Good News from Antelope Park
March 21 2014

The garden project at the new orphanage site for the Midlands Children’s Hope Centre (MCHC) in Gweru is progressing well.  Selling produce from the garden has not only helped support food costs for the orphanage, but has also provided small shared salaries for MCHC staff.  Prior to this, the staff have donated their time, dedication and hard work for the children of the orphanage, so it is wonderful to finally be in a position to assist them in supporting their own families.

Thank you to all volunteers, past and present, who have given donations to help make all of this possible.  Thank you also to Midlands Children’s Hope Project for their assistance with helping to supply materials and for equipping both the garden and chicken projects that are now being run at the new orphanage site.

During school term time in Zimbabwe, Antelope Park community volunteers have the opportunity to make a difference to schoolchildren’s lives by assisting at the Special Needs class at Mkoba 4 Primary School.  This is what one volunteer, Susanne, had to say about her time with the class:

‘I’ve been to Mkoba 4 Primary School four times.  It’s been interesting to see and experience this place.  I’ve been in a class with children who have special needs.  It’s been an experience to try to teach the children.  You can see that they are very willing to learn.  The funniest part above all is seeing the kids grow.  I am the one who’s teaching the children to pronounce words.  You can see a big difference after just two lessons.  They actually start to understand.  In all, even though the kids originally have been struggling with school, they have the ability to get motivation.  The kids work hard.  I feel that at this place I can give something of myself; give them my knowledge, my happiness, my motivation.  Mkoba 4 Primary School has really good teachers, which is really important.  They are really organised and good at giving instructions.  Thanks for a great experience.’

Visits to the Hopeful Life Pre-school are another highlight of the week for volunteers. There they have the chance to interact with the children; assisting with teaching and playing games.  They find this time enjoyable, as the younger children are always very excited to spend time with their visitors.  Here is volunteer Eline’s account of her day at the Pre-school.

‘When we first came in to the classroom, we were greeted by love and about 30 happy children’s faces.  The room was filled with posters and drawings the children had made.  The teacher was teaching while the children were listening carefully on the floor.  After lunch, we went and played games with all the kids outside.  I really liked the atmosphere in the little pre-school.  All the kids spoke English very well.  We could easily communicate and talk to them.  The teachers were warm and welcoming and you could see that the children appreciated going to school.  Hopeful Life was one of my favourite pre-schools to visit and I enjoyed it very much!’


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