The 2016 CNCVCT Chairperson’s Annual Report
2016 has been a very difficult year for most Zimbabweans especially for those living in the rural areas who are heavily dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. Zimbabwe is an agro-based economy and given that 2016 had a devastating drought that was El Nino induced, most rural communities especially those in Matabeleland who have always had erratic rains, experienced untold suffering when their crops were a total write-off and could not harvest anything from their fields. This meant that there was a huge food deficit in most homes. Also, this meant there was no produce for the families to sell to get money for school fees for their children. This sad state of affairs had a devastating ripple effect especially on the performance of rural schools in the country. This translated into poor service delivery and ultimate poor performances by the children in most of those schools. The general performance of the Zimbabwean economy has not been so good in the year under review and this has also seen the service delivery of most Non-Governmental Organisations in Zimbabwe compromised.
Still, against all odds, the Collin Nyabadza Children’s Voice Charitable Trust (CNCVCT) prevailed over a very unfriendly economic and social environment. The Trust remained focused and adhered to its motto, “No Child Shall Be Put Down By Poverty”. The organization had initially planned to operate in seven districts namely Binga, Bubi, Hwange, Matobo, Mutasa, Tsholotsho and Umzingwane, but due to resource constraints this year, it concentrated its efforts in three districts namely Bubi, Matobo and Tsholotsho. However, it did assist some few schools in Imbizo and Umzingwane.
In its quest to improve the quality of education offered to marginalized communities in Zimbabwe, the main thrust of our programming as a Trust has been to provide teachers cottages, textbooks, sports equipment, library books, computer and science laboratories, sanitary pads for our young girl children, boreholes for clean and safe drinking, and secure and safe classrooms. We were unable to achieve all our set targets due to factors beyond our control, but we managed to provide classroom furniture to 4 schools in Tsholotsho District namely Bemba, Mpilo, Pelela and St. Joseph’s Primary Schools. The money for this furniture was kindly donated to us by an Austrian based organization, the United Nations Women’s Guild (UNWG). They donated a total amount of €10 000 (USD11 000) to us. The project was done above board and was well executed and consequently, our organization received a prestigious certificate from the UNWG where our Executive Director was in attendance at the award ceremony in Austria, Vienna on the 5 th of October, 2016. The Swift Current community and other well-wishers in the UK and Australia made 2 it possible for him to attend the event as they helped with his air ticket and living expenses during his stay in Vienna. We appreciate the high level of confidence donors are having in our young organization. Five schools in Tsholotsho District also received some soccer balls. These are Makaza, Manqe, Mgomeni, Pelandaba and Zimwatuga. Soccer kits were distributed to three primary schools and these are, Magama, Makaza and Siphoso.
Our organization also received a huge container from Christian African Relief Trust (CART) in the UK. This saw five districts namely Bubi, Imbizo, Matobo, Tsholotsho and Umzingwane benefit from the consignment which also consisted of books, bicycles, clothing and other educational equipment. Mvuthu and Mpofini Primary Schools in Umzingwane benefitted from the consignment while Tjewondo Primary and Secondary Schools in Matobo benefitted from the CART donation. In Bubi, schools that benefitted from the CART project were Balanda, Makhosini, Mdutshane and Sishawe, all primary schools. In Tsholotsho, Samahuru Primary and Secondary Schools were the beneficiaries, whilst in Imbizo only Umguza Primary received equipment from this project. In Bubi, we helped five schools and these were Lortondale and Mdutshane Primary and Esiphikeni, Majiji and Somvubu Secondary Schools. This project was as a result of three huge barrels loaded with soccer equipment that had been shipped to us from Swift Current, Canada by the Swift Current Soccer Association where our Executive Director is based.
Our organization places great importance on the reproductive health of all the girls in our schools that we work with as we want them to have high self-esteem. This year therefore saw Esiphikeni Secondary School in Bubi District benefit from a pilot project for re-usable sanitary kits for young girls in school. 150 sanitary kits which came from the Zimbabwe Project a Canadian based organization, were distributed to girls at the school to help them preserve their dignity and enjoy being at school just as girls from affluent communities do. For sustainability purposes, the school was encouraged to open a club for making re-usable pads girls, an idea the school authorities received with a broad smile.
The shortage of safe classrooms is still of great concern in all the districts we support. We will therefore continue sourcing funds to build more decent and safe classrooms. This year we received £1 500 from the Juniper Trust in the UK, for us to construct a 1×2 classroom block at Sishawe Primary School in Bubi District. We used the funds to purchase 100 bags of cement and the community moulded bricks and have started working on the project which is already at slab level. More funds are now needed to continue with the project. About USD20 000 is required for us to purchase items such as door and window frames, more cement, window frames and roofing materials. The community is enthusiastic about the project and are working flat out with our guidance to ensure its completion.
