Thanks to the generous donations of people like you, ASAP can now provide school fees for 8 deserving girls. The beauty of this project is that it includes training for the girls in Village Savings and Lending as the first step up out of poverty. The girls form small groups after school and agree to each save a specific amount of money each month, regardless how small an amount. This money is then lent to one or more of the girls so they can use it in their income generating project. This often means buying and reselling tomatoes or other items during the month to generate income turning the money 3 to 5 times during the month. The money is paid back with interest when the girls next meet. The pot grows quickly. The net result is the girls generate their own money to pay school costs for the next year and this allows them to stay in school without financial need. So ASAP's project becomes a sustainable way of helping them. Thanks again for your generosity and for being an important part of this solution.
Takudzwa Zholinda was born 13 years ago in Mapara Village, 38 km North of Mutare in Mutasa District of Zimbabwe. Her dream to become a teacher was shuttered when she dropped out of school for three years from 2006 to 2008. She had lost both parents due to the AIDS pandemic. She was however given a new lease of life when her widowed aunt took her and her 9 year old brother on board. Takudzwa and her aunt joined ASAP’s Village Savings and Lending micro-finance project in 2009 and are now able to meet some of their basic needs through ASAP's economic strengthening activities. Takudzwa who is now in grade three at Mapara primary school bemoans lack of school fees uniforms and stationary. The proceeds realized from the Kufusa Mari micro-finance project are still not able to meet all her needs. Takudzwa helps her aunt to run a small nutrition garden when she is not at school. She likes sadza and chicken. Now back in school, she is gaining confidence every day.
Agnes, aged 10 was born in Buhera District in Zimbabwe. She and her 15 year old brother moved to Manhanga village in Mutasa district after they lost both parents due to the HIV AIDS pandemic. Agnes and her brother had every reason to thank their elderly maternal grandparents who accommodated them after the death of their parents. After finding it difficult to meet the children s financial needs the grandmother joined the Kufusa Mari Micro finance Village Savings and Lending club in the area. She got a loan from the club which she used to start a vending project. When the micro-finance program was introduced in the area, she encouraged Agnes and her brother to join as well. Agnes is now able to contribute a little towards her school fees at Vumbunu primary school through the profits she realizes from the sales of sweets and snacks. She is currently in grade 4. The little girl helps her grandmother to fetch firewood when she is not at school. Agnes’s dream is to become a pilot when she completes her schooling.
Blessing aged 17 was born in Mt Jenya, 30 km North of Mutare in Zimbabwe. Ever since the age of three, Blessing never enjoyed the parental care and support most children enjoy. Her parents separated when she was still very young. Her mother moved to Mozambique whilst her father left for an unknown destination. Blessing’s uncle took over the responsibility of providing care and support to her and her 14 year old sister. To date, the girl has not been able to locate her parents. Blessing and her sister have been in and out of school because her uncle is overwhelmed by the burden of looking after his own five children. When ASAP introduce the OSA project in the area, Blessing was amongst the first to join. Blessing and her uncle are running a small aluminum pottery project to make ends meet. The girl is in form three and would like to become a nurse after she has completed her schooling. She plays a leadership role in ASAP's Kufusa Mari micro-finance project, as the cluster facilitator for her area. Blessing is also an advocate for children s rights.
Thanks to your donations, there are already 3 girls attending secondary school that would otherwise be destined to a life on the homestead working in the fields. Studies show that the incidence of HIV decreases to 50% when a girl attends secondary school. In this way, we say that your gift of education is a life saver!! These girls were selected as part of ASAP's ongoing partnership with Catholic Relief Services - the Out of School Adolescents Project. This 3 year project began in 2007 and will assist over 1,000 girls between the ages of 12 and 17 survive and thrive in rural Zimbabwe. Because of the cholera outbreak in 2008, funding for school fees for these at-risk girls were redirected to stop the spread of this deadly disease. With your support, ASAP looks forward to giving more girls hope for the future in rural Zimbabwe very soon.
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