Foundations Project recently received support from businesses in Harare, a development that project director Charlotte Haggie says is a positive step towards the achieving the organisation’s aim to educate orphaned and vulnerable children. According to Haggie so much goes into the education of the children at ECD (Early Childhood Development) level, that donations and contributions are hugely appreciated.
Some of the support came from various institutions and organisations like Artisan, a Harare-based company specialising in paint manufacturing and selling. The recent donation from Artisan came in the form of materials and resources for the construction of Blair toilets at Rose ECD Centre, Caledonia, that was set up by Foundations to cater for orphaned and vulnerable children. Haggie said the toilets would improve basic sanitation at the centre and improve the safety and health of the children. She thanked Artisan for their support. The centre also received funding from UK-based Hand in Hand Foundation which donated £500 towards the ablutions. “Other local schools like Chisipite and Hellenic also helped us fundraise,” she added. She also mentioned the tremendous role that Music for Hope has played in assisting the centre.
Haggie highlighted that they have received vital support from relevant government ministries and organisations in modelling their curricula in line with Zimbabwean education requirements.
The Foundations Project, which opened the doors of the Rose ECD Centre in 2013, has encountered difficulties that include limited human resources and resistance from some residents in the highly polarised and impoverished society of Caledonia. According to Martha Damu, co-founder of the project, it has not been smooth sailing and they have only succeeded because of their persistence and hard work and the support they have been received from businesses and other organisations. The centre currently enrols less than 40 children but aims at having a capacity of 185 children. The centre also provides a feeding programme to 200 children in the area but aims to increase that to 2,000 children. They also hope to provide parenting courses for young mothers and caregivers.
There still remains a huge gap in the education of orphaned and vulnerable children in Caledonia since so many children are affected. According to Damu there is a waiting list to get formal ECD education and Haggie revealed that more still needs to be done since the need for pre-school education is so high. She said that when the centre started 91 children were not attending ECD within a 5km radius and are still affected by disease and food deprivation.
However, beneficiaries of the project are slowly coming to accept the work of the organisation. “All of the children that graduated from the centre last year have shown confidence and have passed their entrance test into Grade One,” Haggie highlighted.
To get in touch with the Foundations Project contact Charlotte on [email protected] or call 0776 404 349.