Nhaka Foundation News

Teenage Zim Memories

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Hello Nhaka Friends,

I have been blessed with the opportunity to partner with Rock Forward and Nhaka Foundation on two separate overseas trips.  I’m beyond grateful for my experiences with an organization and people that are God’s hands and feet in Zimbabwe, Africa. On both adventures, I was able to partner with the Nhaka team as we collaborated to organize a Purity Conference for local youth. The idea of the conference was generated from a space of Godly teaching, self-conviction, and an opportunity to share the grace that can be found through the blood of Jesus. In 1st Corinthians, Paul shares with us the truth that God has created our body’s as holy and living temples for the Spirit of God. As His children, we are to honor our body’s and recognize that they are not our own, but a temple for the most High to dwell. The act of virginity until marriage and sacred respect of our body’s prior to marriage honors God. Yet, with that said, there are many young teens that have been robbed of personal decisions that honor the ability to make the choice to remain a virgin until marriage. I believe that our Heavenly Father’s heart breaks when His temple is defiled, when choices are taken away, when innocence is robbed, when emotional scars are deeper than any physical wound could ever be, and when His children hurt. While the vast majority of us have the capability to independently make a decision about how to honor our bodies as God’s Holy temple, others have been stripped of that human right. I believe it is vital for kids to hear the heart of Jesus, to know that He loves them enough to die a brutal death for their sake, that they can be made clean and pure in His sight despite choices that have been unwillingly taken away, and that they are more precious than gold in the sight of God.

While the Purity Conferences have typically held similar schedules and activities, my experiences have been wildly different. A particular experience that I would like to share happened in 2016 during my first trip to Zimbabwe. One of the activities was for a handful of the students to write a brief testimony and then have the courage to stand before a crowd of peers and vulnerably share their experiences. This demanded a great amount of courage for these young teens. As a teen myself, I was expecting short, vague, and surface testimonies to be given. I could not have been more wrong. Typically, in the U.S., middle school aged kids are often viewed as being immature and annoying while simultaneously not often taking activities such as this very seriously. The contrary was true as I humbly observed multiple young Zimbabwe teens stand before their peers, share experiences that were quite personal, and willingly be vulnerable to share struggles endured with the found promises and faithfulness of God that was cultivated through the PSS program at Nhaka Foundation. It was amazing, I love to see young teens who are on fire for the Lord! The maturity and insight that we all witnessed that day will be etched in my mind forever. This activity opened my eyes to the different challenges that young Zimbabwean teens often face, some being quite far from challenges of my own, but many that affect teens no matter where we live. I was reminded that we are all tempted by similar situations and have similar challenges, despite having very different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, societies, and cultural norms. Proverbs 22:6 seemed to have been highlighted in my heart throughout our time at the Purity Conference, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it”. 

Through the PSS program, the Nhaka team works intentionally to train and teach kids in the way of the Lord, so that they can become leaders in their own spheres of influence. I value the opportunity to have been a small part of the lives of these teens and thank God for the opportunity to continue to learn from my brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe, Africa. Connect with the Nhaka Team, volunteer@nhakafoundation.org and discuss the many opportunities you too, can participate in.

Best wishes,

Sydney

AdministratorTeenage Zim Memories
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My Zim Memories

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Bright and vibrant colors painted by the hand of God can be appreciated in every direction through brushed jade green grasses, aqua blue skies, and stark black and white zebra stripes; the smell of smoldering coals from inside circular outdoor kitchens paired with the scent of elephant dung; gentle laughter from children as they curiously peer out from behind a Baobab tree to see the Murungu walking among the local village; to stained red feet after walking barefoot in the African soil; this is how Africa arrouses my senses. 

