August 19, 2017

Where We Have Hope

Posted on 26. May, 2011 by Administrator in Education

It is such a pleasure to have the opportunity to write and contribute to the amazing conversations going on around the world on the welfare of orphans and vulnerable children.

The Goromonzi Project Inc is a 501c3 (tax deductible charity) that was founded by a New Mexican resident, Janet Shaw. Shaw who is originally from Zimbabwe was visiting the Southern African country and she came across numbers of children who were not in school. On enquiring further why these children were out of school she was shocked to learn that these children were orphans and had no one to pay their school fees. On her return to Albuquerque she immediately got some friends together and this marked the birth of The Goromonzi Project. Over the past four years TGP has assisted over 500 orphans and vulnerable children to access education, food, health and material provisions. This number can increase with your contribution. These children are no different from those in New Mexico it is only that their life circumstances are different.

TGP is currently running a program that is increasing access to early education for orphans and vulnerable children. Through this program we have managed to secure support for the renovation and equipping of four rural preschools, providing a breakfast meal for over 400 children, increasing access to health service provision for the same number of children and engaging grandparents and guardians in conversations on revitalizing community safety nets for orphans and vulnerable children. This work has had a lot of impact on the communities being served and a lot of children are getting hope for a better future. TGP works to empower the communities to take responsibility and ownership of the programs. In this way there is sustainability in the work we do and that the communities are empowered to continue caring for their children after we have exited that community. In our work over the years we have learnt that in identifying community strengths and building upon them, successful interventions in orphan care are realized. It is important to realize that these communities were looking after children since time immemorial but what changed was their economic situation, their way of life and the political system within the community and country. The community strengths therefore help us identify the mechanisms used traditionally for social protection.

Education is one of those mechanisms that can be used to enhance the social protection of children. TGP through the early learning centers is able to reach out to young orphans and vulnerable children to give them an opportunity to play and learn at the same time. Research has shown that once children are involved in the learning system they grow up to become responsible citizens who harness the opportunities that are presented to them. The children in Zimbabwe have not been able to get those opportunities because of them who are orphans do not have anyone to pay the required fees. TGP has in this case engaged the communities to make sure that the children benefit from early learning through the preschool program. Once the children are in school, as they grow their interest in education grows and hence they will stay within the school system and grow to be responsible citizens.

Once educated these children are able to live a life full of possibilities and have hope for a secure and brighter future. You too can give hope to these children, visit our website on www.goromonziproject.org or email me at patrick@goromonziproject.org to learn how you can contribute. Over the next couple of weeks I will be writing in this column about the issues affecting children in Zimbabwe and how we can all be involved. I also would love to have feedback from you on this and other issues. Happy reading, until next time!

Patrick Makokoro
Director – Goromonzi Project Zimbabwe, Africa

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