US group plans to rebuild school

The heavy winds threaten to carry away the old, rusty metal roof sheets. The windows have no glass in them. The children sit on the floor in crumbling buildings, and the toilets are in a bad state.

School children learn while sitting on the floor.
School children learn while sitting on the floor.

Welcome to Chimuduro Primary School in Makoni West, established in 1979 – a microcosm of the situation at most rural educational institutions in Zimbabwe today.

But hope looms large here. An American-based charity, Compassion for African Villages, has come to the rescue. It was set up by a former pupil of Chimudoro, the late Tsitsi Mutseta, who died in October at the age of 47 after a seven-year battle with breast cancer. Her friends are keeping alive her dream of re-building the school.

Professor Mark Wheeler, the new CAV president, visited the school last week and announced plans to start the rebuilding work. “The situation here has touched my heart. It is sad that students are learning in such deplorable conditions. We are committed to refurbishing this school to meet modern standards,” said Wheeler.

“That is what Tsitsi wanted for this community. Our charity works with those in the San Diego Community and elsewhere to raise money to improve the lives of those less fortunate than us. We are dedicated to improving the lives of men, women and children in African countries who do not have the means to do so themselves.”

Makoni West MP, Kudzi Chipanga, who accompanied Wheeler, said CAV would also assist with the construction of a rural health centre. People travel about 10km to the nearest health centre. “Obviously we are delighted. The refurbishment of the school will create a much more conducive learning environment. This is one of the poorest schools in the Makoni district,” he said. CAV will also oversee the revamping of staff accommodation and electrification of the whole school.

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