beneficiaries, Moleen and Melody. For most of you who have been following our posts, you may already be familiar with these two.

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Moleen in her school uniform

Councilor Moleen

Well, there is Moleen, who is currently doing her Lower Six (from 5) at Harare High school. She has been recently sworn into the Junior Council. This is a form of local government run by juniors, usually lower six students, and it runs parallel to the senior council. Through the Junior Council   the young people of the City of Harare have a means by which they may make known their opinions and feelings, and are encouraged to participate actively in the affairs of the City. Naturally those appointed to council positions have to be smart, show a genuine concern for their community, display leadership qualities and be willing to dedicate to the demanding program.

Moleen’s will to win and desire to succeed have, in  no doubt, played a major role in her getting to such levels. We believe through  her, empowerment is going to reach many other youths.

Melody’s big heart rewarded

Melody is our student in her second year at the University of Zimbabwe. She recently received an award from the University’s Vice Chancellor, Prof  Nyagura for  being helper of the year.  Melody volunteered to be an assistant to a fellow student who is blind. Melody’s commitment and dedication to helping this and other handicapped students saw her being voted for the award. The electors were handicapped students at the university.

As Tariro we are  happy and gladly invite you to share the joy. For melody and Moleen, we are happy for your milestones and may the spirit of giving back to the community continue to dwell in you.

Melody in 2009

Melody

Life Skills workshop for Tariro Beneficiaries

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Posing for a photo: Tariro staff and beneficiaries alongside TYDA facilitators

 

 

Tariro recently held a life skill workshop to complement the current support that we have for our beneficiaries. As you might be aware, Tariro’s beneficiaries’ backgrounds are mostly characterized by poverty and family instability/dysfunction. This situation is also compounded by limited resources both at home and at school. This situation leaves most of them in danger of failing not only academically but socially and economically as well.

Held in conjunction with Transformative Youth Development Association (TYDA), a local school based organization for youth empowerment, the workshop aimed to equip our beneficiaries with an adaptive and positive behavior that will enable them to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. We had facilitators touching on decision-making, problem solving, interpersonal relationships, self-awareness, assertiveness, HIV/AIDS among other issues.

The beneficiaries particularly enjoyed the participatory approach that the workshop took. There were  lots of fun activities designed to engage the beneficiaries. As one of our beneficiaries, Bertha M, put it “…I now have greater self-esteem and self-confidence.”

At Tariro, we strongly believe in the moulding of a wholesome individual with both academic and social competencies!

Below are some photos from the workshop;

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A beneficiary participates in a lesson on “Decision making”

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A section of beneficiaries engrossed with the proceedings. 

 

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Gillian ( with white-blood-cell tag) pushes Brenda in a demonstration of how white blood cells fend off infections during a lesson on HIV/AIDS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highlights from our work in 2014

Greetings to you and we would like to wish you a prosperous 2015. Well, before we delve into this year’s business, let us just share with you some of the highlights of our work for 2014.

2014 has been a challenging year as we had the uphill task of sending an unprecedented number of students to university , this against a limited budget. We also lost our colleague, Senzeni in October. However, it has been another successful year for Tariro and marked another milestone in the history of our work.

We managed to score several successes in our work and the below are some of them

• Provided a full range of services

Tariro ensured that none of its beneficiaries missed even a day of school due to lack of fees and or sanitary ware. We managed to pay school fees for all our beneficiaries in primary and secondary schools as well as those in universities. In addition to that we provided a year’s supply of stationery and sanitary ware to ensure a hassle-free academic year.

Some of the beneficiaries posing for a photo after receiving new uniforms.

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Beneficiaries holding stationery sanitary ware

Registerered students for examinations

We managed to successfully register 8 students to write their examinations.

Pamela K sat for the National Certificate examination in Rural and Urban Planning at the Harare Polytechnic College. Melody S sat for the ZIMSEC Advanced level examinations while Brendon I, Tinotenda B, Esnarth M, Mollyn W, Winston N and Mercy N sat for the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) Ordinary level examinations in October and November.

• A boost for our library

We managed to boost our library stock by purchasing 33 revision guides for Ordinary and Advanced level as well as general text books for our library. This saw increased traffic to our library and we believe it will contribute immensely to our students pass rate at both national and local exam level.

• Three additional university students

We managed to enrol Jane J and Edwinner S into university, Jane J (Bsc Hons in Human Resources Management) got a place at the Midlands State University and Edwinner S ( Bsc Hons in Social Work) at Bindura University of Science Education this has added to 6 the number of tertiary students that we have – the highest number we have had so far. W also had Pamela K enrolling with the Harare polytechnic college to study Rural and Urban planning.

• Our traditional dance ensemble getting recognition

Our Traditional dance ensemble, which is our major psychosocial support vehicle, was featured in the Zimbabwean mail edition of 31 jan 2014. In june we got the chance to be the main entertainers at a youth expo organised by a local NGO YET Trust – among the delegates were ministers, legislators, representatives from youth organizations and members of the public.

• Partnering CITW

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Jane J (in white T-shirt) posing with some of the children who were at the CITW camp in Hwange.

In November , we partnered Children in the Wilderness (CITW) when two of our beneficiaries were selected as volunteer team leaders for a safari camp they held for underprivileged children in Hwange, Zimbabwe• Kusatenda uroyi

There is a Shona Proverb which says, “Kusatenda uroyi” whose meaning is that failure to express gratitude is just like witchcraft. In the same spirit, we would like to express our gratitude to all of you who have supported our cause, it is because of your donations, words of advice and encouragement that we manage to speak of highlights. You may not be there to physically meet our beneficiaries but they surely feel your warmth and love!DSCF3499

• A call for more help.

