Since 2014, we have been supporting UNICEF’s Child Friendly Schools program in a series of focussed projects across Zimbabwe. Our funding commitments over the next four years will support at least 16 separate schools through the program. The key objective is to increase school attendance by eliminating obstacles preventing children from accessing an education.
of children are unable to attend school, the majority being with girls
of young people live below the poverty line – that’s less than 88 cents per day
of children in Zimbabwe under five years of age are malnourished
of children across Zimbabwe cannot read by the end of Grade 1
Juliana’s Story: Water
Juliana is a school teacher at Muuyu Primary School in Mwenezi of Masvingo Province, in Zimbabwe. Life at her school has been transformed by the funds from 3P Learning’s Child Friendly Schools program with UNICEF. The project has brought the one resource sorely needed – water.
A mother of three, Juliana has been teaching at Muuyu Primary since 2003. She lives 8km from the school. When she first started teaching here, she had to stay in a tin hut with four other teachers.
Juliana says “The persistent high poverty, poor environment and limited opportunities here have made teaching in rural schools unattractive for experienced teachers.” She teaches a composite class of 85 Grade 6 & 7 students.
The physical state of the classrooms is very poor, with students having to sit on the floor for the whole day. During the dry season, Juliana holds many of her classes in the open. It is not uncommon for five children to share one textbook.
Pupils often have to walk up to 5km to the river just to wash their hands or even go to the toilet – time away from their lessons. Often school is dismissed early because pupils complain of thirst and there is very frequently no fresh water to drink.
Now, with funds raised and donated by 3P Learning and the World Education Games participants, children at Juliana’s school have access to clean drinking water and toilets – thanks to new facilities and a well constructed by UNICEF.
Having access to water means that pupils will spend more time in their lessons learning instead of searching for water.
Often there are specific problems that mean girls have less chance than boys of being able to go to school. Yvetty is a 12 year old girl who is a Grade 6 pupil at Chemhara Primary. This is one of the schools supported by 3P Learning’s Child Friendly Schools program with UNICEF.
Yvette lives in Village 3, Minashop, in a community that relies mainly on agriculture and livestock to survive. Like many girls in the village, Yvette’s day begins by fetching water from an unprotected well over 3km from her house.
Water collection is usually the responsibility of the girls, it is one of the main reasons girls do not attend school. Sometimes Yvette goes to the well with her sisters while it is dark, but today she is going alone because she wants to be early for school.
The well is deep and it’s heavy to pull water up from about 40m underground. Yvette smiling says “I am pretty strong for my age, and I am able to draw the 25 litre bucket to the ground in no time without any help.”
After collecting water, Yvette heads to school. Even though the 5km walk to school is unsafe, Yvette knows that school is important. After primary school, it is unlikely Yvette will ever go to secondary school as the nearest one is over 23km away.
Yvetty enjoys school. Until recently the school did not have access to any water – the nearest well was over 4km away. Two weeks ago, a new borehole was drilled thanks to funds raised by 3P Learning. Now this means there is always water to drink.
Yvette says “The new borehole is just metres away. I am excited that now I spend less time looking for water.” Plus, thanks to 3P Learning, new toilets are being built at Yvette’s school. Until recently students had to use the bushes without any privacy.