AT 13 WAS THE ARMY
The need, as we see it so far
There are many girls in Zimbabwe orphaned either by HIV/Aids, lack of access to healthcare for their parents or as a result of their parents having to move and travel for work, leaving them with friends and relatives.
Often grandparents or other relatives struggle financially themselves and as the girl child is an ‘extra’ to the household her education is a lesser priority than that of other boy children, food etc. These girls may be moved around a lot from relative to relative – as was the case with Jaya.
There are three key areas that we have identified so far from our in-country needs assessment.
- The Cost of Schooling
– Many schools in Zimbabwe and other areas of Africa have had to close due to Covid19 but a lack of access to running water has stopped them reopening as many have. This is an issue that local authorities are working on however research shows that the longer a child is out of education the less likely they will be to return. In Beatrice alone we have seen 6 boys fail to return to school and 900 girls.
- Health and healthcare
HIV and AIDS treatment
- Legal Registration
We have found that many children in rural Zimbabwe are not registered at birth with the government. The older they get the more complex this is to achieve. Without legal registration even a child in full time and consistent education cannot sit exams, graduate or qualify.
Its important to us that we seek out the need, we assess situations and we listen to a variety of parties in country while paying attention to third party research and findings.
We are now, and will continue to be in Zimbabwe speaking with school teachers and social services as well as the orphaned girls and their extended families or guardians.