Our team of volunteers from the global exchange and community project embarked on a return visit to the small village of Nemauku in Zimbabwe with an impressive agenda for 10 days.
The team departed on Tuesday 24th May and made the 36 hour journey by various flights and long drives to head for the small village of Nemauku in Zimbabwe, about 4.5 hours’ drive from Harare. The return visit for 2016 saw the main project being to build a new classroom for the Additional Support Needs children who attend the local primary school, previously these children were squeezed into a tiny hut for their lessons. Huge thanks must go to AJ Rennie Builders Ltd of Banff, who donated funds to cover all the building material costs for the new classroom. Their incredibly generous donation will make a massive difference to the lives of the children requiring additional support in their education.
Brighter Horizons not only provides scholarships for 20 pupils to attend the primary school, but also provides a scholarship for one young girl, Primrose, to attend a private high school. The team visited with her to hear and see how she is enjoying her education. Primrose’s ailing father, who suffers from heart disease, managed to walk a few miles to the school to meet the team. He wanted to thank them personally. He said; “No words can express the joy in my heart. Thank you for the support Brighter Horizons is giving to Primrose. I am ill but happy now Primrose got this chance and maybe she will also help the family in future.” One of the team also expressed how he was struck by a 10 year old girl who is on the scholarship programme at the primary school. This young girl manages school whilst being the head of the family, looking after younger siblings and running the homestead. A truly thought provoking moment.
The building of the new Additional Support Needs classroom was one of the main projects for 2016. Previously the facilities for these children were very cramped and not conducive to learning for the children or for the teachers having to teach in them. The project had started before the team of volunteers arrived and there were 21 builders, roofers and flooring experts who provided the main expertise for the new building. Many others helped by carrying sand and water from nearby reserves, even the school children helped to collect water during their lunch break, such is the community spirit of pulling together. One of the team said; “I think we were more of a distraction than a help at times, but we did our best.” The official opening service was conducted by the Local Authority District Officer, the Headman/Chief of Nemauku and the MP for Zaka Central. About 40 pupils will use the new classroom regularly; the old classroom will now house the computer lab for pupils to use.
There were two other highlights for the trip, those being a visit to Victoria Falls for the 20 pupils on the primary school scholarship scheme and a football tournament and feast for the village. Thanks must go to Deveron Youth FC and Macduff Lions FC for donating full youth strips for the school pupils to use. Thanks also go to Celebrations of Turriff and Kastille of Turriff who both donated funds towards the trip to Victoria Falls.
The trip to Victoria Falls was a huge hit with pupils and teachers. One of the pupils said “The funniest thing for me on the Victoria Falls trip was seeing the elephants and lions in the wild, and the massive water falling (translated).” One of the t