BY LIFE & STYLE REPORTER
THE Zimbabwe Rural Schools Library Trust (ZRSLT) has officially launched its bibliotherapy project targeting child survivors of Cyclone Idai during its annual fun run and walk held in Hamilton, New Zealand on Saturday.
Speaking during the event, deputy mayor of Hamilton, Geoff Taylor, said the project was necessitated by the scale of trauma caused by the cyclone, which reportedly affected over 129 600 children in the affected villages, according to Unicef statistics.
The ambitious project is meant to provide therapy through reading material worth NZ$10 000 for Zimbabwean schoolchildren who survived the cyclone.
The Trust’s treasurer, Tariro Kamutingondo, appealed to well-wishers to give generously in support of the project.
“The official launch of the appeal went well, and the next phase is to mobilise the resources needed to make it work. The trust needs NZ$10 000 to send a container of books to Zimbabwe. We call upon New Zealanders to rally behind the cause,” he said.
The project was approved by the Trust’s leadership in New Zealand together with the twin sisters Shefali and Shivani Sinha who initiated the annual fundraising fun run for the ZRSLT in 2015 while aged 11.
During the fundraising event, one of the sisters Shefali said she hoped New Zealanders would continue to contribute and support the project.
“We are grateful to the ZRSLT leadership in New Zealand for accommodating our idea of a fundraising fun run and are humbled by the support the fun run has received over the years. We also appeal to New Zealanders to support the cause by giving generously to the Trust in an effort to address the post traumatic disorders among the children who were traumatised by the natural disaster,” she said.
“We in New Zealand feel privileged as we have access to a lot of reading material. Children across the world deserve the same or better. Let us unite to help them.”
Bibliotherapy is a method of healing through the use of literature and is crucial in dealing with post-traumatic stress disorders.
ZRSLT New Zealand deputy chair Kudakwashe Tuwe and the Trust’s goodwill ambassador Faustinah Ndlovu gave testimonies of how the Trust’s work has benefited schools from their home areas in Zimbabwe.