In a small S-10 pickup truck, tucked between my father and an energetically passionate African, I found my love for Zimbabwe. The sun generously shared its warmth with us one spring morning in 2012 as we drove to Muphini Primary School. Windows were down, the ride felt as if we were maneuvering moguls, and the scent of burning wood made my eyes water. Or, perhaps it was my own tears as they cascaded down my cheeks, stained by the red dirt. We listened intently as our new friend shared his vision for communities and the legacy of African children. The final corner as we approached the school could have compared a fireworks finale. Hundreds of beautiful, bright, vibrant, curious, intelligent, loving, and inspiring children stood in a single file line with royal blue school uniforms and awaited what could be their only meal of the day. In that moment, a piece of my heart was planted beside the Baobob tree at Muphini Primary School.

It has been over eight years since my virgin trip into a community of people that have forever changed who I am, how I process life, and how I show love through actions instead of mere verbiage. I have had the honor and privilege of working hand in hand with the Nhaka team and have personally witnessed genuine care and concern for the well-being of the communities of Goromonzi. Team Nhaka concerns itself with holistic efforts of care through the promotion of early childhood education, to community gardening, to sustainable projects, to parental and community ownership, to school feeding programs, and the health and wellness of the young children. As a sister organization, we, the Rock Forward team partnered with Nhaka Foundation to create a program that both psychologically and spiritually promotes growth. 

The parable passage from Matthew 25 resonates in my soul as that of a blaring trumpet. Just as the parable of the bags of gold, we have been given much. Hundreds of opportunities are available for us to invest our resources, both that of time and finances. I can almost hear the audible voice of God asking me, “Amy, how will you invest in Me?”. In verses 34-40 Jesus says, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” 

May the resounding sound of the trumpet echo in your heart, mind, and soul as you consider how to effectively use the gifts that God has given you to do unto the least of these.

A.J Yoder
August 30, 2020

AdministratorMy Zim Memories
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Why Most Parents Struggle to Teach

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When you ask people who can ride bicycles to tell you how they do it, more often than not, they tell you that they ‘just do it’. What is there to be said when all it takes is to get on the bike and pedal? Well, it takes a little more than that, because you have to balance, hold on to the handlebars, look at what is in front of you, while you are at it. If you miss any of these steps, you are most likely going to fall.

Where I come from, falling and getting a few bruises is all part of the process of learning how to ride a bike.

No one teaches you how to achieve the right balance, because no one knows how to teach that. There are people who know how to teach you to center yourself, and most successful dance instructors fit the bill. So, when you ask someone to teach you how to ride a bicycle, they get you on top of one, push you off and wish you luck.

In essence, you teach yourself while they watch.

Another scenario, one which has become more common these days is that of smartphones and adults. Most adults of a certain age struggle with navigating new smart devices or any number of the many apps that they come with. While many of the younger generation whose help they enlist are quite fluent with the devices or the apps, they struggle with breaking down the information such that others understand. So in the end, they just grab the handsets and do for the adults what they wanted to do. It’s easier that way.

The two scenarios I have painted above expose what is commonly known as ‘the curse of expertise’. You know it, you understand it, you want to teach someone else, but you cannot.

This, this curse of expertise, is the reason why most parents are unable to teach their children schoolwork. They know these things, they learnt them and mastered them, and they know how easy it is to do it. But when it comes to teaching their children how to do it, how to breakdown mathematical problems in order to solve them, or how to construct sentences, among many other things, they gravitate between extreme leniency and impatience.

They either become so linient that they take over the work and complete it for the child. Before the current crisis that has forced children out of school, this was only limited to homework. Parents would takeover their children’s homework, complete the homework, while asking for affirmations of understanding from the minor, who will only nod. At this point, it is no longer limited to homework, because these parents now have to teach more than homework.

The other side is that of extreme impatience. Parents failing to understand how a child can fail to comprehend such easy concepts. The result is parents shouting instructions at the child and increasingly getting frustrated at the child’s inability to grasp the concepts.

Many parents, naturally, will feel bad when they realise that that’s what they are doing. But, the truth is, they are trying to do a job they are equipped to do. Despite all their good intentions, they cannot teach because they are not teachers.

