Rafiki Educational Trip
Rafiki Winter 2019 Update
January 2018 Intake:
All 40 girls have finished their training; many of whom are now gaining valuable experience in their field of study through a work placement. The girls will be graduating in February 2019 alongside those in the May 2018 intake. We are delighted to report that all of the cosmetology students are now employed. Additionally, two of our girls are employed in preschool. One of these girls is Nyaradzo who did not have an easy start. She was orphaned at a young age; both her parents died of HIV/AIDS, and she was born HIV Positive. After completing her studies with Rafiki, she is not only in full-time employment and able to support herself and her aunt, but she is now proud of the girl she has become. Rafiki is the inspiration behind her new positive outlook on life.
May 2018 intake:
For the first time ever, the May intake is comprised of 10 single mothers amongst 30 young girls. We are happy to report that the single mothers have integrated into our project very well. The organisation named “Vessels of Love” provide these mothers with emotional support and hampers. Their determination to start a new path in life is particularly noticeable by their cooperation and enthusiasm in the program. However, we do face a challenge. Sometimes, mothers miss school in order to take care of problems that arise with their children. Despite this, we are committed to their involvement in the program and encourage them to find trusted relatives to watch their children so that they can still attend school.
May intake events:
In July, we had an HIV/AIDS workshop in Dvivarasekwa and the girls’ enthusiasm to learn more about the issue is demonstrated by the high number (120) participants in this event. We also held an HIV/AIDS testing event for the girls. Other events included an open day, an educational trip and a career guidance event, helping to support the girls in taking the path they want.
We are very sad to report a couple of drop-outs. Before taking part in the Rafiki program, one of the ladies was making a living as a sex worker. She struggled to find stable accommodation, partly due to a lack of family support. She has been struggling to make ends meet and consequently dropped-out of Rafiki. We are trying to locate her, and we are hoping to welcome her back into Rafiki to continue her studies.
August 2018 intake:
This class again was comprised of 10 single mothers and 30 young girls. Events included an open day, educational trip, careers day and HIV/AID workshops and testing. The educational trip was particularly popular amongst the girls. We had Aunty Beatrice from Sister to Sister organisation as our guest, who put on games that enabled the girls to address difficult issues, such as drug abuse and sex, in a relaxed, comfortable environment. Afterwards they even had a swim in the park. The girls reported that they very much enjoyed this trip; many of them said they don’t have anyone to laugh with at home, so it was fun and refreshing. They also said that they felt as if their lives had changed for the better!
Particular challenges we have faced:
The political and economic climate in Zimbabwe has brought its challenges to us. Particularly, bus fare rates are increasing making it more difficult for the girls to attend. Despite this, hardly any have missed lessons and either the school or others are assisting with fares.
Zimbabwe is currently facing a difficult period of instability with recent rises in fuel prices of over 100%, increases in general commodity costs, a brief shutdown of the internet and significant civil unrest. ZET is monitoring the situation and wishes the best for a speedy and safe resolution.
A message for supporters:
We continue to thank all our supporters for their funding to train not only girls but single mothers who have found hope to change the lives of themselves and their families.
Rafiki HIV Workshop