We continue extending our plea for your continued support. As we face each new year, we face new challenges. Where we used to pay for 15 secondary students or 35 primary school students, we now pay for just one university student per year.

Tariro needs someone like you further our quest to empower young girls and women through education. We would also like to enrol other vulnerable girls who are missing school due to lack of school fees and supplies.

• $30 will provide a student with school supplies (pens, paper, and sanitary ware) for the year.

• $80 will provide a student with a new uniform, including shoes, socks, pants/skirt, shirt and tie.

• $100 will cover the annual cost for a student to participate in Tariro’s music and dance ensemble.

• $150 will enable a student to write her Ordinary Level exams.

You can donate to Tariro online, or mail your donations directly to PO Box 50273, Eugene, OR, 97405. Thank you once again for your support!

We wish you a prosperous year ahead!

Kenny Magwada (executive director)

Tariro girls shine and Tariro receives an Award!

The setting was Domboramwari high school in Epworth, about 15 km from Harare’s city centre. The event- Speech and Prize giving day, where students who excelled in their studies were being awarded prizes of excellence.

Multiple awards…

Well, Tariro Girls dominated the awards as four of them, yes four, received various awards at the event. First up was Bertha M, who won an academic award of excellence in Religious Studies then there was Morleen who scooped three awards in Shona, English and Accounts as well as another one for a good overall performance among the form fours.

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Morleen receiving multiple awards

There was also another category, The Smartest Students award and two Tariro girls landed the award. Bertha M was voted the smarted student followed by Rumbidzai M.

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The smartest Girl: Bertha is all smiles after scooping two awards including the smartest girl award.

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Another smart one. Rumbidzai M, who received another award for smartness

In honour of last year’s top performers in the Ordinary level examinations, the school also gave awards to top performers. It was in this category that Pride R, now doing lower six at another school received a prize.

Icing on the cake

As if that was not enough Tariro received an award in recognition of our “great support” to the school. Tariro’s executive director received the award on behalf of the organization.

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Some of the Tariro girls at Domboramwari pose with Executive Director Kenny (in Black Jacket), standing beside him is Morleen’s mother.

Thank you and we want more of your support…

As we exalt in these recent achievements, we never forget the strength behind our work- YOU . We dedicate this award to all of you who have supported us throughout the years, either through your donations or moral support.

this time of the year, we begin our fall fundraising campaign and we would like to call upon you to make a  one-time donation or to set up a recurring monthly donation to enable Tariro to continue educating and empowering Zimbabwean girls.

Your donation will go a long way in educating a girl

  • $30 will provide a student with school supplies (pens, paper, and sanitary ware) for the year.
  • $80 will provide a student with a new uniform, including shoes, socks, pants/skirt, shirt and tie.
  • $100 will cover the annual cost for a student to participate in Tariro’s music and dance ensemble.
  • $150 will enable a student to write her Ordinary Level exams, which are required for further study.
  • $300 will pay the annual     school  fees for one girl attending secondary school

All donations are tax-deductible in the US. Thank you!

A special Saturday for Tariro Girls !

Board members visiting…

Saturday was another special day for the Tariro Girls. Usually the girls meet for traditional dance practice and general meetings. However this one was a bit different as they mixed and interacted with two of Tariro’s board members who were in the country visiting. The two, Dr Stephanie Bengtsson and Dr Jo Ailwood are faculty members at the School of Education at the University of Newcastle Australia.

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Words of advice: The girls listen attentively as Jo illustrates a point.

The day started with Jo and Stephanie giving the girls some career guidance. After that the girls showcased some of their marimba music and traditional dances. As if to reciprocate the girls were treated to some Zumba and Salsa dancing lessons from Stephanie ( she is a licensed Zumba instructor). It was indeed, a jovial atmosphere for everyone – releasing stress and strengthening the body!

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On the dance floor: Stephanie leading the girls through some Zumba moves.

Gifts Gifts Gifts!

To put the icing on the cake, the girls received gift bags from Stephanie and Jo. In those bags was an assortment of stationery as well as sanitary ware. The girls were quite thankful for the gifts and couldn’t hide their joy.

Stephanie and Jo’s visit was a much needed morale booster for our girls. Not only did they have fun but they also benefited from the career guidance from professionals as well as invaluable gifts that will go a long way in empowering them.

The girls listening to Jo and Steph while holding their gift bags

The girls listening to Jo and Steph while holding their gift bags

Third and final term begins!

The third and final term of the Zimbabwean academic calendar has started, considered by some as the shortest; it comes as the defining term for most students who will be sitting for their national examinations. We have students in Tariro who will be writing their final examinations this term. Three of them will be writing their grade seven examinations, this examination is a terminal examination for the primary school students, and they will be going to secondary level.

Grade seven candidates

This year it will be Rufaro M, Fadzai M and Noleen C; These girls will be seating for their Grade Seven examinations in October. Fadzai and Rufaro  have, behind them, a satisfactory academic performance and we even featured them in previous blogs for having won academic prizes of excellence. Most of you may now be familiar with Noleen C, a special needs student whom we sponsor. She is is quite excited about writing her final examinations.

Four subjects, Maths, English, an indigenous language , General paper (a combination of natural and social sciences) will be examined at the Grade Seven examinations.

Noleen C at her home in Norton

Noleen C at her home in Norton

We would like to wish our girls all the best as they seek to crossover from primary to secondary education. This is also an opportunity for us to thank those of you who have been assisting us to realize our mission of educating and empowering young women and girls in communities affected by HIV/AIDS.

Fadzai displaying a certificate of academic excellence that she was awarded when at the end of her grade 6 year.