Like our children, the education institutions we support are the sources of our biggest worries and greatest joys. The COVID-19 pandemic has only served to magnify this as we’ve seen sources of funding diminish, our determination to keep going grow, and our children achieving against all odds. It’s been a year of rain and silver linings – closures, graduations, working together – and we’re still afloat…
One of our most difficult decisions has been to temporarily close our Jabez Preschool in Justicia B village. Despite the boost from The Extra Mile, we’ve battled to keep the school running. Luckily, we were able to move the children to Henna Preschool while we look for alternative and sustainable sources of funding, and work with the Department of Social Development on a strategy to reopen the school in 2021. On a happier note, on 2 December 2020, we celebrated our Jabez and Henna Preschool graduates as they moved on to Grade R and ‘big school’. We are incredibly proud of each child and their parents and teachers who walked the journey with them through a tough lockdown year. While we could not host our usual buffet lunch, we did sponsor each child with a delicious packed lunch.
Huntington Digital Learning Campus also successfully reopened later in 2020, with all of its Open Learning Academy learners returning and all of its Bridging Academy Students graduating. We are extremely grateful to the Good Work Foundation for all the hard work put in to ensure that the Campus keeps on delivering a well-maintained and safe learning environment.
Masuwe Primary School, Zimbabwe had an extremely challenging year, struggling through teacher, as well as healthcare, strikes and lockdown. Once Masuwe reopened, we were able to contribute to the installation of a strongroom, which allows the school to store exam papers and host exams. Previously, students were required to travel to a neighbouring village school and camp on its grounds to be able to write their exams.
Words by: Michelle Scott and Jade Crocket