By Beaven Dhliwayo.

Harare, (News of the South) – Save the Children Zimbabwe has secured a $340 380 grant from NORAD which it says will be channelled across 10, mostly hard to reach districts to improve the quality of learning environment for children.

The organisation has been operating in Zimbabwe since 1993, supporting the government efforts in areas of education, Zimbabwe child protection, health and nutrition, child rights governance, livelihoods and emergency
response.




Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) is a directorate under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which fund NGO
activities in developing countries.

The initiative is meant to improve the learning environment of children through infrastructural development and repairs, provision of
learning and teaching materials, in-service training for teachers especially on literacy and numeracy, training of School Development
Committees and Child Protection Committees, supporting the drafting of school Disaster Risk Reduction plans as well as monitoring the
possible hazards.

In a speech read on her behalf by Save the Children Programs Director Clemence Mlambo in the capital where the organization donated 11
desktop computers, 3 laptops and a printer all valued at $11 028 to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE), Country
Director Sarah Blin said the organization secured funding from NORAD to support all its partner education districts and Head office.

“Currently, Save the Children is working in partnership with the MoPSE across 10, mostly hard to reach districts. These are Mbire, Rushinga, Binga, Gokwe North and South, Hwange, Matobo, Beitbridge, Muzarabani (one short-term project) and Harare.

“In each of these districts, our work has been directly reaching an average an average of 20 schools in the past 7 years. The education
work by Save the Children focuses primarily on basic education,” she said.

Blin said she hopes the support will help towards the creation of quality learning environments for children, in accordance to the
district activity plans developed by the same districts in their last partnership meeting.

“The districts will be allocated these funds as follows, Mbire District Education Office $33 681, Rushinga $44 599, Binga $29 663,
Gokwe North $31 357, Gokwe South $31 771, Hwange $47 346, Matobo $47 836 and Beitbridge $49 870 while the Head Office has $24 185.

“This brings the total support to $340 308 to be disbursed directly to MoPSE. These funds have to be used by 31 December this year.
“Disbursements will commence immediately after the signing of the sub-award agreement by the MoPSE, primarily to confirm the 2018 budget,” she said.

Additionally, Blin said the organization through the same grant from NORAD is supporting three other organizations namely University of
Zimbabwe’s Department of Teacher Education which will get $57 833, Leonard Cheshire Disability Trust $95 667 and J F Kapneck Trust’s $69 683.

Learnord Cheshire and JF Kapneck Trust’s work focuses primarily on inclusive education, and includes creating awareness in target
communities and provision of assistive devices such as hearing aids, wheelchairs, spectacles among others to children.

Blin added that they secured additional funds amounting to $234 125 and $472 523 from Save the Children’s office in Korea to support Early
Childhood Development work in Gokwe South and Binga respectively this year.

Speaking at the same event, permanent secretary in the MoPSE expressed gratitude by the kind gesture by Save the Children to ensure that
children survive, learn and are protected.




“We are happy as a ministry and this kind gesture will go a long way
in improving the quality and service delivery in our education system.

“The donations will trigger sustainable research as we prepare them for jobs that are to come. 21st century requires people with high ICT knowledge and it is important we are in sync with what is happening and we cannot be a country seen lagging behind,” she said.



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