Zimbabwe Educational Trust (ZET)
Unity Business Centre
26 Roundhay Road
Derrick Mkandla, Colourgrad Mpoko, Simangele Manyere, Adam Ranson, Stuart Kempster
Supporting Zimbabwean communities to keep children in school and out of poverty.
Zimbabwe Educational Trust provides financial assistance to partner organisations in Zimbabwe that engage orphans and other vulnerable in education and enable them to complete their primary education and realise their potential for better lives, and enhance the achievement of Millennium Development Goals 2 and 3, and in the longer term MDG 1.
Zimbabwe is also one of the countries most severely affected by HIV/AIDS. Around 1,300 people die each week, many of them parents with children who need educational and economic support. UNICEF estimates that 1 in 4 children in Zimbabwe is an orphan. Very few estates are registered and not all deaths are registered despite so many dying. As a result orphans and other vulnerable children find it difficult to obtain birth certificates and parental death certificates without which they are unable to sit for public examinations or access any assistance meant for orphans.
We involve our partners in:
Capacity Building: to improve their management capacity by establishing an effective management committee that will take account of women, disabled people and minority groups in decision making and represent their work to the wider community, manage legal and financial matters, mobilize resources, coordinating with other agencies or organizations in the province; complying with
recruitment and selection procedures in appointing staff and volunteers, establishing policies and procedures - equal opportunity, child protection, health and safety , financial procedures;
establishing and strengthening working agreements with partners.
They improve community engagement capacity by training community volunteers - by identifying and recruiting suitable members from diverse sections of the community, producing training materials on child rights and barriers to education and by delivering a suitable training programme. Volunteers will then deliver awareness-raising workshops to people throughout the community, ensuring that the message about the importance of education and documentation reaches as many people as possible.
Here in the UK ZET we provide ongoing support to our partners and oversee performance. We also fundraise to support them by undertaking fundraising events, making links with local businesses and making applications to trusts and foundations.
People Empowerment: to improve stakeholder knowledge and awareness of child rights and barriers to education that affect orphans and vulnerable children by delivering sensitization meetings, workshops and discussion forums for stakeholders, service providers and beneficiaries. Discussion forums focus on cultural, social, religious and legal system factors that hinder the realization of children's rights, targeting children, service providers and stakeholders including Assistant and Additional Masters Office officials, the police, Local Authority officials and community leaders; train community volunteers in the skills to work effectively in legal advice clinics settings by having accurate, relevant and readily available information about the legal system to be able to support the children to obtain identity documents; train volunteers in mediation and negotiation skills to empower
them to face the demanding and challenging cases of estate inheritance issues such as property grabbing and abuse; train volunteers in advocacy techniques to empower them in their day-to-day deliberations with service provider organizations to effect policy/practice changes.
These activities are expected to lead to more children obtaining identity documents and changes in policy which will result in an increase in the number of children aware of their rights and remaining in school to complete primary education.
BY raising awareness people are encouraged to take action to change the current situation:
Parents are made to understand the importance of documentation and ensure that this is in place and accessible to widow/ers and their children.
Vulnerable children are advised and supported to get copies of the documentation they need in order that they can access education, financial support and other benefits meant for them
Service providers look at ways of overcoming these barriers to education and policy makers are lobbied to change policy and law around these issues.
This is expected to lead to changes in community attitudes and behavior and a willingness to identify and support ways of mitigating education barriers and positive engagement in education.
Advocacy with organizations: to engage orphans and other vulnerable children, parents and guardians in participation and partnership to increase their capacity to demand their rights and influence decision-makers of service provider organizations on issues affecting their lives; organize meetings with significant decision-makers to discuss concerns of parents/guardians and children; organise campaign events in collaboration and partnership with rights groups in the region; organize public speaker events on child rights issues; lobby the Ministry of Education for policy changes to enable children without birth certificates to remain in school and to sit for public examinations; lobby Bulawayo City Council for changes in its policy on property ownership which discriminates against women thereby subjecting them and children to property grabbing and abuse; monitor service take-up by orphans and other vulnerable children; and challenge any violation of children's rights by service provider organizations.
To give their work exposure to a large audience, to localized / international recognition and pressurize decision for changes - develop a media outreach plan which will consist of message about lack of awareness of children's rights, its solution and public engagement action to solve the problem. Media avenues that are used to target audiences include, newspapers - the Bulawayo chronicle in particular, the , the radio, the internet - e-mail and website.
These activities activities are expected to achieve policy changes which will lead to more orphans and other vulnerable children engaging in education and an improvement in their life chances thereafter.
Practical Support: to address children's immediate needs by:
* facilitating legal advice clinics to deal with issues hindering birth registration and obtaining of birth certificates, refer or recommend solutions and support follow up action to ensure birth certificates are obtained.
* facilitating parents/guardians and children training in succession planning to assist protection of inheritance.
* facilitating mediation and negotiation sessions in estate inheritance and property grabbing dispute cases
* facilitating referrals to support the affected children, families/guardians, and follow up completed forms to monitor and ensure service delivery.
* supporting links between children/families/guardians involved and local counseling providers to ensure regular counseling service.
* investigating and exploring linkages to broader poverty reduction strategies/incentives.
* enhancing children's academic attainment by: -
- supporting children's after- school homework for those children who have limited /no
family support for education and providing home education for those children temporarily out of
school on medical grounds
- creating a school-home liaison scheme to monitor the situation of vulnerable children in relation
- creating a mentor scheme to provide emotional and intellectual support for orphans and vulnerable children.
- delivering life skills training to enhance children's personal development
These activities are expected to achieve the outcome of improving children's retention and attainment in school which will lead to an increase in number of children at school and successful completion of primary education and improvement in children's self-esteem, confidence and development as individuals and enhance their chances for better lives.