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UCCSA Dombodema High School Successfully Implements Borehole and Garden Project

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On arrival at Dombodema High School in 2008, I realized there were many orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs).

Dombodema High School Headmaster, Mr. Joakim Moyo

I started paying school fees for one and buying exercise books for a few others.

borehole1

The problem was so pronounced that I asked our teachers and the school development committee if we could do more to take care of the OVCs. This gave rise to the Chaplain’s Fund; however, the availability of money through the Chaplains Fund was unreliable and we consistently fell short of helping our most vulnerable students.

We needed a deliberate, empowering, and sustainable solution. We started a small garden and a poultry project but the water supply was a problem and the garden project could not sustain itself.

borehole

We determined to mobilize internal and external resources to solve the school water supply. I decided to start a garden (an independent unit to be managed outside the main school account) whose proceeds were to pay for a small number of OVCs while also growing capital to expand the project and, in time, expand the beneficiary list.

We sent our borehole project proposal to as many friends as possible. Mr. Mpofu, a husband to one of our teachers, came to us one day with visitors from the U.S. Embassy.

They were happy with our ongoing school initiatives, such as the bakery that provides bread to boarders and with our dedication to supporting the vulnerable students in our school. They short-listed us as possible beneficiaries of the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) fund and a few months later we were informed that our project was selected for funding.

I was invited to the Embassy, where together with other grantees from all over the country, we were congratulated on receiving the USADF grant through the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program. We signed an agreement that the funds would be used 100% for their stated project purpose.

In May 2013, we used the first grant disbursement to drill a borehole to supply the school with water. To our delight, the borehole provided enough water for both the school and the garden.

We then fenced our garden, expanded now to 100m by 100m, and added three water taps throughout the garden to help irrigate the crops.

With the project management committee established in order to maintain the sustainability of the garden, the students will benefit from the fresh vegetables with no transportation cost, the school has a consistent supply of water, and we will be able to support more OVCs with the profits garnered from our harvests.

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