The following is a reflection from Vimba, a sponsored charity of the NDY Charitable Trust.

Vimba means ‘hope’ in Shona (Zimbabwe’s native language) and we are a small charity established in 2007, and registered in the UK in 2008. Vimba is apolitical and purely focused on raising funds to assist a number of designated projects throughout Zimbabwe, typically in the rural areas where the most vulnerable and destitute communities reside.

Background to Vimba’s Mapere Project of 2014/5

Mapere Primary School, where Vimba runs a centre has been the main primary education facility for the surrounding farmlands in Concession. The plight of the residents in this area surrounding these farms has worsened over the years. By uplifting the standard of education of the children in this area, we will give these children the opportunity to gain skills that will empower them beyond their families’ current socioeconomic status.Our Goals and Aims for the Mapere project were:

  • Build two classroom school blocks

The number of pupils that attend the school has increased, partly due to Vimba’s support at the school and some of the children have had to learn under a tree, in all elements (rain, cold, heat) due to there not being enough classroom space.

  • Convert an existing building into a learning centre for interactive learning

Rural Schools in Zimbabwe do not use interactive technology or computers in the schools. This form of media as part of their curriculum is vital for the stimulation and education of children that are entering into a workforce in today’s society.

The benefits of the learning centre are immense and will put Mapere Primary School at the forefront of a vision that Vimba has for education in Zimbabwe. To highlight a few:

  • Computer literacy will improve students educational and job prospects
  • Diversity of learning through online educational programs
  • The learning centre could also be used as a lecture room for visiting educational lecturers
  • The computer lab would also benefit the community through computer training services, held after school hours and thereby improving their opportunities for success in the job market

Vimba truly believes that by improving the facilities at Mapere Primary School, we will be encouraging the empowerment of a generation of children that so desperately require an improvement in their circumstance. The addition of the two classrooms means Vimba can now focus on converting an existing building into the learning centre. The combination of the additional infrastructure and facilities will give an opportunity for the school to improve on their current pass rates for the Grade 7 exams. These are mandatory exams that determine a child’s ability to progress into high school and receive further education.

During the construction and planning stages of the Mapere classroom block, Vimba has had a representative living in the area, who has sent us regular updates including photographs and reports on the progress of this project.

The construction of the new classroom block at Mapere is now complete, and Vimba is very excited to see the children learning in their new classrooms and benefitting from the upgraded facilities.

We would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the children and staff at Mapere, to thank the Norman Disney & Young Charitable Trust for its donation and support.