CITW Zambezi is thrilled to announce that the Jabulani Community Literacy Centre has officially opened. With the help of the surrounding community members, CITW was given the opportunity to renovate and refurbish an abandoned preschool in the heart of Jabulani village, and turn it into a literacy centre for the entire community.
Zimbabwe used to be known for having one of the best literacy rates in Africa – sadly this is no longer true. With the demise of the Zimbabwean economy, resulting in hyper-inflation over the last 20 years, poor pay and working conditions, the majority of qualified teachers have not only left the profession but have ventured further afield, moving to neighbouring countries and overseas in search of employment and a living wage.
Add Covid into the mix and it is not surprising that more than half of the current Grade 7 students leaving primary school are unable to read, write and comprehend English, the national language. Due to this, CITW’s main aim is to improve the literacy levels of both the school children from the Jabulani community as well as the older adults who were never given the opportunity to go to school when they were younger.
The literacy centre will be open from 8 am to 5 pm daily, including weekends and will welcome anyone from the community wanting to learn to read, write, or simply get extra help after school.
This literacy centre will be run by six informed, well-resourced, highly motivated and trained literacy mentors. These mentors were chosen by CITW from the surrounding communities as they are recent school leavers who are competent in and have passed their O-Level English, and were in search of jobs.
Given this chance, these mentors are also paid a stipend for their work at the centre – and at the same time are teaching and inspiring the young children and older adults from the very community that they grew up in. Reading and writing are life skills that everyone should have the opportunity to learn, and CITW is overjoyed to be able to provide this opportunity to the people of Jabulani.