C.S Chiwanza
GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

AdministratorWhy Most Parents Struggle to Teach
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SCHOOL, The Greatest Invention Ever

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I am from that generation which had TVs and radios as the height of technology. Back then, kids could never arbitrarily switch on the TV because they were bored and needed a little entertainment. These things were sacrosanct! After all, in a community, one could count the number of homes that owned a telly. Nothing fancy too, just a regular 14 inch black and white little thing that needed an “expert touch” on the aerial for clear picture.

Things are different now. A lot more different. For many of us, introduction to computers was part of a course at a college, and many of us came into contact with one much later in life. (We still type with only two fingers, three at most, if we are using both hands. Four at a stretch.)

It’s not so for kids of these days who appear to be born with keyboards attached to their fingertips and can do all sorts of things on smart devices. Looking at them is like looking at a smarter, more intelligent version of our species. A modern six year-old seems to have more knowledge than a 10 year-old from the ’80s and ’90s. And because of this, we forget that they are just little kids, and that besides the technology, we are just the same. They crave the things we craved as kids.

In this respect, the lockdowns have been extremely difficult for them to understand and navigate. Yes, they hear us parents when we try to explain why they cannot go out to play with their friends. They even adopt some of the terminology in attempts to explain things to others, or you hear it when they are playing alone in the corner creating a make-believe world where their inhabitants converse. But it still brings them pain that they are forced to live lives in isolation.

Not only that, but for a child, school is the greatest invention ever. It is everything parents cannot give: clever adults who spend the day teaching them all these new things (if you have ever wondered, yes all kids believe their teachers are cleverer, smarter, know infinitely much more than their parents); and a limitless number of friends. In short, school quenches every thirst within a child, the hunger for knowledge and that of companionship. Free from the rules and structure of home.

If they could have their way, kids would increase their school hours, I have no doubt about that. Maybe they might choose to have more playtime and less learning time, but they would choose to be in that environment much more than home.

Of course, parents should not take this personally or as an indictment of their failings as parents. If anything, they should accept it as it shows that despite all their best efforts, there is only so much they can do and can provide for their kids. For instance, we all want our kids to have emotional intelligence, to be considerate, empathetic human beings, but we can only teach them the theory. It is at school where they get to practice those teachings as they develop the social skills they need to navigate through life.

I know and understand that we are keeping our children home from school, trying our hand at homeschooling the best way we can, for their sake. That goes without saying. However, every now and then, make we should appreciate that the biggest sufferers are these little ones. They might not be able to express it, but they are going through a tremendous period of loss and psychological pain. Indeed, they can always catch-up academically, but till then, they are suffering.

C.S Chiwanza
GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

AdministratorSCHOOL, The Greatest Invention Ever
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PRESS RELEASE: Nhaka Foundation to Hand Over New Classroom Block to Chitakatira Primary School, Mutare

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FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE

Nhaka Foundation is a Zimbabwe-based non-governmental organization which has developed and implemented a series of interventions designed to increase access to education opportunities for young children. Along with its partners, Nhaka Foundation provides access to education, basic health care and daily sustenance for the orphaned and vulnerable children in the communities it serves. Nhaka Foundation provides support to ensure the creation of a physical environment conducive to learning, growth and the optimal development of all children.

With funding from the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in partnership with Terre des Hommes Germany, Nhaka Foundation has been working on a project designed to enhance access to quality education facilities, health service provision and daily meals to ensure that children living in disadvantaged communities make it to school each day.

Nhaka Foundation, BMZ, TDH Germany and their community based partners will be officially handing over to the School and Community leaders a brand new completed 2 classroom blocks constructed for the early childhood development classes at Chitakatira Primary School situated in the Chitakatira community of Mutare South District of Manicaland Province on the 2nd of March 2020. These classrooms have also been kitted out with brand new tables and chairs. This project will decongest the ECD centre at this school that has had to fit over 360 children into just two classrooms. With four classes now, children will be in a better learning environment.

