Nhaka Foundation News

Education Matters!

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By Patrick Makokoro

Last month, I returned from a whirlwind tour of the U.S. As the Founder and Director of the Nhaka Foundation in Zimbabwe, I work to give hundreds of kids every day the opportunity to experience early childhood education. On my tour, I was an advocate for millions more.

Why does an early education matter? Children start to learn the alphabet. They learn shapes and sounds. They begin to develop fine motor skills like cutting and folding. They enter the world of numbers. These opportunities are their right, but I don’t take them for granted. When I was young, I didn’t have the chance to learn these essential skills. My own children laugh at me sometimes because I have trouble telling colors apart, like burgundy and red. I think many colors look the same. My children already know better because their education began early. I am still catching up, and probably will be the rest of my life.

This is why I’m so passionate about funding early childhood development programs.  Every child around the world deserves to learn these basic skills at an early age. Their brains are incredibly flexible, with neural connections developing hundreds and thousands of times faster than adults. It’s a crucial time for their development. The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is doing amazing work funding these opportunities for children. It is a powerful multilateral partnership working to fund education in the world’s poorest countries, inviting international donors to invest in their plan. It brings foundations, governments, organizations, and private donors together around a single purpose. We must continue to push our governments around the globe to fund it.

I went to the U.S. to do a media tour about the GPE. I traveled to 11 cities, from Houston to Topeka, meeting with RESULTS volunteers and their local media outlets to explain the power of education. I shared my story, hoping the editors would recognize the importance of this opportunity for the U.S. to fully fund its portion of the partnership. They responded with nine media hits about the GPE, including 5 newspaper editorials. “By giving children an education, GPE is giving them a chance,” (The Topeka Capital-Journal). “The United States can and should hold up its role in the world to promote education,” (Hutchinson News). Other outlets included The Mercury, The Ottowa Herald, and the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

I was honored to meet with these editors and volunteers, and I take these experiences back with me to Zimbabwe. I look at my little children and I’m grateful that they know more about colors than I do. I want every child to get started on their education early in life, when it matters most.

Education Matters!

Patrick Makokoro

June 12, 2017

AdministratorEducation Matters!
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Flashback and Updates

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The team has been out in the field the past month working hard with various partners in the communities we serve. We are proud to report that the new buildings at Govera Primary School are about 80% complete! The community from around the school have all been working hard to ensure that we meet the target dates for completion. Along with the newly built classrooms, Team Nhaka worked with the parents and caregivers to have a nutrition garden that will support the feeding program at the school. The vegetables are out of the ground and we are enjoying watching the varieties grow. Our ECD program Field officer has also been working on the construction of the outdoor playground area for the kids and we are almost complete with it.

Follow our very frequent updates on our Facebook page or our Twitter handle! Below is an array of some recent photos taken as we worked in the field. Enjoy!

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Team Rock Africa in town!

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Nhaka Foundation works with various partners in order to meet the growing demand of support for young children. This past week and the next, we are going to be working with our friends from Rock Africa who have joined us on the ground from Penn State in the US. We are working in schools to provide psycho social support activities which include counseling, prayer and Biblically based teachings. Team Rock Africa has been an outstanding partner in the past 3 years and we celebrate with them as we look back at 10 years of leaving a lasting legacy!

                       

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Mother Goose Time ECD material landed in Zim

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We are delighted to share that we have just finished unloading a forty foot container loaded with early childhood development learning material all the way from Michigan, USA. Our friendship with the Team at Mother Goose Time dates back to many years ago and they have been consistent in their support towards resourcing rural early childhood development centres with learning and play materials for the young children. This afternoon it was with such a pleasure and deep joy and sense of gratitude for the entire team as we unloaded this container. We are looking forward to sharing this with other ECD actors in the country as we aim to reach over 300 preschool teachers with training and over 18 000 young learners with this material that will support their development. Mother Goose Time for ages 2 1/2 to 5 years is uniquely designed to support parents and teachers in having more time to observe, know, and be with the little children. It gives concrete materials and ideas on how to inspire  children through art, music, logic games and hands-on investigations.

These are solid partnerships that we cherish at Nhaka Foundation as we work hard to ensure that every little child has the best of beginnings at these centres and that they grow up being afforded the opportunity to grow into responsible citizens of their community, country and the global village. Help us celebrate this partnership as we also continue in gratitude for the 10 years we have been working with young children in Zimbabwe.

“Celebrating a decade of leaving a lasting legacy”

  

AdministratorMother Goose Time ECD material landed in Zim
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Renovating Classrooms to create clean, safe and habitable spaces for young kids

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Nhaka Foundation partners with rural area primary schools and the parents and caregivers to create Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centers through the renovation of dilapidated classrooms. The classroom floors, windows, doors and roofs are repaired or replaced, and a fresh coat of paint is applied inside and out. Each Center has its own unique personality as the exteriors are then finished with hand-painted, age-appropriate drawings by local artists. As a part of the renovations program team Nhaka works with the families and members of the community to plan and build, expand or repair the playgrounds and equipment using readily available and safe materials.Once restored to a like-new condition, the Centers are officially incorporated into the primary school system and sustained by the community through elected Pre-School Management Committees thus ensuring the children will continue to have clean and safe spaces in which to work and play.

Please click this link https://www.newsday.co.zw/2016/11/29/video-ngo-govt-community-collabo-school-makeovers/ to watch a short video of this activity.

AdministratorRenovating Classrooms to create clean, safe and habitable spaces for young kids
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News Flash 09 March 2017

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Exciting morning today as our Executive Director signed a Cooperation Agreement with Embassy of Japan in Zimbabwe. Nhaka Foundation is going to construct classrooms in one of the communities we serve in order to provide access to safe and habitable classes for the young children. The embassy of Japan is going to provide the funding for this project.                      

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Promoting cultural exchanges and learning

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We are really excited to be at the centre of partnerships that promote cultural exchanges, learning and growth. Here with our partners from 2SecondsOrLess working to implement a sustainable school feeding garden. This is part of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education’s thrust of ensuring homegrown sustainable feeding solutions. This March we have just been hosting a team from our friends from 2 Seconds Or Less who have partnered with us to establish school nutrition gardens.

These gardens are going to be used to complement the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education efforts towards implementing a sustainable homegrown feeding solution whereby the government provides the grain to cook our staple food which is known as “sadza” and the communities have to supply the relish or vegetables. Due to various factors the communities have all not been able to supply the vegetables and thus our working with partners so that community gardens are developed leading to endless supply of vegetables to the school.

 

AdministratorPromoting cultural exchanges and learning
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