Picture of girls

2023 Mhandara Monthly Care Continues Successfully!

Our Mhandara Monthly Care (MMC) program continues with great success, as a direct result from your support! We already have 267 girls on the wait list for 2023. So far, we have only connected with our nearby Nhimbe girls and three other schools (Rukuma primary and Gavaza primary and secondary). With your help we can further reach the girls at Makaure and Nyamashesha at a minimum. Let me share our process a bit, so you can see for yourself how your donation makes a huge difference! (Here is more detailed information.)

The Nhimbe for Progress MMC girls were the first to be established, as an outcome of our early efforts with the Youth Well Being camps. That is where we first learned in 2010 that some parents couldn’t afford underwear for their girl children so we started “Underwear for Over There”, and then at the next camp we found many girls were missing school and extra-curricular activities because of inadequate monthly care supplies. They were also lacking the nurturing of the traditional tete or auntie, due to the deaths of many women of that generation, as well as land redistribution encouraging families to move from their rural homes. All of this was the birth of what we know as MMC. Every girl deserves these basics! Do you agree?

Here a Nhimbe group is receiving some monthly soap as part of January services. Soap is an added expense for a family already struggling to put food on the table, make uniforms and pay school fees. The second girl in on the left is a joker…has her foot on her friend’s, who is giving her a knowing glance.

Picture of girls
Picture of girls

We have both new girls just beginning to blossom, and those that have been there for years. These four girls above are brand new to the program.

We have about 20 girls who received their first start-up kits in 2018 who are just now receiving a second start-up kit. The longevity nature of these re-useable supplies is unexpected. We felt that 3 years was about the normal life, but surprisingly they have lasted longer.

The Nhimbe girls continue to study marimba on Friday afternoons. Some girls play, dance, hosho, sing and drum, while others are studying sewing, or going to our great Nhimbe library, for example.

Our goal is to empower the girls to play, rather than encourage timidity like in the co-ed classes…seems like they are doing great – don’t see any shyness! Anyone who has taken marimba knows that class lessons may mean playing the same song over and over again, although, each segment has something special to learn and share. By the end there is a new hosho player (the rattles), for example. In all cases, the preschoolers who attend, because they are tagging along with staff moms or siblings, are just delightful, learning through immersion! Here is a video link of a recent class.

The rest of the satellite schools we call the Hombe Program, meaning everyone else non-Nhimbe. We talked with the headmastser:

I am Mr Shangwa, the headmaster of Rukuma primary school. Though today I did come in casual because I had another thing, another project, to do with the parents. That is why I am casually dressed. I really appreciate the program extended to this school, being a very much disadvantaged school. Appreciate though the gifts that I am getting, we are receiving, from Nhimbe for Progress being managed by Mr. Magaya. Mr. Magaya is really helping the school and assisting the disadvantaged people in the area. I also appreciate the hand being given by the donors from outside Zimbabwe. Whatever they are giving us is being fully utilized, and given directly to the disadvantaged child, children. Please would you keep it up because the assistance is really being appreciated by the poor. Thank you very much.

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This is at Rukuma. They hand sickle the grass to keep things reasonably mowed.

In this video, the headmaster also shows us the condition of their preschool buildings, which have been in this sad state for around 5 years. With only poor parents being served, the repairs do not get done. We are so grateful for you being benefactors of our Nhimbe preschool saving them from the Rukuma fate! We’ve seen our share of inclement weather and other disruptive issues. Rukuma is a primary school going from preschool up to grade 8.

Muda taxis Febby and Fortunate, our main leaders and also preschool teachers, to each satellite school to make our program approach practical, since it’s quite a distance to walk easily. They then share on the grass with the new girls who are now ready for MMC. The female teachers, who you can see sitting at the picnic table, support the girls on a routine basis. Notice the school building’s broken windows, which is commonplace in rural Zimbabwe.

Teaching Class Picture

We also have been able to provide MMC to the Gavaza school again this year. The headmistress takes care of a primary and secondary school and shares her appreciation here in this video.

My name is Victoria Muchenje. I am the head of the Gavaza primary school, in Chegutu District, Mashonaland Province, in Zimbabwe. I would like to appreciate the gesture being taken by Nhimbe for Progress and our partners in America, especially in uplifting the lives of the girl child in disadvantaged communities including our school, which if they could continue doing that, and even more. To our partners, please do not tire! Keep on giving us a hand. We do appreciate it. May God bless you. Thank you very much.

She points out to our team that the government no longer provides any support for the school and so the parents are required to fundraise for everything. She also explains that the girls are missing valuable class time due to a lack of needed monthly care supplies. The school staff, the parents, and the children are all so very grateful for MMC. Please donate here – any amount will help the health and wellbeing of our maturing girls!

First, the secondary and primary girls are given the outline of the program before registering in this video.

In this video the girls are then registered, taking care that they have not received supplies previously.

Singing is one of the many ways they introduce the new girls into the program. Check this singing out!

The focus of the day becomes the distribution of the MMC bundle, which gets put together in a great package including the re-useable washable supplies, a soaking bucket, giant sealable baggie (these were nearly impossible to get when we first started a few years ago), and a sewing kit for learning how to make a purse. The older girls are called upon to help.

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In the following picture I love the two girls in the center sharing a lovely relaxed countenance during this event…they look like best buddies!

Picture of girls

We are super proud of our Nhimbe leaders, Febbie, Fortunate and Muda, as well as our manufacturing arm of the team, for making MMC a reality, and making it possible for us to reach out to the Hombe schools with the help of the local teachers. It takes many pieces of the puzzle for this to succeed. It feels like the parents, teachers and girls are all passionate about this work and helping it to flourish!

Thank you ever so much for your continued support and encouragement. Please consider a contribution of any amount here….whatever you can do makes a difference!

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