Tekeshe Foundation

The Tekeshe Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization which focuses on empowering and restoring dignity and hope to the people in the rural areas of the Chipinge district in Zimbabwe by providing and promoting economic empowerment, advocating literacy and higher education for both boys and girls, while assisting AIDS/HIV patients and their families with social-economic help
Oct 30, 2016

Learning Through Failure

Women Participating In Mushroom Project
Women Participating In Mushroom Project

The majority of women in the rural areas of Chipinge are disadvantaged educationally and economically. They rely solely on small scale farming as their source of income. Sadly, this area experiences recurrent droughts which leave the women with no crops. As a result they have no income to support their families. This project aims to improve the socio-economic status of rural women by providing them the funds to start income generating projects so that they can earn money to take care of their families.

In keeping with this focus we launched a mushroom project in 2012. Our approach was to train the trainer first. Seven women in the village participated in the project. They received training on how to grow mushrooms. As you can see from the pictures, everything was going well initially. The women were excited about the project as they started harvesting and selling the mushrooms.

What went wrong?

Sustaining the project became a challenge due to lack of funds. Inorder for the project to succeed we needed a borehole as mushrooms require a lot of water. We also needed a refrigerator because mushrooms are highly perishable. The funds received from selling the mushrooms were not sufficient to sustain the project. When the project was already underway, we received feedback from the community leaders that mushrooms dont grow well in the area due to scarcity of water. 

Though this project failed there were valuable lessons learned. Here are some of those lessons:

  • We learned that sustainability is very critical to the success of a project. It should be integral to the project planning process
  • We learned the importance of involving the community when deciding which projects to launch. The community knows the area well and also knows which projects are viable.
  • We learned that projects should be community led. When the community feels a sense of ownership of the project, the likelihood of the project being sustainable is very high. 
  • A project manager must provide project oversight
  • The project manager should be selected by the community and should be passionate about the project

Going Foward Using Lessons Learned 
We learn through our failures. The lessons learned are helping us take better action going forward. We have since launched a very successful chicken project. Six women are currently participating in the project. I attribute the success of this project to the lessons learned!

Best wishes,

Thelma

Women Participating In Mushroom Project
Women Participating In Mushroom Project
Women Participating In Mushroom Project
Women Participating In Mushroom Project
Chicken Project
Chicken Project
Sep 7, 2016

What We Have Accomplished Together

Scouts Helping Women Plant Vegetables
Scouts Helping Women Plant Vegetables

Thank you for your continued support of this project. This project is our strategy for empowering disadvantaged rural youth.

Update on The Youth Program
Through our Youth Program we empower young people to grow up to be successful, well-balanced and self- sufficient citizens. This program focuses on the importance of young people's personal development and their contributions to their communities. Our approach is as follows:

  • Engage youth as resources, not simply recipients of services
  • Recognize that preventing problems does not by itself promote development
  • Young people should be included as a part of planning and decision-making processes

In keeping with this approach we provide opportunities for the youth to get involved in community service in the village. We are pleased to announce that in early May the youth in our youth program helped women who participate in a nutrition garden project to grow vegetables.You can see in these pictures, some of the kids from our youth program wearing their scout uniforms. We are very proud of our scouts for lending a hand. The Scout program is having a positive impact in the lives of rural kids. Here is what one of the scouts had to say:

In His Own Words By One Of The Scouts
"I would like to thank the donors for buying us uniforms. I feel very happy when I put on my uniform. I enjoy the camping events and learning the scout laws. We are taught to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, thrifty, brave and clean. I kindly ask you to help us with more uniforms and camping tents."

Update on Pre-school Program
Our pre-school program provides a free playtime program which promotes early childhood development and learning through play. The ultimate goal of the program is to prepare the children to successfully enter grade one and to become successful and lifelong learners. A typical day at the pre-school includes singing and playing with all kinds of toys including educational toys, structured playtime, story time and games.

The pre-school is doing very well. This year we have 30 kids enrolled in our school. As I mentioned in one of my previous progress reports, the children sit on the floor because we dont have chairs. Also, our school needs to be in compliance with the Ministry of Education requirements. In order  to be in compliance with these requirements we need playground equipement. Once the pre-school is compliant, it can be registered with the Ministry of Education. This helps us tremendously as we will no longer be responsible for paying the pre-school teacher's salary.

