Natural Disasters throughout the world have prompted amazing responses from communities related and unrelated to the disaster. They have prompted a sense of urgency from those who where informed of the disaster and in all cases respondents acted to assist in whatever capacity they could. Each person brought whatever resource they were able to contribute from food to shelter, to tools, to natural skills, to dedicating time, time, and time to assist in order to alleviate the pain and loss of those who were victims of this disaster.
We are facing a state of emergency Mthwakazi. Some may ask, why are you calling this an emergency? An emergency is an occurrence that impairs or has the potential to impair the operation of a people or an individual. Our people are being impaired from all capacities and unless we act, we will lose the Nation of Mthwakazi. The potential of our people is being disrupted and it is time for us to say enough is enough. This is not an emergency that you will see on the frontlines of any newspaper, or TV news channel or documentary. Nonetheless it is still a state of emergency that requires the same type of response as any disaster you may have come across. Our people are dying quietly. We need to respond to this emergency and bring in whatever tools we have to minimize the losses that our people continue to face daily. Unless we respond, we will continue to be a nation in crises. Unless we respond, the plight of our people will continue to be unheard
The crisis we are facing has impacted all spheres of our makeup as a nation of Mthwakazi. One area that I will focus on today is Education. Some have said that unless we solve this issue from a political perspective, our efforts in alleviating or minimizing the lack of opportunities currently presented to our people are in vain. I tend to disagree with that point. Our people need food, health, clothing, shelter, education, employment, etc. etc. today and tomorrow. Whilst we are working on tackling these issues from a political standpoint (and I agree with that approach wholeheartedly), we cannot ignore the issues faced today. The results of which will also impact us when we become a free people. Lack of health, education, food for our people will only impact their ability to be a strong nation today and in the future. We cannot continue to ignore these things by thinking they can only be resolved after we win this battle from a political front. I believe that is where we disagree. Now that I have clearly communicated my position, here are the facts we are facing today and a response is requested from those who have a heart for the people of Mthwakazi in Zimbabwe.
The Education Committee continues to put efforts on how we can make contributions to revamp our educational system. We have partnered with a group that recently formed a Trust in Zimbabwe. This group recently completed a study on 30 schools in Matabeleland. This group is not affiliated with the government. This is a partnership that we are very grateful to be part of as it is comprised of individuals that have been involved in our educational system for years and they know the ins and outs of our system. The request has come from those on the ground. If the people on the ground find it imperative for us to revamp our education system and they are crying out for help, why would we think otherwise? Here are the facts presented from a recently held meeting that represented all the 30 schools in this study:
The attendance was clearly beyond our expectations. About 160 people attended – we had budgeted for 90 people. That people came and were speaking out was good. It showed that people are indeed concerned about the failure of schools in Matabeleland to contribute students to our local Universities, namely the National University of Science and Technology and Lupane State University. The information we gathered was very depressing. The number of students doing Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology at sixth form from the 30 targeted schools ranges from zero to 4.
After the meeting on 22/05/10, we proceeded to get the quotations for the books and equipment that is a prerequisite for the reversal of the current trend in the 30 targeted schools, there are 5688 Pupils in form 1, 5501 in form 2, 5677 in form 3 and 5484 in form 4. Our estimated cost follows here under:-
- Total cost of form 1 to 4 science text books – $221 735 [gen. Science] + $67 944 [bio & physical science] = $289 679.00 …………………………………………………..[i]
- Total cost of form 1 to 4 mathematics books. = $287 652.00……………[ii]
- Total cost of lower and upper six maths books = $324 000.00…………..[iii]
- Total cost of lower and upper six science books = $201 944…………….[iv]
- Therefore total cost of books from form 1 to upper six = $1 103 275.00…[I+ii+iii+iv]
- Total cost of science equipment form 1 to 4 = $58 065.00 x 30 = $1 741 950.00….[vi]
- Total cost of science equipment sixth form schools = $72 015.00 x 30 = $2 160 450.00….[vii]
- Therefore total estimated cost of science equipment form 1 to 6 = $3 902 400.00
Therefore our budget for the project in hand without administrative costs is $5 005 675.00. (Please keep in mind, $5mil is the minimum required)
I am sure there are lots of questions that many of you will want to raise. The Education committee, in collaboration with this Trust, will be more than willing to address these questions.
You cannot tell me that right here in this forum we cannot raise $5mil? You cannot tell me that we do not have the brain power to come up with fund raising efforts or have friends or colleagues who know how we can come up with $5mil? I would find it surprising that we do not have that capacity. The time to expect other people or nations to come and assist us is over. It is time for us to act and make a difference for our nation. Who is willing to partner with us in this effort? Who is willing to come up with ideas on how we can raise this money?
A friend of mine who is American Born and has no affiliation with Zimbabwe decided to partner with us by exploring fundraising efforts for Zimbabwe. This is what she is proposing to send to her friends and is proposing that we do the same:
I am partnering with an organization to help raise money for schools in Zimbabwe.
As recently as the 1990s, Zimbabwe’s public education system was considered the best in sub-Saharan
Africa, producing a literacy rate that hovered around 90 percent. But the system is now on the brink of
collapse. A decade of economic decline and skyrocketing inflation has gutted education coffers, leaving
schools devoid of desks and chalk and driving teachers to quit for better opportunities. Several of
Zimbabwe‘s cash-strapped public schools have requested pupils to bring furniture from home. The
education system is struggling.
If someone like this friend of mine can be moved to do something, how much more those of us who were educated in this beautiful country and know first hand the quality of education we were exposed to? Many of us are the product of the education system that she referenced and can attest to its quality and authenticity.
Please note that some of us are not going to stop until we can do something for our nation. I am determined that even if one person responds, I will move forward until we get to our ultimate destination. The Mthwakazi Education committee welcomes your ideas, contributions and participation.
The State of Emergency is now officially declared and those who are moved with compassion will respond in kind and in deed.