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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Bindura, Zimbabwe

Sponsored children from Bindura
Sponsored children from Bindura

A child sponsorship report from Bindura in Zimbabwe. Written in 2009.

Dear sponsor

Emphasis on an integrated approach to child care has taken root in Bindura.  The 23rd of June, SOS Day saw the whole location converging on the village for the celebrations held under the theme, ‘Every child has a talent’ .This offered children from the location an opportunity to display their talent in dance, song and the crafts.

Subsequently the Mazowe Agricultural Show held in August saw the Bindura location coming together yet again to show the community what SOS Children’s Villages is doing. SOS Children’s Village emerged number two in the NGO category and got a trophy setting the stage for more cooperation and better preparation next year.

The Village continues its thrust towards economic literacy and integration activities among children and youths. 4 children and 2 co-workers involved in gardening and poultry going on an intensive 5 day course on poultry and vegetable production held at the Technical and Vocational Training Centre. Several other clubs in the village are in the process of setting up their own structures with the girls’ soccer team leading the way having been very active in matches with other teams in their league. 16 children and youths went for visits to their biological relatives around the country during the August school holiday.

The SOS Family Strengthening Programme

A highlight of the period under review was the launch of a Community Based Organisation (CBO) concept by Family Strengthening Program Bindura. The guest of honour, Honourable Governor and Resident Minister, Advocate Martin Dinha welcomed this aspect of sustainable development that gives communities ownership of programs. A sports gala organised for the beneficiaries of the FSP in both Harare and Bindura saw several teams converging at Secondary School for soccer, volley ball, netball and basketball competitions. Other SOS Facilities and several external stakeholders also attended. Support from Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe has seen the formation of project groups with 68 families opening savings accounts with the bank within this same period.

The SOS Nursery

The Nursery continues providing a strong foundation for early childhood development to children. Enrolment has dropped to 52 as most parents now struggle to pay fees. The Children Performing Arts Workshop training has resumed and the toddler’s stimulation programme is now under way with a total of 3 toddlers. Child development planning meetings were held with SOS Mothers and child development planners for all the three classes once a term. The PTA has started fundraising to replace two group room carpets as the current ones are worn out. Current stocks of our play equipment are getting run down a replacement order has been made.

The SOS High School

Enrolment stands at 930 children. The second term has been a very busy one because of academic and sporting activities. The school has managed to replenish equipment in some of the technical departments and made repairs around the school. Other achievements include procurement of a digital duplicating machine, purchase of chairs, a submersible pump, several history and science textbooks, and resuscitating the poultry project. Exam classes received counselling and this has been followed up with a vacation school to prepare exam classes for the O and A level exams. Hopefully there will be an improvement on last year’ pass rate of 21.2% for O level and 57.8% for A level.

The SOS Primary School

Currently enrolment is at 942 children. 82 being children from the village whilst 66 are from the Family Strengthening Programme. The school participated in district sports competitions but did not go beyond the district level. Current Fundraising initiatives include cake sales, raffles and a tuck-shop and plans to start a poultry project are at an advanced stage. To improve the pupil-book ratio, textbooks have been bought for the grade seven class but more are still needed. The school now has a new look entrance following the construction of a new driveway to the school. A total of 280 chairs have been procured and more are still needed.

The SOS Maize-lands Farm

After missing our target of 100 tonnes of soya beans, plans are now under way to improve on this year’s harvest of 51 tonnes. Maize harvesting will be complete by end of August while a healthy crop of 100 hectarers of wheat is under irrigation. There is the ever present threat from quelea birds. The mill is picking up and is currently generating an average of $300 per week.

The SOS Maize - lands Primary School.

The block of classrooms which has been under construction is now complete. The construction of a block of toilets is now in progress, thanks to the support by the National Office. The construction of an apiary for 20 bee hives donated by SOS FSP is now under way. The foot bridge which is used by 500 pupils is under refurbishment should be complete soon. The school continues to have a stable enrolment of 1050 pupils and 26 teachers.

Soccer, volleyball and netball teams have been dominant in district competitions and proceeded to the finals. They were also active during the recently held FSP sports gala held at High School. Efforts to boost local funding through local friends have paid off with two commercial farmers promising to pay fees for all pupils from their farms.

The SOS Technical and Vocational Training Centre (TVTC)

There are 39 trainees, the majority of these coming from community scholarships. Five trainees are on attachment in Bindura and Harare. Agricultural trainees have gone through a course on Pig Management at Pig Industry Board. We have managed to harvest a total of 10 tonnes of maize from three and half hectares. 360 chickens raised are being sold at an average price of US$9 dollars each and the beef herd has increased to 17.  We currently have a ward of 24 pigs. Hopefully this should help to boost our fundraising efforts. Our workshop technician did a journeyman class 1 programme in metal fabrication. We are still working on becoming an associate college of Bindura University. 
Your continued unwavering support for our children is greatly appreciated, and we pledge to invest all our effort and determination to see that children in need of care, love and security get the necessary support to ensure their integration into society.

H. Chabayanzara                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Village Director