How you can help

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So what can we do to help? The schools clearly need to create a sustainable structure so they are not constantly reliant on outside funding. As standards improve more local people will send their children to school – and the Music For All project is demonstrably showing an engagement from children who previously lacked interest in academic subjects. So here is a little list as a starter:

  • Buy a copy of The Honesty Pot, the book about the Pierian Centre,  For every book sold a 20% donation will go to Music For All Zimbabwe.
  • Sponsor a child for £20 a year. This gets disadvantaged children into school who would otherwise be turned away because many are orphans being looked after by grandparents who cannot grow enough food let alone afford school fees. But the other positive knock on effect is that increasing the number of pupils means the school can apply for more teachers. This means that different year groups can be taught in separate classes, obviously good for higher standards. In addition if we could sponsor 5–10 years up front (£100 – £200 total) it would create funds for repairs and the other things outlined below, and allow for maintenance budgets too.
  • Early years facilities in both schools are virtually non-existent. Toys are desperately needed and a special classroom to give these children a solid foundation….. show me the child of five and I will give you the adult! To convert one building at Matirige would cost about £500. It would be great to sponsor an artist to paint the outside with a mural.
  • Both schools need English novels and books for their libraries as English is at present the official language for Zimbabwe.
  • The water at both schools is suspect. No-one knows why the bore pump is producing water with black bits in it at Sabi, but clean and plentiful water is essential for the health of the children. Engineering expertise from an organisation like RedR is needed. Additional irrigation would mean the schools could grow more vegetables, improving the health of the children and of the teachers who live there all week.
  • Solar panels would be a simple way to provide electricity all year round. Sun is in plentiful supply, but equipping the schools with batteries and wiring needs money.
  • Continue to provide musical instruments – not just Mbiras, but the more sophisticated Marimbas too. And to have a music classroom with other instruments like keyboards, trumpets, wind and strings etc.
  • Repairs to the classrooms, and the teachers’ living accomodations, which have cracks and holes everywhere are essential. The teachers’ living accommodation is shocking. They have broken panes of glass and limited kitchen facilities. About £5000 per school would do that.
  • A four wheel drive truck would help both schools as they could share it for the use of teachers and those children who have long distances to walk – and indeed for getting about generally.
  • Payment for volunteer teachers and the part time teaching done by  Fidelis and a team of music teachers needs to be found.
  • The final suggestion, once Music For All Zimbabwe is truly off the ground, is some kind of cultural exchange, both within Zimbabwe itself but also with the UK.

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