The Zimbabwe Educational Trust, an award-winning charity headquartered in the UK, has helped 25,000 children gain access to education since it began nearly three decades ago.
The Zimbabwe Educational Trust (ZET) supports Zimbabwean communities to keep children in school and out of poverty. The charity spearheads extensive initiatives in Zimbabwe centred on advocating for children’s rights, nurturing girls’ empowerment, promoting health and nutrition and accelerating access to resources and infrastructure.
Founded in 1987 to support Zimbabwean nationals in their efforts to further their education, the Zimbabwe Educational Trust is a diaspora-led charity. In 2012 its founder, Vulindlela Mkandla, was recognised by the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards with the prestigious Lifetime Contribution Award.
Last week, the charity unveiled its new website – www.zimbabweeducationaltrust.org.uk – sharing its extensive partnerships with local, grassroots projects to support Zimbabwean children.
Steve Besford, the operations manager, says the new website heralds an exciting opportunity for engagement. “We truly welcome any support through volunteering, advocacy and giving to the outstanding work of our grassroots partners serving children and young people at home,” he said.
Board trustee, Octavia Goredema MBE, is based in the United States and anticipates the new web platform will enable Zimbabweans across the globe to follow the charity’s work and get involved, wherever they are located.
“We hope people will spread the word on their social media platforms and invite anyone who has an affinity with our work to get in touch to find out more. We passionately support the grassroots initiatives of organizations across Zimbabwe striving to change the lives of our next generation. These organissations include the formidable Trinity Project, the Rafiki Girls Centre in Harare and the Sandra Jones Centre in Bulawayo just to name a few,” she said in a recent interview.
The Trust strives to change the cycle of poverty and education through genuine community owners. For that reason, all of the charity’s work is done in partnership with existing grassroots organizations that understand the challenges facing their local communities and are seeking support to make an impactful difference.
For example, less than half of all Zimbabwean children under the age of five have a birth certificate. A child without a birth certificate is prevented from fulfilling almost a third of the 30 guarantees set out in the U.N’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Without a birth certificate, a child cannot enrol in school, sit formal examinations, or take part in extracurricular activities such as music or sport. In later life, without a birth certificate individuals cannot participate in society as a full citizen, as they are barred from running for public office or voting in elections.
Free legal services
Trinity Project is unique in that it recognises that the reasons for non-registration have strong socio-cultural roots. The project works to raise awareness of the social customs and traditions which inhibit registration, and it provides free legal services and advice to ensure that every child can access identity documents and grasp their fundamental right to education.
Other project partners include The Rafiki Girls Centre, an independent organisation which provides nine month courses to some of Harare’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable young women and Bulawayo’s Sandra Jones Centre, established to provide refuge to the many young girls who were suffering from sexual abuse.
You can sign up to make a regular monthly donation to support the work of Zimbabwe Educational Trust in just two clicks by visiting http://zimbabweeducationaltrust.org.uk/support-us/ and follow the activities on Twitter www. twitter.com/zet_uk and Facebook www.facebook.com/ZimbabweEducationalTrustPost published in: Analysis