I am pleased to announce that we purchased 2 sets of playground equipement, 10 chairs and a desk. These items will be included as part of the next shipment going to Zimbabwe on September 10. Here is the cost breakdown:

  • 10 chairs @ $15 a chair  -   $150.00
  • 1 table                           -     $75.00
  • 2 swings                        -   $430.91

May your hearts be filled with joy as you take a look at these pictures and see the major role you are playing in shaping the lives of these young people who are the leaders of tomorrow. Without your love and support this would not be possible.


Thank you so much for bringing hope in the lives of young people in these rural areas!

Best wishes,
Thelma

Scouts Helping Women Plant Vegetables
Scouts Helping Women Plant Vegetables
Scouts Helping Women Plant Vegetables
Scouts Helping Women Plant Vegetables
Scouts Helping Women Plant Vegetables
Scouts Helping Women Plant Vegetables
Chair For Pre-School
Chair For Pre-School
Swings For The Pre-School
Swings For The Pre-School
Aug 8, 2016

ICT Community Center Establishment In Rimbi Township

Rural Teachers Attending An ICT Workshop
Rural Teachers Attending An ICT Workshop

Thank you for your continued support of our ICT project. This project is our strategy for bridging the digital divide that exists  between urban and rural schools in Zimbabwe. To date, through your help we have worked in collaboration with our in-country partner, Computers For Zimbabwean Schools (CZWs) to successfully complete our pilot project. The pilot project saw us delivering five very successful computer training workshops to 25 teachers from three schools in the area. In addition, we joined forces with TELONE to bring the internet to Rimbi High. The workshops were a big success! Here is what some of the teachers had to say:

In Their Own Words By Two Teachers Who Attended The Workshops

 "I am benefitting so much through this programme since I was at ‘zero’ as far as Computer Literacy is concerned.  I was even shy to be associated with computers since I couldn’t even turn a computer on.  I am very thankful for Mr Mupinda, the instructor. He has taught us a lot within a short space of time. Microsoft Word – I am now able to type any document and can insert any symbols I want with ease.  He also taught us Microsoft Excel which is a very useful tool in teaching.  The summation in particular was so interesting, using average and the copying of formulas was just magical! "

"We thank you very much for providing the funds that enable us to attend computer training workshops.  We have benefited tremendously from these workshops.  We kindly ask you to help us with computers that way we can have hands-on training during the workshops. This would be of great help.  Thanks again for helping us."

In His Own Words By Rimbi High Headmaster

"We are grateful for the workshops that have been conducted by the Tekeshe Foundation with the help of the donors. The workshops have been a great eye opener! During one of these workshops, the instructor gave us an overview of the 21st century tools that CZWs offers for teaching. He demonstrated how to use a projector. This topic generated a lot of interest among the teachers. As the headmaster of Rimbi High school, I made a commitment to the teachers that I would purchase some projectors for our school.  I am also very grateful to the Tekeshe Foundation  and to the donors for bringing the internet to Rimbi High! "

Way Forward - Establishment Of An ICT center

Though this project has been a big success, the feedback that we received from the teachers is that limited access to computers is hindering their progress. To resolve this issue, The Tekeshe Foundation will establish an ICT center in Rimbi village.  

How Having The ICT Center Will Help
The center will benefit not only the teachers and students, but the entire Rimbi community. The ICT center will provide a hub where local residents can receive computer literacy skills and affordable internet access services, expanding the number of people the ICT centre supports. In addition, with significantly more computers available for students and teachers, the learning experience will be enhanced. The teachers will have a practical environment where they are able to acquire more computer skills. 

In my next progress report I will give you  a breakdown of how much it will cost to establish the ICT center. We are currently working with stakeholders in Rimbi village to see if we can use one of the vacant buildings. 

As you can see we have made a lot of progress making a difference in the lives of rural teachers and students. This could not be possible without your support. Thank you so much!!!

Best wishes,

Thelma

Rural Teachers Attending An ICT Workshop
Rural Teachers Attending An ICT Workshop
Teachers Ecstatic To Have Internet Access
Teachers Ecstatic To Have Internet Access
TELONE WORKING ON THE VSAT DISH
TELONE WORKING ON THE VSAT DISH
 
   

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