Ronika and her cousin, Nokutenda, are very excited to both be back in school. For them, it means belonging, being like other kids, and participating in the everyday rhythm of village life. But staying in school will also profoundly impact their futures and the future of their community.
The enduring benefits of educating girls include:
• Reduced maternal deaths in childbirth
• Decreased child deaths
• Improved child nutrition, and decreased number of children who suffer from stunting due to malnutrition
• Fewer child marriages and pregnancies
• A smaller pay gap between men and women
• Increased likelihood of finding employment.
Bopoma Villages team works with families and communities to overcome the obstacles that prevent girls from attending school regularly, or at all.
In Zimbabwe, lack of funds for fees is a significant barrier that prevents children from attending school, but there are many others, including:
• Poor health and hunger
• Lack of a birth certificate, uniform, school supplies or feminine hygiene products
• Parents don’t value education for girls and keep them at home to help with household chores or farming.
• The nearest school may be hours away on foot–too far for a young child or a child with poor health.
Bopoma Villages works with families to obtain school fee subsidies and grants, organizes volunteers to sew uniforms, and teaches girls to sew their own feminine hygiene supplies. Bopoma Villages’ water, hygiene, and nutrition programs help keep children in school and concentrating on their lessons by building their health and immunity to disease. Our staff and trained volunteers visit families to reinforce the importance of educating all their children and to help them find ways to overcome the barriers that prevent this.
Being back in school has filled seven-year old Ronika with great hope. She said to one of our staff members (Felie), “I am sure I will one day become a teacher because I know that somebody somewhere thinks and cares about my future like sister Felie.”
We are grateful to each one of our supporters for being that somebody somewhere who thinks and cares for Ronika and the hundreds of children just like her who are now in school and facing a future of new possibilities.