Search This Blog

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tichakunda Preschool

"I Want To Be A Teacher When I Grow Up"
I can't belive it's been almost a year since my friend and I visited the pre-school at Hatcliffe Extension which we have since learned is named Tichakunda.

I'm happy to say that Tashanda has managed to contribute a percentage of Afrobag sales for this year to this cause. The amount has not been a lot but it's a start and we are encouraged by the possibilities we can create for this school and these children.

I have never had to fund raise before so I had no clue how to get people involved in this cause. Eleven months ago I posted 2 of the videos from the original Hatcliffe Nursery School blog (see menu on right) to Facebook. Several months later a friend of a friend saw the video. She was so touched, moved and inspired by what she saw that she decided to set up a non profit organization called Art from the Heart solely to raise funds for the operation of the school. She also built a fabulous website ( which describes the school and explains what help is needed etc... There is also a fund raising effort going on to raise $10,000 to build a borehole for the children to have access to clean drinking water and allow the volunteer teachers to grow vegetables for the children's daily meals. I cannot believe the potential of all of this and hope you will support us to achieve our goals.

In this blog I'm going to share some of the e-mails I've been exchanging with my close friend on the ground in Zimbabwe. This is the friend I was with when we discovered the pre-school. She is now actively working with the school to see how they can be assisted by friends outside of the country to help develop the school:

“I can't help feeling that we can do so much more for these kids. They are sitting in the dirt and I felt a bit as if my efforts were not good enough.............How are you otherwise? Don't ever get tired of doing good work, we are needed more than you will ever believe, believe me there are not many like us. Noone seems to have the time or inclination to do something for nothing.”
“i have attempted to itemise these needs as laid out to me in order of priority.
1) Borehole, there is a deep unprotected well on the premises which is the only source of water. It is very frightening to imagine what could happen to one the children if they wandered off and fell in. Not only that but there is a huge area of unused land that was once a thriving garden but has since died due to lack of water.If we could raise funds for a borehole there could be a thriving garden that would provide lunch for the children.
2) Gravel or concrete floors for the classrooms. Currently the children sit on dirt floors which is a health hazard.
3) 8 Metal Roof Sheets (12ft) for two of the classrooms that currently have no roofs.4) Allowances for teachers, $800 million (USD80) a month, plus anything that may help, laundry soap etc
5)Furniture- Tables, chairs, matresses etcThe kids diet is also very poor, they have one meal of porridge aday which is not sugared and grossly inadequate. We came up with a basic menu for the school at yesterdays meeting which looks something like this:
9am Porridge
11am Banana
1pm Sadza and vegetables
4pm Maheu +bun
Most of these children are orphans or from broken homes and do not have regular meals. So if anyone knows anyway in which we could get these food items please help. Barbara maybe you could do a project proposal for Plan International?I leave it in your hands fellow leaders. I will continue to work with this preschool and I pray that the group thinks this a worthy project to adopt for PANEL.”

“Dear All,

Please find attached donation request letter for the preschool graduation party on 29 November. Whatever you can contribute would be so appreciated. The letter details what is required. Maybe those with contacts e.g Wavell has meat etc can just contribute that information.


Rita your questions are answered on the attachment Building project 1. It's very rough as I did whilst on the phone with Mr. Hove. If you can't figure it out I will summarise. Thanks and I am sure the building will be fab. A borehole is priority though.”

15 September 2008,

Dear Sir/ Madam

As the year draws to a close it is once again time to say goodbye to some of our beloved children as they proceed with life and enroll for primary school. We have nurtured them and given them a meal for the past few years and we now hand over the baton to the next lot of caregivers. This is always a sad time for us as we see some children coming back for another year as their parents/ guardians are unable to raise school fees. Our crèche and day care centre has 525 children this year. Three quarters of our children are considered orphaned and/or vulnerable.

We are appealing to you for donations for our graduation ceremony, taking place on 29th November 2008. This is an occasion where we make these children feel special and appreciated. We want the children to leave with confidence and special fond memories of Tichakunda, a place that has been a haven in their very tough environments.

We are appealing for donations mainly in the form of
Food (except alcohol and pork products) Dry and tinned goods are most needed as the crèche does not have electricity.
Goodies Any goodies for the Christmas Party- chips, sweets, cooldrinks etc. Anything that the kids would consider a treat.
Blankets and Clothes. Most of our children come barefoot and have hardly any clothing to speak of. Any blankets, shoes, clothes would be greatly appreciated.
Books and Pencils As we are working on the childrens wholesome development we would also like old books, crayons, pencils etc.

Thank you for your kindness. Any assistance no matter how small will be appreciated. Help us to help these helpless and innocent children