In addition to the classrooms, a brand new block of toilets with 12 holes, 1 urinary, 2 toilets specially built for the physically challenged learners, and an outdoors play center. Other ongoing projects that are being supported by Nhaka Foundation include nutrition gardening and fish farming. Nhaka Foundation continues to foster community leadership through Health Assessments, Parenting Education and Teacher Training workshops including Conflict Resolution and Team building at community level.

For more information contact media@nhakafoundation.org or info@nhakafoundation.org

Facebook: @NhakaFoundation

Twitter: @NhakaFoundation

Instagram: @nhakafoundation

Funded by German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development


AdministratorPRESS RELEASE: Nhaka Foundation to Hand Over New Classroom Block to Chitakatira Primary School, Mutare
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Marking the beginning of a new decade

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Happy New Year! We are greatly excited to be welcoming you back to our Nhaka Blog in this New Year! The past decade had so much success for the organization and we also met with our fair share of failures and disappointments.

In July 2019, to celebrate our 11th year anniversary, Nhaka Foundation commissioned an Impact Evaluation consultancy which found among other things that the impact the organization was making in communities was indelible. The evaluation found that the programs that Nhaka Foundation implemented in Zimbabwe were significant to the ECD learners, parents/guardians, communities, ECD teachers and SDC committee members, gauging by the sustainability of some of the organization’s programs and the impact realized.  This is mostly based on local communities’ high demand for the organization’s interventions inherent in statements like: “We need Nhaka Foundation to continue supporting our school to further improve ECD services” (FGD participant, St. Francis Primary School); “We will always need Nhaka Foundation because it helps us see things with a different eye and it always challenges us to raise our standards” (SDC member, Kadyamadare Primary School). I share in summation through this Blog some of the impact made over the past decade.

In July 2019, to celebrate our 11th year anniversary, Nhaka Foundation commissioned an Impact Evaluation consultancy which found among other things that the impact the organization was making in communities was indelible. The evaluation found that the programs that Nhaka Foundation implemented in Zimbabwe were significant to the ECD learners, parents/guardians, communities, ECD teachers and SDC committee members, gauging by the sustainability of some of the organization’s programs and the impact realized.  This is mostly based on local communities’ high demand for the organization’s interventions inherent in statements like: “We need Nhaka Foundation to continue supporting our school to further improve ECD services” (FGD participant, St. Francis Primary School); “We will always need Nhaka Foundation because it helps us see things with a different eye and it always challenges us to raise our standards” (SDC member, Kadyamadare Primary School). I share in summation through this Blog, some of the impact made over the past decade.

Organizational impact

This evaluation defined organizational impact as the long—term changes in the lives of beneficiaries that the organization’s interventions contributed towards or caused.  These changes could be in the form of new positive developments caused or potentially catastrophic consequences averted.  The following are the major impacts that the evaluation identified:

  1. Cementing the relations between communities and schools

Nhaka Foundation did not implement its projects in isolation rather it engaged different partners and stakeholders as well as the beneficiaries. The organisation in all its projects engaged the traditional leaders notably the headmen and councillors. SDC committee members and the parents were largely involved in implementation of all programs. The success of the organization’s projects were largely due to the involvement of the local people. Schools and the parents were working hand in hand in all programs that were implemented by Nhaka Foundation, this cemented the relations between the community at large and the schools. The parents were motivated by the organisation to take ownership of the programs that were being implemented.  Most schools’ nutrition gardens and playing centers are being monitored and taken care of by volunteers (parents to be specific). The awareness campaigns that targeted the parents made them realize that that they were owners of the schools. School heads used to have a problem of parents isolating themselves from school developmental work however the intervention of Nhaka Foundation reduced this challenge, “Nhaka Foundation has not come back for a long time but we are still volunteering to clean the classrooms, maintain the playing grounds and take care of the nutrition garden because we were reminded that it is our school”, (one of the parents at St Francis Udebwe Primary school). The construction of new blocks at some of the schools restored trust and hope for the parents, this can be noticed by the increment of enrollments after and during the intervention of Nhaka Foundation.

