Beginning our program in Zimbabwe through the leadership of our Botswana 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, which has nearly 2000 students. Ducere was invited to Chinotimba Primary School by head teacher, Mrs Cynthia Khumalo, to work with the Year 7 students. Assisted by their teacher Lameck Mpofu, the children loved translating stories into English, told to them by their elders in local languages.
Chinotimba Primary School is very close to one of the world’s natural wonders, the Victoria Falls, which are located in the very northwest tip of Zimbabwe and create a border with neighbouring Zambia. For the children at Chinotimba, the Falls are part of their lives. When you are in close proximity you can hear the water thundering down and the water spray can be seen for miles around.
Despite the changes and challenges that Zimbabwean children have faced over the last thirty years, at 90 per cent, Zimbabwe boasts one of the highest literacy rates in Africa. 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’.