The 21 days are over

I really don’t know how many people I motivated to join in the challenge, but not many contacted me. It was the first time for me to organize something like this, and I’m sure I stumbled into all the potholes. naja

Nevertheless, I feel a sense of success and happiness at what I saw happen with my private course.

After telling my class about the Matopo Primary School, they wrote a letter to give to the school head (who contacted me afterwards) and then went to each class in their school to tell the pupils about the school and that they are collecting school materials for this school and the children there.

Their enthusiasm was impressive and the result was over 10 school bags filled with pencil cases, rulers, erasers, etc etc.

In addition, they now know where Zimbabwe is (and Africa!), they have had the experience of presenting a project for a real purpose, and have gained an experience in ethics.

However, I also had to make a few corrections so as not to cement the stereotype of poor little African children. Not such an easy job considering the reality of many parts of Africa at the moment.

So in the end I do feel a bit of satisfaction. I have fulfilled a promise to myself, a friend and, most important of all, a little school in the heart of Zimbabwe.

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Day 5 of the 21-day challenge

The ETAS Teacher-to-Teacher Project

Cindy Hauert, the initiator and co-ordinator of the current ETAS Teacher-to-Teacher project, became interested in helping Matopo Primary School on a visit to Zimbabwe in 2003. Through friends in the region, the first steps were taken to make contact with the Headmaster, Mr Newman Ncube, and the Deputy Headmaster, Mr Patson Mpofu.

Cindy proposed the project to ETAS in 2006, and after its acceptance, she began organizing funding and donations of materials to the school. In October of 2007, she led a Teachers’ Day Workshop at the school, which 35 teachers from the region attended. It was a glorious success, one which she hopes to repeat this year.

Through the help of ETAS, uniforms have been provided for about 160 pupils, text books have been bought, and even basic food supplies have been given. It has all been a big help and the morale amongst the teachers has been raised tremendously.

With the rapidly deteriorating conditions in Zimbabwe the need has become more acute than ever. Hardly anything is available in Zimbabwe, even if the school had the money to make purchases.

This challenge has been set up by Cindy and Illya to address these needs. We hope you will be moved to assist—400 children at Matopo Primary School, and their teachers, will be so grateful.

The best thing about this project is that all donations and proceeds go directly where they are most needed—there’s no middleman taking a cut!

If you’d like to make a cash donation or collect materials for the school, please leave a comment here and we’ll be in touch with you immediately.

The 21-day challenge for a good cause

At the moment there is much suffering in the world and all eyes are turned east towards China and Burma. People’s suffering in these places is horrifying, but the charity being generated throughout the world is commendable.

Yet there are other places of need and suffering. Places that don’t get in the news, or get forgotten as soon as the next media story comes up.

For these smaller, less “famous” places I’d like to set up a challenge. How much goodwill can be generated in 21 days?

The challenge will begin June 1st and last for exactly 3 weeks.

If you know of a small project that you could contribute to, then feel free to generate money, goods or any other kind of support for this project.

However, this challenge is being made with a particular project in mind.

The English Teachers Association of Switzerland (ETAS) is currently supporting the Matopo Primary School project (http://matopoprimaryschool.blogspot.com). Cindy is doing an excellent job at keeping the blog up and goes down regularly to give teacher training courses and ship mateirals. I’ve been trying to support her and the school as well through my blogging, but feel this just isn’t enough – thus the challenge.

For Swiss teachers and any others willing to join in, here is what you can do:

Primary schools – start a collection of school materials (they need everything!). What can be found around the homes of the kids in the school? What are neighbours willing to donate?

The class can then write a letter to the school or write a comment and say something about themselves.

Remember that materials should be in good condition, especially considering that getting the materials down is very expensive and so shouldn’t have to land in the garbage.

Business classes –If you are working in a company, the learners can present the case to the person(s) in charge and make a suggestion for a possible donation (a good one is to pay for part of the shipping!) Again, include a letter to the school, giving them your support.

Adult classes – You could write letters to different firms requesting donations with a description of the project and what is needed.

If you are interested in joining the challenge, please leave a comment and I’ll be in touch with further details.

If you are in Switzerland, then leave a message at the etasblog and stay tuned for more.

btw- I thank this idea Berta (who tagged me), and the Comment challenge (thank you Sue Waters! I hope you don’t mind me taking your great idea and adapting it)

Thank you