With the majority of our schools all nearing the middle of term, there is always plenty to do when we get the chance to visit them, and the Tsholotsho region (as one of our biggest) is no exception. With ‘Percy’ (our hard working Ford Ranger) filled to the brim, we set off from Victoria Falls before the sun to get to Hwange and Tsholotsho and begin our rounds.
The purpose of our trip was to check in with the 11 schools we work with in this region, see how our new curriculum is doing, and make a few distributions. We started off by meeting with each Head, followed by the mentors, discussing how the Eco-Club and YES Programmes are going so far, and collected the entries for our annual art competition where students were encouraged to draw their favourite animals in their natural habitats.
We also collected the completed CHEAKS (Children Environmental Attitude and Knowledge Scale) test that we got all Eco-Club members to fill out. This test forms an integral part of our monitoring and evaluation, measuring the impact of our programmes and ensuring that they meet their goals and objectives. We are so excited to see the results and gauge where our Eco-Club and YES Programme members are on this scale. Our mentors were well prepared and we had a lovely time reconnecting with them all face to face again. We were also able to hand deliver a variety of seeds for their eco-gardens to help them cope the nutritional challenges that the country is likely to face this year due to drought.
Further to this, we had various donations to distribute including some solar-powered lights for Mlevu Primary School and Sipepa Clinic, all kindly donated by the Bourke Family Foundation’s Lights for Literacy. We were also able to distribute some warmer clothing donated by the kind hearted citizens of Victoria Falls for the teachers of Mpindo and Jakalasi Primary Schools. In this batch of clothing, we were also able to secure a few key items such as a jersey, shirts, and trousers for Dona Mlilo, an adult orphan who has been taken into the care of Mpindo Primary. Finally, we delivered shoes for ECD and Grade 1 students at Ngamo who were in the greatest need.
Covering approximately 1,000 kilometres in this trip, our hard working Percy finally carried us home, laden with baskets from the Tsholotsho women’s income generating groups. Once back in Victoria Falls, we were able to reflect on another successful trip and the generosity of our many donors. We are so grateful for all that we receive and are able to give out to those who need it most, and are looking forward to continuing this on our future trips.