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Archive for the ‘matopo’ Category

Send a girl to secondary school

Posted by Illya on 9 May 2012

Secondary school in Zimbabwe is not obligatory. As the few secondary schools in the region are often located
too far from the children’s home villages, students need to pay for room and board, a costly sacrifice for most
parents and caretakers. Thus the majority of teenage girls, stop their formal schooling after primary school, as this privilege is
cutomarily reserved for male children. Therefore, an extension to the ETAS Matopo project was launched at the ETAS AGM in Lucerne in January 2011, and a fund was created to enable female primary school graduates to continue their education.

Three years of secondary school costs about CHF600.00 per year, or CHF1,800.00 in total, which covers school fees, room
and board and school materials.


Now we are trying to raise enough money this month to send at least one girl to secondary school. This will be done together with the on-line course on blogging described in the previous post. If you want to help, contact me at


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On-line course – educational blogging

Posted by Illya on 4 May 2012

These on-line courses are beginning to become a regular part of the ETAS program, albeit with a certian irregularity.

This time it will be not just Jenny from Argentina, but Barbara in Japan (JELT) bringing her group of teachers in on the fun during the entire month of June (4 weeks)

In addition, we will be focussing on the young learners (widely defined!). This means that we will have a chance for some real collaboration and I’m sure there will be eye-opening experiences for all.

This time, however, we in Switzerland are not just blogging for ourselves and our classes, there is now an added dimension.

The ETAS has been supporting the Matopo School Project for some time now as you can see on the Matopo blog. It’s been a success and is now supported by the Roger Federer Foundation– Now how cool is that!!!

And so the project has been expanded to help the weekest chain in the link- the girls. Although they may be sent to primary school, generally their school career is finished at the end of this time. Girls- education a girl and you educate a family. Now the aims of the project have increased. It is now to send 10 girls to secondary school for 3 years. It takes 600 US$ per girl per year.

All proceeds from this on-line course will go to the project- Send a girl to secondary school.

How long can we send one girl to school on this course? It is totally up to the participants as all fees (excluding ETAS membership) will go straight to this project.

I will keep you up to date as to how much money has been collected.

Take a course, learn something new, give a girl an education!

I leave you with a moving video from Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee — of her own life’s transformation, and of the untapped potential of girls around the world. Can we transform the world by unlocking the greatness of girls?

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Follow-up SIG day Matopo Project

Posted by Illya on 20 September 2009

The SIG day was a success, I think everyone will agree.

Two  special highlights of the day were related to the Matopo Primary School project run by Cindy Hauert.

From Teacher training in Zimbabwe 2008

The first highlight was to hear the wondeful news that the Roger Federer Foundation has decided to support this project. This is extremely important news as it means that the support can take new dimensions. It’s the children who are the future of any country, and at the current state the future of Simbabwe looks dismal.

Then at the end  the amount of money contributed through the raffle and donations for Matopo School was announced. It was a high figure worthy of the charitable and helpful nature of ETAS and its members.

Several presenters have generously donated their payment to the school. I don’t know many names, but I do know that Peter Travis and Fiona Joseph from flo-joe and splendid speaking websites (see below) were two such people. I would gladly recognize others if I have their names.

Another such presenter was Ian McMaster, from Business Spotlight, who also blogged about the SIG day and the Matopo project. I do invite you to read what he had to say in his post “A penny for their thoughts.”

You can keep informed by reading the Matopo blog, and please do leave a comment. Comments can be very motivating, especially when the prospects seem particularly bleak and the hurdles high (such as getting materials across the border!) and why not become an official follower? This is very easy to do if you already have a google account. Just click on the follower button in the column on the right and help make the group fo supporters grow!

If you know of other such noble acts, please leave a comment so they can be recognized and thanked!

Do good things and talk about it!

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Posted by Illya on 10 June 2008

  • Matopo Primary School is located 50 kilometers south of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city. The school is in a remote rural area with only sporadic electricity supply, on a rutted dirt road.
  • The school has about 400 pupils, aged 4 to 13. Nearly half of these pupils are orphans and many live in child-headed families.
  • There are 10 teachers, including the Headmaster, Mr. Newman Ncube, and the Deputy Headmaster, Mr Patson Mpofu.
  • Resources and infrastructure at the school include 10 classrooms, an almost empty library, school garden and orchard.
  • The home language is Ndebele, with English as the primary second language.
  • The school is not funded by the government. It is a church school (Brethren in Christ) but the church cannot provide any funds. Pupils’ families cannot raise enough cash to build classroooms, houses for the teachers, toilets, or textbooks.
  • Even before the sky-rocketing inflation which has hit Zimbabwe, the school was struggling to provide food, uniforms, text books and infrastructure for the pupils and teachers.

There has been some response to this challenge so far (thank you sooo much to those of you who have contributed with your comments, suggestions and motivating ideas) but I must say it falls short of what was expected. Maybe the challenge needs to be lengthened. Maybe just a bit more time is needed. Maybe I was naive.  In any case, I hope to hear from you.

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Day 5 of the 21-day Challenge

Posted by Illya on 5 June 2008

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 get back to you immediately.

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