Here at Wilderness Zimbabwe we fully understand the weight of truth in this expression. Without the passion of those teachers who work diligently to not only educate our communities’ children, but to instil in them a desire to learn and an appreciation of the world around them, we would be failing our youth and wasting away the potential of their generation.
It is thanks to the generous donations from kind-hearted donors around the world, that Wilderness is able to incentivise up to 34 teachers throughout Zimbabwe, an act that would otherwise leave these hardworking individuals in a dire situation. Suzanne Wright, of the El-Hefni Foundation, has been one of these generous donors over the last number of years, and we are truly so grateful for her continued support.
The national government in Zimbabwe is only able to provide rural government schools with a certain number of teachers. As this is often too few to adequately cater for student numbers, Wilderness is able to assist additional teachers through the incentive programme.
The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent national lockdown and closing of schools comes as an added challenge in Zimbabwe, as teacher retention is a significant concern already. In an effort to retain teachers for a time when schools reopen, we are continuing to ensure that teachers receive their full incentive packages thanks to Suzanne Wright’s generous donation. These funds ensure that teachers can still provide for their families, as COVID-19 is having a devastating effect on livelihoods around the country, with many people having lost their main sources of income, or their jobs, which in turn has a further ripple-effect on the economy.
All hope is not lost though, and from a few teachers we have received the following positive feedback about how the incentive programme has impacted their lives.
Primrose Sibanda “I teach ICT. The incentives are helping me a lot and they motivate me in doing my work. With the incentives, life has become easier than before”.
Raymond Mkhananzi “The incentive is my source of living which I use in paying fees for my young sister, and provide the family needs”.
Tecla Ndlovu “Thank you for the incentive. It’s very helpful in the sense that it gives me energy and zeal to work hard in helping learners entrusted to my care. I appreciate it a lot.”
Gugulethu Matema “The incentive is helping me a lot, as now I am able to take care of myself and my family. It also encourages me to love my job and take good care of the little ones that are under my care. Thank you so much”.
Massiline Ncube “The incentive is helping me a lot as I use it to buy food for my six children and also stagger it to pay school fees for my school-going children. May the Lord bless you for the job that you are doing”.
Nokulunga Ndlovu “The incentive has a positive impact on me, learners, the school, community, and other teachers. Learners are now more easily managed as there are no composite classes, and class management has become more conducive. Personally, I am also able to be independent and at least look after myself. I thank the donor, as [the incentive] is so beneficial”.
Phumuzile Mkhwananzi “The incentive that the donor covers us helps us in many ways: we are able to buy food for our families and pay school fees for our children”.
Sikhumbuzo Mguni “I am very grateful for the incentive from the donor. The incentive is very helpful to me as I am able to pay school fees and buy stationery and uniforms for my children. I am able to buy enough food for my family and pay for my college arrears. The incentive is helpful and it allows me to keep going in my everyday life. I am very grateful indeed.”
Hazel Masuku “The teacher incentive has helped me in a number of ways. I have been able to feed my family as I’ve become the breadwinner – especially during the 2019 hunger season. The incentive has also been a motivator for teachers to go the extra mile in teaching and has helped me have some kind of employment since I finished my degree”.
We thank Suzanne Wright and the El-Helfi Foundation from the bottom of our hearts for their generosity and the difference they are making in the lives of these teachers, their families, and so many more.
Written by Sarah Adams and Brenda Finaughty
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