  • Health improvements and prevention of potential water borne diseases

Health awareness campaigns, construction of toilets, feeding programs, boreholes drilling and health assessments visits were some of the intervention programs that were implemented by the organisation. Health awareness campaigns raised awareness of parents on some of the preventative measures towards certain diseases. The introduction of the feeding programme towards ECD learners targeted to reduce hunger and improve health of the ECD learners, food insecurity was one of the serious challenges that was being faced by most parents therefore the introduction of the feeding program  had a positive impact towards the health of  the ECD learners. Maheu was one of the beverages that the organisation provided which was deemed nutritious preventing them from malnutrition. Construction of toilets partially solved the problem of open defecation. Borehole drilling improved access to clean and safe water preventing the potential outbreak of water-borne diseases like cholera and typhoid. The organisation with the help of local clinics and nurses did regular health assessments mostly on ECD learners, the organisation would provide medication to learners in need which was so important as most clinics were incapacitated towards medication provision. However for the health impacts to be fully realised a lot still needs to be done for example there is need for construction of toilets suitable for the ECD learners in most schools to solve the problem of open defecation, some of the ECD learners fear to use adult toilets ending up contaminating forests and open fields around those toilets. Most schools are still in need of clean and safe water sources.

  • Economic empowerment

One of the problems that were being faced by all schools was failure by parents to pay school fees due to poverty. The organisation to avert the challenge introduced new ways of farming (for example farmers were encouraged to use organic fertilizers in place of chemical fertilizers which is deemed cheap and yet effective. The organisation introduced new types of plants like carrots and onions and taught the parents how to grow them, “I am now a genius when it comes to farming, because of the new knowledge that was imparted by Nhaka Foundation, l am now able to provide food for my family and sell surplus for money”, (one of the parents at Kachuta Primary). The organisation also taught the parents agro business especially market linkages. To some extent the initiatives boosted the economic status of the parents, however most parents are still living in poverty as they realise small profits from farming mostly due to continuous droughts they experience.

  • Complementing government ministries and departments towards fulfillment of their mandates

The projects complemented and supported some of the government’s programs and plans. Government policy has made ECD learning compulsory therefore the construction of ECD blocks, training of ECD teachers and parents about the importance of ECD made it possible for the government to partially fulfil its mandate towards social development. The organisation also tellingly complemented the government in some of the projects it was implementing for example the feeding program and furniture provision. One of the schools nearly closed due to poor infrastructure, however the government alone could not resuscitate the buildings which led to the intervention of Nhaka Foundation to construct new buildings. RDC, MoPSE (Ministry of Primary and Secondary schools) and MoHCC (Ministry of Health and Child Welfare) were all complemented with organization’s projects.

  • Quality enhancement at schools

The organization managed to bridge the gaps between schools in Goromonzi district, some schools were far much behind others in terms of infrastructure and service delivery which was problematic in some instances. Teacher retention for schools who had poor environments was nearly impossible, however the intervention of Nhaka Foundation in infrastructure development especially classroom blocks and borehole drilling and teacher training partially solved the problem. However a lot still needs to be done in order to fully improve the quality of these schools in Goromonzi district for example cottage construction is a priority in many schools, “The school is not able to accommodate all the teachers, we have 28 teachers with 12 houses, in 2017 l lost 9 teachers who transferred to better schools without any replacement” (headmaster of Rusike Primary school).