In October this year we received a cheque for CAD5 400 from the Rotary Club of Calgary South, Alberta, and Canada for us to purchase classroom furniture for Early Childhood Development Classes at three primary schools in Matobo District namely Lingwe, Marinoha and Zamanyoni. The cheque has since been deposited into our Barclays Account and are awaiting its clearance.
The CNCVCT continues initiating and establishing new networks. We are working with a German based NGO which has since pledged to send us a huge container loaded with 2 000 desks, 1 800 chairs, chalkboards and other educational materials. Shipping modalities are being worked out and we hope that the container would be in Zimbabwe early next year. The goods will be shipped from Bremen, Germany to our headquarters in Bulawayo at the donor’s expense. Our role would be to deliver the equipment to the recipient schools. This is a massive project which would see us fully furnish at least three schools. Furthermore, this is not a one-off project. Once the first consignment reaches us safely more schools will in the future benefit from the Memorandum of Understanding we have made with the German organization.
Another exciting pending project is just about to be implemented. We are co-implementing this project with the Rotary Club of Kamloops West, B.C. Canada together with the Rotary Club of Bulawayo South. The Rotary Club of Kamloops West has initiated a Global Grant Project with Rotary International, where we will see us have close to USD150 000 or more for us to purchase classroom furniture and school textbooks for 30 primary and secondary schools in Bubi, Matobo and Tsholotsho District. So far there is USD130 000 confirmed for this massive project. A small budget will be set aside for training teachers of the benefitting schools on the new curriculum and also in equipping them with leadership skills as well. This project will certainly be implemented this year. We are now working on all the necessary modalities.
Despite the tremendous achievements that were scored by the CNCVCT and the positive remarks we continue to receive from our donors and beneficiaries for a job well done, our trust had its fair share of challenges. Our organisation’s main challenge is the lack of a vehicle for monitoring and evaluation purposes. Our projects require regular monitoring for their success. We are at the moment seeking a donation of USD13 000 to purchase a 4×4 vehicle that is suitable to the terrain in the districts we are operating in. Some really have very bad roads that require a very strong vehicle. Once we acquire a vehicle, implementation of our projects would certainly be more effective, efficient and swift.
Whilst the CNCVCT is a relatively young organization that was born in 2012, its achievements surpasses its ‘chronological’ age. As an organization, we also wonder how we have managed to achieve so much within a short space of time. Already, over 10 000 pupils have since benefitted from our programming, and over 15 000 out of school youths and other community members have benefitted indirectly from our programming. The secret to our success is our dedicated, passionate and trustworthy volunteer team running our organization. This has attracted a number of donors and beneficiaries. More so, every penny we receive from the donors goes to the children we support and their schools since we all do this type of work on a volunteer basis, thereby minimizing administrative costs. Our organization does everything transparently and with due diligence and this has earned us a very good name.
Our organization wishes to continue to work with partners internally and externally to reach out the most vulnerable members especially children, in our disadvantaged rural communities of Zimbabwe. It is our sincere hope that more donors will come to the party and donate to the needy children through the CNCVCT. Our vision is to see our organization build more classrooms for our poor rural schools, science laboratories, purchase more computers for the rural pupils, improve water sanitation in rural schools and also continue providing the children with more classroom furniture as the majority are still sitting on dirty floors in class. It is also important that our organization continues to embark on Capacity Building so that disadvantaged members of our society are not left behind.
Ladies and gentlemen, the future of the CNCVCT is certainly bright. Due to our integrity and our values, our organization has become a destination of some reputable international organisations. As Chairperson of this trust, I take this occasion to deeply thank you all board members who have and continue contributing immensely to the development of our beloved institution. Our organization is where it is today owing to dedicated men and women like you who continue sacrificing their time and resources to make the impossible possible to our disadvantaged rural communities and children. Let us soldier on in one spirit and one direction. Let us continue leveraging our success on transparency, commitment and expertise that we all have as board members. I wish to take this opportunity to wish you all your family a Christmas filled with great love, peace and joy.
Last but not least, I wish to take this opportunity to convey my profound thanks to all our donors who continue to have faith in us. We would never have reached this far without your amazing financial support. The success of all our programs depends on funding. Once more, on behalf of my team I say thank you to you all.