Dzikwa Trust Education & Wellbeing Support developments
Winter has come early to Zimbabwe, with morning temperatures down to well below +10 C. The maize harvest is under way, but the crop will be under 1.55 million tonnes, which is down on last year’s bumper crop by about 40%. Food prices have risen sharply due to the war in Ukraine, and currently annual inflation figures are back to above 100%. There is further pressure on prices from the steep decline of the Zimbabwe dollar on the markets and in the Reserve bank of Zimbabwe official auction. Prices of basic foods, such as cooking oil, rice, flour (both maize and wheat) and sugar have risen drastically since February. All in all, families’ purchasing power and overall food security have deteriorated.
The impact of the corona-19 epidemic situation has remained calm though the past few weeks have seen an increase in the number of cases reported daily. Over 6 million people have received their first and 4.4 million their second jab. Masks are still mandatory in shops and other public places. Entry into the country requires either a full series of vaccinations or a negative PCR test.
1. Junior and Senior Secondary (O- and A-level) final exam results 2021
Dzikwa Trust students did well in junior secondary finals in 2021. Eleven of our 20 students continued to senior secondary, to Form 5. One of our girls who was having a difficult time at home will be able to repeat her exams. The chart below shows that the junior secondary (Form 4 or O-level) and senior secondary (Form 6 or A-level) pass rates of Dzikwa Trust students were well above the national average in 2016-2021. Two of our boys, Nigel and Ishmael, came out top in their school, with excellent or very good in all 10 subjects.
Let’s all rejoice together – Many warm thanks to all sponsors for your support over the years. You have opened the doors to school and further education for so many children.
2. Term II 2022, remedial lessons and need for new school supplies
Schools opened on 3 May and will close for one month holiday on 3 August. The last term will be from 5 September to 8 December. After some initial hiccups, the school year is beginning to look almost normal, and children are back at school every day.
Dzikwa Trust continued to provide a wide range of extra lessons during the April holidays. We are also arranging more comprehensive support for e-learning, and for increasing number of students. We use three platforms: Zimbabwe Learning Passport, Ruzivo Digital Learning and Learners Tab.
Dzikwa trust e-learning facilitator Rumbidzai is keeping a close watch on usage. The table below illustrates the situation by class level:
|Class level||No of students||Learning Passport free, must register, writing classes have smartphones & others using 18 tablets donated by UNICEF Zimbabwe||Ruzivo Digital Learning free, must register, smartphones & 18 tablets donated by UNICEF Zimbabwe||Learners Tab 1 license free + 3 paid licenses 4 separate tablets shared with licenses installed|
|PRY Grade 7||26||every day All subjects||Mo-Fri 2 hrs/student||English & STEM subjects|
|Form 1||32||7 subjects||every day|
|Form 2||35||7 subjects||every day|
|Form 3||24||8 subjects||every day||5 days 1 hr/student|
|Form 4||20||every day 8 subjects||3 days/week 2 hrs/student||5 days 1 hr/student|
|Form 5||12||8 subjects||3 days/week 2 hrs/student||5 days 1 hr/student|
|Form 6||12||every day 8 subjects||3 days/week 2 hrs/student||5 days 1 hr/student|
|TOTAL NO of STUDENTS||161|
Term II need for new school supplies: Our financial situation is looking rather tight this year, partly because of increases in school fees and other costs and partly because of the drop in donations. Our procurement officer Priscilla, and Levita, who is in charge of the children, have drawn up a leaner budget for the purchase of school uniforms and shoes, books, exercise books and other school supplies, as well as hygiene products. They managed to cut €1,700 off the total figure for term II, which now stands at €4,451. We’re also trying to get an embassy in Harare to donate Covid 19 hygiene products to the value of €1,050.
3. Children without sponsors
We still have 27 children without their very own sponsor. At primary level there are 10 girls and 15 boys, and at junior/senior secondary level 2 boys.
Our appeal: Could you or one of your friends sponsor at least one of these children? As a dedicated sponsor, you will have a direct and rewarding impact on the life, development, and future of one eager school child in need.
Annual sponsorship fees for 2022 are as follows:
Primary school €420, junior secondary €540, senior secondary €720. The payment can be made in instalments as best suits you. Please get in touch with Oili by email direct: email@example.com.
4. Volunteers, fun and exciting visits, and birthday celebrations at the Activity Centre
In April-May we received a couple of very welcome food donations. On 4 May the International School’s Interact Club paid us a visit, bringing almost €1000 worth of food with them. On 10 May, Tom and Britt from South Africa, friends of our maize donor Cameron, dropped in. As well as bringing a welcome addition to our kitchen stocks, they held some highly interesting mentoring sessions for our youngsters.
Sponsor Linnea, who is also a regular volunteer, was here with the children once again from 30 April to 11 May. She took photos for next year’s calendar and worked with the choir rehearsing a cover version of the moving song “This is Me” from the musical “The Great Showman”. Keep your eyes out for the video on Dzikwa Trust’s YouTube site.
On Monday 9 May, Linnea and Seppo took the children on a wonderful outing to Imire Game Park. And then on Sunday 15 May, the children celebrated Seppo’s 82nd birthday with an abundance of songs, dancing, music and, of course, cake!
Right now, Aalto is with us for a couple of weeks – this is her third visit to Dzikwa Trust. Aalto is studying Sociology at the University of London, where the subject of her MSc thesis is the impact of the home environment and family situation on children’s access to education and school performance
Officialdom, too, has shown interest as on 13 May Dzikwa Activity Centre was visited by a senior inspector from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour & Social Welfare. The Ministry is currently reviewing the work of all NGOs, checking that they really are in existence and are doing what they claim. Together with Priscilla, we gave the inspector detailed insight into the Dzikwa Trust support programme and the work of the Friends of Dzikwa Society. We also introduced him to our Reforestation & Food Security programme. To our great satisfaction, our results are making positive impact, and Dzikwa Trust support programme is one the two best in the district of Harare.
5. Children’s daily meal and the Dzikwa Kitchen
Dzikwa Trust is continuing to provide one daily hot meal to our children and to 100 other children in the neighbourhood. The emergency food programme in place during the worst two years of the Covid-19 epidemic has been scaled down, as there were simply not enough funds to keep it going. During term I, Dzikwa Kitchen provided, on average, 8,500 meals a month. At that rate, the number of meals for one year is around 100,000. Compare that with the 230,000 we were serving in the record year 2021!
The kitchen’s annual budget, which includes food and cleaning supplies, electricity, gas, maintenance and salaries, comes to €62,000. The price of one meal is a modest €0.62. So far, this year we have received only €13,000 in donations for meals, meaning we are well and truly in the red. The Society collects the bulk of the money needed by the kitchen as earmarked donations. We know of some donations of maize due from donors in Zimbabwe, but otherwise, the situation is extremely grave.
Please, help us to keep the kitchen open by donating to the daily meals:
FI76 1745 3000 0616 40
6. Revision of 2022 operational budget and funding challenges
The basic income of our programme, that is, sponsorship and membership fees, will be received in the usual way and is predictable. Other fundraising, however, will be very difficult this year as many of our donors are giving priority to victims of the war in Europe.
After two rounds of budget workshops, we still have a funding shortfall of around €100,000. Dzikwa Trust’s Operative Team has already shortened the list of school supplies and we have cut the reimbursement of remedial lessons teachers altogether. We’re encouraging the teachers to continue, tempting them with their very own used laptops if the donations of computers expected from the Bank of Finland arrive in the autumn. STEM Excel, an organisation set up by young Zimbabweans who have studied and are continuing study or work in the USA, is sending two teachers in science subjects free of charge.
We now must restrict and supervise WiFi use at the centre very carefully to ensure that there is sufficient capacity for online learning. Zimbabwe has very expensive WiFi connections and monthly charges can be tenfold with Finnish levels!
A small reduction to the rent of the Dzikwa Shelter helps. However, we are looking into the feasibility of reducing opening times of the Dzikwa Kitchen and searching for other major savings possibilities. Postponing the purchase of new marimbas and reducing the participation of soccer and basketball teams in the league series brings some savings. We may even have to cancel one of the highlights of the year, the Annual Sports Day in September.
Finally, we intend sending requests for support, cash or in-kind, to specific local businesses and embassies.
Let us work together for the benefit of children in need.
Reach out and donate to any area of Dzikwa Trust Support programme! Your donation will help us to continue supporting children in need.
Banking in Finland:
Children of Zimbabwe Society, Nordea Bank, A/C no: FI76 1745 3000 0616 40
Banking in the USA:
Friends of Zimbabwe AIDS Orphans Society Inc.
Truist Bank, 2841 Chain Bridge Road, Oakton, Virginia 22124 SWIFT: BRBTUS33
A/C no: 1470013859957
C/O Law Office of Robert J. Weil, PLLC, 11325 random hills Road, Suite 360 Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Banking in Zimbabwe, Dzikwa Trust Fund FCA account in USD:
Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe Ltd, Minerva branch, A/C no: 9140000915725 SWIFT: SBICZWHX