  • Quality education enhancement

The intervention of Nhaka Foundation enhanced quality education, ECD learners benefited from equipment they require for their learning. ECD learners learn through play therefore Outdoor play centers and toys are important towards their learning. The organisation provided the ECD learners with charts (ECD learners understands concepts more effectively through visuals than lectures). ECD teacher training by the organisation in partnership with the government also enhanced quality education. According to Grade 1 teachers, Grade 1 learners who have passed through ECD A and B are easy to teach and they understand new concepts better than those who did not attend ECD. There is a great possibility of increased pass rates in the long run as ECD is the proper foundation for every child’s development. However quality education to be fully realised a lot still needs to be done for example there is a dire need of workbooks and reading books for the ECD learners at every school, parents and schools are all failing to provide the kids with these books, “The ECD learners are required to bring 8 books which are very costly to us parents, we cannot afford to buy these book which are being sold at 16 dollars each and the schools do not want photocopies” .Enrollment increment has led to high teacher –learner ratio, therefore there is need for more ECD teachers to comply with expected teacher-student ratio thereby enhancing quality education. There is also need for the expansion of Outdoor ECD playing centers and playing equipment increment. Rural learners in most of these schools do not have access to ICT technology (an area which needs serious attention).

Looking into the next decade

We are excited about the opportunities that the new decade brings. In line with our Strategic Plan, we have various activities lined up for 2020 and beyond. Join us in various ways that are available to you, partner with us on this journey to ensure a lasting legacy for young children.

Happy 2020!
Patrick Makokoro
FOUNDER: Nhaka Foundation

AdministratorMarking the beginning of a new decade
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Chitakatira Project Update

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By Clementine Denga

Chitakatira Primary School is in the Chitakatira community, located in the Mutare South District of Manicaland. According to the 2012 census, the district has 81,928 inhabitants in 19,321 households, hence the high enrolment at Chitakatira primary school with 2048 children, 1012 being boys and 1036 girls. However, the work of Nhaka Foundation focuses on children between 0 and 8 years of age and promotes safe and clean ECCE institutions, child-friendly pedagogical models and teacher training, linking this with nutrition programmes and hygiene education, access to health care and psychosocial support. With this in mind the Chitakatira primary school site consists of one block with 2 classrooms for the ECD. Having a total of 342 learners in the ECD this gives a ratio of 1 classroom:171 students as compared to the standard of 1classroom: 28 students, so children have limited space and resort to learning under the trees. The ECD curriculum in Zimbabwe is very classroom oriented and at the same time aims to promote the physical and cognitive development of the children. The aim is to use child-friendly, playful and creative methods. Nhaka Foundation with the support of BMZ and TDH has implemented a project to quality, holistic and lifelong Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) for children between 0 and 8 years of age at Chitakatira. A construction project for Chitakatira for one block that consists of 2 classrooms is 80%complete. This block was built with the intention to reduce the classroom to student ratio. 

With regular health checks and screening for children 0-8 years as one of the outcomes, support from the Ministry of Health and Child Care will always be appreciated as they assist with screening the children. This is done to help monitor the children’s developmental status, detect malnutrition, developmental delays, and physical and mental problems at an early stage and, if necessary, take countermeasures to ensure the young children live a life full of possibilities. These health screenings are done every month of each school term. So far, we have done two health assessment activities for 741 children. The health assessments are assisted by the Nhaka Foundation Monitoring and Evaluation Assistant with the help of the Nurses.  

In order to improve the children’s nutritional condition and their physical and mental performance, Nhaka Foundation is running a nutrition programme for children between the ages of 4 and 8 at Chitakatira, the success of which is measured by regular health screenings which have been mentioned above. In order to ensure a clean, secure, balanced and regular meal for children a food preparation workshop has been carried out in Chitakatira. The workshop was facilitated by the Ward Nutrition Coordinator, Environment and Health Technician, and the Nurse. Topics discussed included hygiene, food preparation and balanced meals among others. Impact for this workshop can only be measured by the change in the children’s nutritional status which will be measured by the health checks and screenings to be conducted as the project progresses.

