Tinashe Basa teaching his first computer class
Dear friends of Zimkids,
I returned to Zimbabwe December 2 made a beeline to Pumula North to see all the kids. Tinashe Basa, Sipho Nyoni, Prosper Mhodi and our Council of Elders have done an amazing job keeping Zimkids thriving and moving forward.
As you may know, the City granted Zimkids a large plot of land in October. The site was littered with heaps of detritus: needles, broken glass and cement, rusted metal, plastic bags, feces and more. There is no trash pickup so people have to have somewhere to throw it and the nearest open spaces generally gets the worst of it. So the Council of Elders set to work cleaning it. The first step was to clean the trash on the surface then to dig and dig and dig to get the buried trash out. Then we are collecting all the scattered glass shards and rusty cans. So far we’ve removed 15 bucket-loads. That was a must do before our barefooted little ones can use the land. This week all our kids age 15 on up chipped in and got to work. It will take a good month before we are done cleaning. Next we will be planting our garden with hardy protein-rich plants like chimulia (a kind of kale) and spinach, secure the property with donated fencing, and get our building plans drawn and approved by the City Council.
We are trying to put together a video to compete in the Ford Focus Global Test Drive “Start Something More Than a Car” competition. The award is $10,000. Once the video is done and submitted I’ll let you know the site where you can see it and ask that you click the “Love it” button that will help push up our chances of winning.
Tinashe and Sipho like to save surprises for me. The first was how much they had accomplished cleaning the land. And the second was when Sithibisiwe, Mbuso and Nqabutho’s’s mother died in September all our caregivers decided to chip in 5 rand (about 75 cents) each to help pay the cost of the funeral. Considering they are all poor our message of volunteerism is seeping into the Zimkids Community. They are also providing us with tools to clean the land.
On the school front, Kudzai Sithole who lost his caregiver last year scored at the very top in his seventh grade exams. Bravo Kudzai! Pauline Mhendo, Ayanda Nkala, Thandiwe Mlotshwa, and Mqondisi Ngwenya took their O level exams in November and we are awaiting the results. Pauline has been consistently at the top of her class. Janice Mabudah continues her A level schooling but wasn’t doing as well as she should so we are giving her one more term to improve. We pay the cost of their O level tests as well as school fees at a top A level school so long as they do well.
Tinashe began teaching the children about computers. His enthusiasm is contagious!
Our thanks go to all our individual donors for your continued support. A special thanks goes to the International Pilots Association Foundation for their grant and to Global Giving who make so many dreams come true. Also, a special thanks to the Ross School in East Hampton NY, Ramaz School and the Friends Giving Circle in New York City and the Town School in San Francisco for their continued and enthusiastic support and to all our friends and supporters in the Catskill Mountains in NY.
Best wishes for the Holiday season from all of us at Zimkids. If I can get it uploaded before the electricity goes out you can see the attached video clip and photos!
Sipho Nyoni standing on our plot of land
Cleaning the Rubble