Beginning our program in Zimbabwe through the leadership of our Zambian team was fantastic as we could draw on their skills and knowledge. This was in keeping with the objective of the Ducere Foundation – to create an autonomous, scalable program for each country.
We began our African Children’s Stories program in Zimbabwe at Chinotimba Primary School in Victoria Falls, on the other side of the river to Livingstone. Ducere was invited to Chinotimba Primary School, which has nearly 2000 students, by head teacher Mrs Cynthia Khumalo, to work with the Year 7 students. Assisted by their teacher, Lameck Mpofu, the children loved translating stories told to them by their elders in local languages into English.
Chinotimba Primary School is very close to one of the world’s natural wonders, the Victoria Falls. Situated at the very northwest tip of Zimbabwe, they create a natural border with neighbouring Zambia. For the children at Chinotimba the Falls are part of their lives. You hear the water thundering down and the spray from the Falls can be seen for miles around.
Despite the changes and challenges that Zimbabwean children have faced over the last 30 years after Zimbabwe declared independence from British rule, Zimbabwe boasts one of the highest literacy rates in Africa at 90 per cent. Such achievement in the face of adversity is a true testament to Zimbabwean students, and the attitude of always finding the good is beautifully encompassed in the song included in Juliet Moyo’s story:
The Sun shines on all the beautiful things of the world
It shines on the good and the bad
The weak and the poor
The lonely and the sad
The sun shines on the sick and it shines on the great
Look up to the Sun
It shines so brightly.