Training in conflict prevention and resolution helps parents and caregivers to avoid stress in families and education and to solve intra-family conflicts withoutthe use of physical and psychological violence.  A two-day conflict prevention and resolution workshop was conducted in Chitakatira with the presence of the local leaders (village heads), school development committee and community.  As a result of the workshop the impact was fast felt as those that were known not to get along are now working together for the progress of the project. 

Early childhood is a period of enormous growth and development. Children develop more rapidly during the period from birth to age 8 than at any other time in their lives, shaped in large part by their experiences in the world. These early years of development are critical for providing a firm foundation in cognitive, language, and motor development, as well as social, emotional, regulatory, and moral development. Nhaka Foundation in partnership with TDH and BMZ is putting tremendous effort with the support of the community and local stakeholders to enable children to have a life full of possibilities.

~ The End ~

AdministratorChitakatira Project Update
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Nhaka Foundation Project Update

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Logan Lee Primary School, Mashonaland East

The 15th of October 2019 marked a milestone in the path to sustainable development as council officially introduced Nhaka Foundation to the community urging cooperation amongst all stakeholders to the development projects being undertaken at Logan Lee in Seke Rural District Ward 15. Early that morning the Nhaka Foundation team arrived at Logan Lee Primary to assess the progress made on the implementation of a project designed to increase access to comprehensive early childhood development programs. The old school site consists of children learning from improvised facilities which formerly housed farm vegetable grading shades as well as tobacco curing barns. Also with Nhaka Foundation during this site visit were members from the Ministries of Local Government, Primary and Secondary Education and Health. On the same day the Nhaka Foundation Team led by the Projects Director, the Logan Lee School Development Committee, as well as the Rural Council Representatives had a combined stakeholders meeting. This combined meeting discussed the official commissioning of the Tashinga School Construction Project. The project consists of two classroom blocks (one nearing completion with construction of the second set to start soon), a Nutrition Garden supported by a solar powered borehole, and a block of toilets also under construction.   

The team from the Ministry of Health also had a mission of carrying out health assessments as part of the project outcomes. The health assessment plan was to start with the Early Childhood learners first. In order to facilitate this process, the learners in the company of their parents and guardians who gave consent for these health checks, had to go through a short questionnaire on determining how much the parents and caregivers know about the ECD program as well as establishing any health problems or impending health threats with the children. This process was led by Nhaka Foundation’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer. Following the questionnaire the learners had to meet the health professionals who consisted of a nurses, nurse aids, and a nutritionist. Part of the health assessment process includes a check on the current medical records for the children if they are available and these indicate whether the child has been vaccinated before, their physical built, personal hygiene as well as checking the condition of various selected body parts. Following this health assessment, the head nurse provided a preliminary report which indicated that most of the children were affected by ring worms, whilst challenges such as lack of footwear caused lesions on their feet as the children have to walk long distances to attend school.

In late 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 Goals to be used as a template for sustainable human development. While the operations of Nhaka Foundation fall primarily under SDG 4 and 4.2, the organization vacillates between other goals in order to provide integrated and comprehensive support to the children and communities it serves. For example, in its programming, Nhaka Foundation noted that a combination of other goals is inevitable, for instance, the solar powered borehole which waters the garden is an effort satisfying the aspirations of SDG 7 (Clean and Affordable Energy) and SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) respectively, while the Nutrition Garden is an SDG 2 (No Hunger) effort.

Nhaka Foundation, as a non-profit organization works in close partnership with parents, caregivers and community stakeholders to ensure that the programs are sustainable and are testament of the communities own developmental aspirations.  Part of the sustainability effort ensures that the community is able to venture into small business opportunities. For example, once the community manages to secure enough vegetables for the children, they sell the extra produce and generate some income which will help in purchasing corn meal, cooking oil and other requirements for the feeding program. In addition to this, excess funds are also used to support the school purchase books, pens and other materials for the learners. Members of the community help with locally made construction materials and the classrooms are projected to last at least 50years, which is an achievement falling under SDG 9 addressing infrastructure development. Being locally made makes the bricks and other materials a sustainable means to build sustainable communities. Nhaka Foundation is also working with the School Development Committee and Rural Council on plans for other income generating projects.

