Youth Well Being
The well being of youth is the foundation for the future. Without their instincts to survive what their generation is unfolding, we have only the direction that the past is pointing. Our elders blaze a trail to carve out potential territory for the future, but the youth bring into fruition those dreams as well as carry the burden of their ancestors choices. By looking to the youth for insights as to the real needs of the present, we can make sure to create a solid basis for a more hopeful evolution for our species. “A child’s life is the path.”
Greatest Need to carry out the mission with the Youth
In the beginning our initial goal was to simply sponsor children to attend school. We asked $10 for the primary and $15 for the secondary children we sponsored in 2000. With spiraling inflation it became obvious that would not suffice long. We raised the sponsorship to $35 and remained able to build a program that not only paid tuition but bought uniform fabric, paid a tutor, built a library, provided medical care, and created an after school activity program over the next several years. In 2008 we raised the fee to $40 for the last half of the year, and in 2009, as the US dollarization of the Zimbabwe economy shifted we raised the fee to $60. That $60 enabled us to look at the broadest of concerns for these children, although this amount has been quite insufficient.
We have been impacted by the changes in our US economy, and the costs of doing business in Zimbabwe which have increased since 2009. For instance, this year soap increased from $1 to $1.50, Jangano’s high school fees increased to $90 per year, and nurses elsewhere were suddenly minimally paid $400 per month as of June when we have been paying $250! We cut staff both in the states and Zimbabwe, as well as limited many other expenses. In the past, the generous donations of my godfather, C. ‘John’ Pare, Jr., supplemented the sponsor’s commitment. With his passing, however, those funds are no longer available and we have made efforts to adjust to a new business model We have also had to accept how time-and-labor intensive it is to connect one person with one child.
To address these financial challenges and increase our flexibility to provide high quality support to children, we are introducing a new model for 2012. Your donations to the Youth Well Being Program can have greater impact by directing them to the needs of all the children. It will eliminate the high costs of maintaining the one-to-one contact between donor and child. And, it will allow us to address the emerging opportunities within the program, thus promising reaching more children with health and education services. This new approach also makes it possible for you to support the program at whatever level fits your budget, and without committing to future years. Additionally, with the new website and Facebook we are able to share the children and families in an up-close and personal way using video and slide shows.
We choose to continue to provide options for the nearly 500 children that we can potentially sponsor, as well as more children as they come along. We hope you can help us with that! A child’s participation in the Youth Well Being Program costs about $100 per year depending upon the school they attend. We include free medical care, and offer extracurricular activities, such as library access and music lessons, as well as Life Skill Learning Retreats, where they can counsel these girls and boys about the nuts and bolts of living safely in an HIV world as well as how to stay healthy with basic hygiene. If a child doesn’t attend school they will not be turned away from our programs. But, their opportunity to achieve academic exposure will be severely limited.
Our Nhimbe for Progress preschool has been recognized for the last several years as a model preschool. We are not only feeding the children, but provide an incredible learning environment. This status has gained us the respect of international charities such as J.T. Kapnek and UNICEF as they have helped to upgrade the playground equipment and provided a water pump at the Community Center where all activities take place. We are in the planning phases to build a primary school.
Find more information about our Youth Well Being Program here:
Thank you for your support!