ALERT, in a partnership between African Lion and Environmental Research Trust, Lion Encounter and African Impact, we are very pleased to announce the launch of our newest project; a Preschool Assistance Programme at Chinotimba residential area in Victoria Falls.
Pre-primary education is a fundamental component in the development of children. According to UNICEF, children who receive assistance in their early years achieve more success at school and as adults, they have a higher employment rate, better health, and are less likely to be involved in crime than those who do not have similar opportunities during their youth. UNICEF places such an importance on child development that it estimates for every dollar spent, returns can be seen that fuel the economic and social development of entire communities of up to 4 or 5 fold.
Chinotimba Preschool comprises of 34 students aged between 2 and 6 years old; many of these children are orphans or come from single-parent families who often do not have the means to pay school fees. Despite the financial need of the school, the Principal Mrs. Nyathi and her two staff members have made the decision to waiver the fees in such instances.
With minimal resources and many children coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, our team will be assisting with lessons and conducting school readiness assessments. This assistance is aimed to support the full-time teachers in their day-to-day roles. The objective of the programme is to create an environment that better prepares the children at Chinotimba Preschool for academic success in primary school.
After signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Preschool’s committee on the 11th of March, our team members began work the very next day. We received an overwhelming welcome; everyone was overjoyed with our arrival. The volunteers divided themselves between the two classrooms and shared duties accordingly. They assisted the teachers with delivering lessons, serving at meal times, and assisting with naptime.
The 12th of March was special for another reason as well; it was ‘Celebrate your African Heritage Day’. Many of the children were dressed in their traditional clothing and this was a treat for both the volunteers and the children; the children were able to show off their attire to the visiting team and the volunteers experienced a taste of Africa.
Our volunteers, staff, and the teachers at Chinotimba Preschool look forward to continuing this partnership. Our team members will be on hand to assist with the enrichment of the learners’ education. We believe that this partnership will be a fruitful one, which will significantly impact the lives of the new generation in Chinotimba.