 The partnerships between the community, local Council, BMZ – Terres des Hommes, Nhaka Foundation and the school authorities is manifestation of SDG 17, a key goal suggesting that efforts to achieve sustainable development require cooperation and partnership of different stakeholders, key being the government, NGOs, Private Sector as well as local communities earmarked for development. 

Whilst there has been tremendous progress made with this project, challenges such as lack of cooperation between certain stakeholders, political polarisation and community conflict also hinder greater progress. Nhaka Foundation as a non-partisan, independent and objective partner with this community continues to engage with all stakeholders in order to to have the children learn in decent, habitable and safe environments. 

~ The End ~

AdministratorNhaka Foundation Project Update
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Meet our Monitoring and Evaluation Assistant – CLEMENTINE

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Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve had a passion for numbers which explains my attainment of a degree in Applied Statistics.  Fast forward to now, I work as a Monitoring and Evaluation Assistant at Nhaka Foundation. I have been privileged to be part of the Monitoring and Evaluation team that aims to provide a better tomorrow for children through establishing a results based monitoring and evaluation system which has a systematic and routine collection of data during project implementation for the purpose of establishing whether an intervention is moving towards the set objectives or project goals for the benefit of the children. 

Monitoring is the collection and analysis of information about a project or programme, undertaken while the project or programme, is ongoing, and evaluation is the periodic, retrospective assessment of a project or programme. 

I believe in the power of numbers, and I keep my passion in action. With my love for numbers and Monitoring and Evaluation expertise I intend to analyse the quantitative and qualitative data collected through the M&E activities to plan for improvements, evaluate information to support decision making, and sustain the M&E system. Reporting on the projects will be carried out to ensure that the projects are meeting set targets and objectives. 

Monitoring and evaluation is the backbone of any project or programme. With Monitoring and Evaluation, we can now quantify the impact of a project for the development of children and ensure the project contributes to quality, holistic and lifelong Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) for children between 0 and 8 years of age in underprivileged rural areas in Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Please follow our detailed activities on our social media platforms (FacebookTwitter, and Instagram) as well as the Nhaka Foundation Blog on our website and be sure to walk with us as we reach out and touch as many communities as we can.

AdministratorMeet our Monitoring and Evaluation Assistant – CLEMENTINE
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CAPACITY BUILDING FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT

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By Byron Kabaira

Early Childhood Development (ECD) is a weak cause without the compliment of a comprehensive capacity building structure.  As thought and action leaders in the field of ECD Nhaka Foundation does not expect to achieve this shy of the much-needed workshops where the organisation’s staff take some time to impart knowledge on the selected communities.

During these face to face information dissemination sessions Nhaka Foundation staff educate community stakeholders (parents and community leaders) in context to the running projects which vary from nutrition gardening, the scope of ECD, construction, general health seminars, income generation projects as well as monitoring and guidance as stipulated by the psychosocial support programs under Nhaka Foundation’s grand objectives. 

So far Nhaka Foundation has conducted 3 capacity development workshops in Mutare in Chitakatira Ward. Currently the Foundation is busy with a ground breaking ECD project in partnership with Mozambique’s Wona Sonana, an NGO registered in Mozambique since 2003 with a focus on the implementation of participatory education programmes in preschools and primary schools and capacity building in the communities.  Under the auspices of these two organisations routine capacity building workshops will be conducted between Zimbabwe and Mozambique at selected community centres.

Nhaka Foundation remains committed to guiding communities and ensuring a better tomorrow for children through continuously gathering relevant stakeholders for capacity development workshops for the efficient delivery of duties. Please follow our detailed activities on our social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) as well as the Nhaka Foundation Blog on our website and be sure to walk with us as we reach out and touch as many communities as we can.

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AdministratorCAPACITY BUILDING FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT
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