Collin Nyabadza still has a heart for the children in his home country of Zimbabwe. Nyabadza has been in Swift Current for a number of years but continues to reach across the ocean to help in a variety of ways in securing bright futures for students in Zimbabwe. He is currently seeking financial support in order to ship classroom furniture from the former St. Joseph’s and St. Patrick’s School to Zimbabwe through the Collin Nyabadza Children’s Voice Charitable Trust.
“We have a number of schools where the children go into empty classrooms,” Nyabadza said. “They will just lay down on the floor. It makes children hate school.” Nyabadza trained as a teacher and was deployed to a small rural school in Zimbabwe where he worked from 1993 through to 2001. He knows first hand of the challenges students face in rural Zimbabwe, and hopes the community will rally around his fund-raising efforts. He estimates that it will cost $7,000 to $8,000 to ship the material from Swift Current to the country in southern Africa.”I would be so grateful because it’s really a sad situation,” he said. “In my country the gap between the rich and the poor is widening. If you don’t have the money your children will go to the poorest of the poorest schools where there is no school furniture. Where there’s absolutely nothing. The chance of them coming out and getting good grades they are next to nil. And then when they go on the job market they find themselves competing with kids who went to private schools that have everything. So at the end of the day poverty keeps cycling in those communities. So this is why I’m really striving hard to make this charity a success.”Nyabadza had worked in a school of 1,000 students and 26 teachers, but they had very few facilities and had to operate out of just a few classrooms.
“The majority of the children used to have lessons under a tree,” he recalls. That situation is more problematic during the months of May, June and July when the weather turns cold. The harsh conditions not only impacted the learning environment, but the teachers would also quickly transfer out and the high staff turnover was also an issue for the students.
“If we all have that approach of coming and leaving, who’s going to help these children? Who is going to help the community to move the school forward?”
While in Zimbabwe he began reaching out to companies asking them to assist students with scholarships. He was particularly touched when his two smartest students had no intention of attending High School because they could not afford to pay for their education. By the time he left after nine years as a teacher he had helped over 300 students receive scholarships.
Motivated by that success, and after urging by former students who have gone on to successful futures, he is extending his work.
“I later realized that they may get an opportunity to have someone pay their school fees for them, but they still needed a conducive learning environment in the school where I was so we would be able to produce good results.”
In Dec. 2012 he started the Collin Nyabadza Children’s Voice Charitable Trust to reach Zimbabwe’s remote communities he is familiar with.
“We want to give every child a voice,” he said. “Every child deserves an opportunity to get an education. And it is only through education that we can break the cycle of poverty.”
Nyabadza, who served as one of the coaches of the SCCHS Colts soccer team, also collects soccer jerseys and soccer balls to further his favourite sport in his home country.
He is also planning on collecting other donations to include in the school furniture shipment to maximize his current fundraiser.
Additional information about his fundraising efforts is available online at www.childrensvoicezimbabwe.org.
Help us to raise funds to ship this furniture, slated to be crushed, to school children in Zimbabwe. Let’s see what we can do as a community!! Help in any way you can, no amount is too small. We can do so much with your support.
Here is the local Southwest Booster article from October 30, 2014: