Indigenous language books for Zim’s rural schools

BY LIFE &STYLE REPORTER

ANGLICAN Action New Zealand, in partnership with the Zimbabwe Rural Schools Library Trust, has donated indigenous language books worth $2 300 to three rural schools in Mashonaland West, Matabeleland South and Masvingo provinces.

The three schools that have benefitted from the first round of this initiative are Gavaza Primary School in Mhondoro, Lumimbi High School in Binga and Mlezezi School in Masvingo. They received books of their choice selected from a catalogue provided by the Zimbabwe Publishing House.

In a statement, New Zealand Trust’s chairperson, Driden Kunaka said the donation is in line with the charity’s policy of strengthening indigenous knowledge programmes among underprivileged children in rural areas.

“It all started off when Anglican Action donated money to buy books in Shona for one school in Zimbabwe, and we then took the donation as a challenge for us to provide books to rural schools in the local languages of their choice as part of developing fluency in our own languages,” she said.

“We raised more funds to ensure that a decent amount of books in three of Zimbabwe’s main languages would be given to three lucky schools. A draw was conducted and the three schools were the winners.”

Kunaka said the trust intends to intensify its resource mobilisation campaign to ensure more schools are covered.

“The latest donation for indigenous languages reading coincided with the distribution of recently imported books also from New Zealand to these three and 43 other schools based in all 10 provinces in Zimbabwe,” she said.

Zimbabwe Rural Schools Library Trust Global chairman, Matthew Chandaengerwa said they will continue to mobilise age appropriate books, both locally and internationally, to make a difference in the lives of Zimbabwean children.

“The books were shipped under the trust’s ongoing programme to empower the Zimbabwe’s rural schoolchildren by enabling them to access reading material. We believe that any age-appropriate good book in the hands of a keen-to-learn child will increase the child’s knowledge and understanding of things,” he said.

Chandaengerwa said the trust is currently consulting its beneficiaries and supporters in order to revamp operations to closely address the reading needs of the Zimbabwean rural schools. It is also looking for new strategies to mobilise more resources.

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