Help the children of zimbabwe by sending homeschool supplies

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crayons - easy come, easy go over here, but precious treasures in zimbabweEarlier I was writing up a post about our day when I received a call from a friend. I spent half an hour learning  about the needs of home educating families in Zimbabwe.

While our children want the latest gadgets and have to be shown how to care for the things they have; children in South Africa are struggling to get educated without basic supplies such as paper and pencils.

As I sit typing, I have a drawer FULL to my left that is overflowing with scrap paper. Little Miss Green doesn’t like writing or drawing on it often because it already has something on it. I curse every time I open the drawer because it is crammed to the top and rarely opens without cutting my finger.

The children in Zimbabwe would think all their Christmas’s had come at once if I turned up on their doorstep offering my drawer of ‘rubbish’.

Similarly, I cannot walk to Little miss Green’s wardrobe without stepping on old bits of crayon and pens without lids. Imagine the look of wide-eyed delight if I sent pencils and pens to South Africa.

I think I have modelled good custodian qualities to our daughter, but perhaps I haven’t. Let’s be honest; in this country, we don’t need to. It is too easy to throw things away, buy the latest and go for convenience. Although I am very conscious of waste and frivolous spending, I have never been in a place of desperation or need like some people are. So I Can take the easy option and fall prey of consumerism.

I realised through talking to my friend today that there appears to be a strange paradox with the amount you have and the amount you share. It appears that the less you have, the more giving you become. Why is this I wonder? Perhaps your entire sense of what is valuable shifts. It is more valuable to keep your friends alive than worry about whether or not you will get back your possessions.
food is scarce and home education supplies are even rarer
Life in Zimbabwe is difficult for many families. I don’t know much about the politics and it’s complicated to understand, especially when it is something you have never experienced for yourself. You cannot begin to *imagine* what life could be like.

A friend of my friend’s spent a day last week locked in her bedroom with two children while 40 men surrounded their land and threatened their lives. These people are living under constant threat to their safety and they do not have money for food, let alone educational supplies.

The children over there, who do not have access to school (there is no free school in Zimbabwe; you can either afford the fees or you cannot) need some basic items. Nothing lavish, they don’t need the latest or even new.

They would be grateful for activity and work books that have been written in – recycling comes naturally to these resourceful people. Pencils and pens would be great. Crayons would be a luxury. Old books that we would say had had their day will be welcomed with open arms and joyful hearts.

The wonderful thing about the spirit of these people is their capacity to share and support one another. You can be guaranteed that not a single item gifted to them will be wasted or selfishly kept. The spirit of the land is of giving and sharing, despite difficult times. There is much these people can teach us!
scrap paper - a tower of gold for South Africa
Internet and email access is sporadic at best, but non existent for most. Many people are living without water or electricity, so, although it would be wonderful to send downloaded materials, and better for the environment, this just isn’t a practical or helpful solution right now. Their sharing is done word of mouth, through getting together or over the telephone.

The people of Zimbabwe have a strong sense of home and of what is right. Many have left, but others are staying despite dangerous and threatening conditions. They are hoping for change and are living lives with optimism and courage despite having so little. While people are being starved out of their homes, the determination of the people remains high and they have hope for the future.

We have an opportunity to allow children to get their hands on material that could influence and inspire them. After all; they are the future. They are not asking for much; just basic supplies so that they can learn and improve their futures. The might not have food, water or electricity, but they have hearts full of hope and the faith and belief that better times will come.

If you have anything you can send, please leave a comment below or contact me directly through my ‘contact us’ page for further details. Remember; nothing has to be pristine or complete; just usable in some form.

Have a look through your pens, pencils, books, crayons and paper stores and see what you can find. Anything that your child has outgrown or does not use anymore, consider gifting it forward to another child in Zimbabwe so that they can have a better future.

Imagine what it would be like to be a budding artist, an eager scientist, a curious mathematician or a creative writer and not have the materials to do it with……….

Your gift could make all the difference.

1 Comment

  1. Carle on May 18, 2008 at 2:06 am

    Good write up on the situation. I will be posting the link for you blog to my yahoo group [environmental homeschooling] and hope that others will be inspired to join in this important request!


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