It was back to school recently for the children of Monde Primary School in Victoria Falls. The school, which normally averages around 300 pupils, saw an encouraging rise in enrolment numbers at the start of this academic year. This is due in part to the sponsorship by an ALERT supporter whose kindness has allowed ten vulnerable children from the local community the chance of an education.
Many of the students who attend Monde Primary School are orphans living with members of their extended families who struggle to pay the school fees. Of the ten children already supported by ALERT, six have at least one deceased parent and would be unable to attend school without this vital support. All are making fantastic progress in their studies and are working hard to show just how much they can achieve. As many of their contemporaries have to go out to work to help support their households, these children are grateful to attend school and are determined not to waste the opportunity they have been given. To show their appreciation, the students wrote letters to their donor in which they proudly listed the grades they had achieved in the previous term. As well as saying a special thank you, one pupil, Sandra wrote: ‘I promise you I am going to work hard at school.’
As a result of the generosity of our supporters, ALERT through our ACT division and with our partner Lion Encounter Zimbabwe, has already been able to make a significant difference to Monde Primary School and its students. Many of the most needy children now have their school fees paid, the school is looking more welcoming through the redecoration of classrooms, the football team is thriving and the planned purchase of classroom furniture will soon make learning at the school a more comfortable experience.
We have achieved so much, yet there is still work to do. With additional funds, ALERT would be able to assist the school in its efforts to employ more teaching staff. Currently, the child-to-teacher ratio is high. Although volunteers offer schooling assistance in English and maths, in the longer term the school would like to provide dedicated teaching staff from the local community. Another area of focus is to help complete new classroom blocks and the purchase of essential resources, such as text books.
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