The economic conditions in Zimbabwe continue to get worse by the year and COVID-19 Pandemic did not help. Teachers nationwide reached a point where they could not afford to go to work because they were so economically depressed.
Our organization’s mission statement focuses on using “education as a catalyst for economic development within the Arnoldine community.” The teachers and the community share this vision. The teachers are willing to stay at Arnoldine awaiting the resumption of teaching in 2021.
We find it utterly important for our teachers to be able to have comfortable housing and in good health to be able to go to school and teach the students. Whilst we could not afford to pay them a salary, we proposed the idea of helping them with a microloan they could gradually pay back overtime. The microloan will be used for entrepreneurship projects which can hopefully succeed and can help them generate additional income and can eventually be self-sustainable. .
The idea was welcomed by all the nine teachers. The teachers brainstormed together and came up with several projects they could do individually. The projects range from rabbit and poultry production, to growing vegetables and other crops. Living Beyond Hope–Zimbabwe board members met with the teachers to listen to their proposals. They felt that the teachers were confident that their projects would bring a good return on investment (ROI). Additionally, some of them will provide better nutrition for both the growers and the buyers.
We are aware of the risks which come with each one of these projects, but we also understand there is great potential for success. If you never teach a person how to fish how else will they learn? Our organization has set up safety features in place to help them hold each other accountable and hopefully succeed. We are looking forward to the developments of these projects and on sharing the progress made in 2021.