Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Logan Lee Primary School Update

By Clementine Denga
The 15th of October 2019 marked a milestone in the path to sustainable development as council officially introduced Nhaka Foundation to the community urging cooperation amongst all stakeholders to the development projects being undertaken at Logan Lee in Seke Rural District Ward 15. Early that morning the Nhaka Foundation team arrived at Logan Lee Primary to assess the progress made on the implementation of a project designed to increase access to comprehensive early childhood development programs. The old school site consists of children learning from improvised facilities which formerly housed farm vegetable grading shades as well as tobacco curing barns. Also with Nhaka Foundation during this site visit were members from the Ministries of Local Government, Primary and Secondary Education and Health. On the same day the Nhaka Foundation Team led by the Projects Director, the Logan Lee School Development Committee, as well as the Rural Council Representatives had a combined stakeholders meeting. This combined meeting discussed the official commissioning of the Tashinga School Construction Project. The project consists of two classroom blocks (one nearing completion with construction of the second set to start soon), a Nutrition Garden supported by a solar powered borehole, and a block of toilets also under construction.   
The team from the Ministry of Health also had a mission of carrying out health assessments as part of the project outcomes. The health assessment plan was to start with the Early Childhood learners first. In order to facilitate this process, the learners in the company of their parents and guardians who gave consent for these health checks, had to go through a short questionnaire on determining how much the parents and caregivers know about the ECD program as well as establishing any health problems or impending health threats with the children. This process was led by Nhaka Foundation’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer. Following the questionnaire the learners had to meet the health professionals who consisted of a nurses, nurse aids, and a nutritionist. Part of the health assessment process includes a check on the current medical records for the children if they are available and these indicate whether the child has been vaccinated before, their physical built, personal hygiene as well as checking the condition of various selected body parts. Following this health assessment, the head nurse provided a preliminary report which indicated that most of the children were affected by ring worms, whilst challenges such as lack of footwear caused lesions on their feet as the children have to walk long distances to attend school.
In late 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 Goals to be used as a template for sustainable human development. While the operations of Nhaka Foundation fall primarily under SDG 4 and 4.2, the organization vacillates between other goals in order to provide integrated and comprehensive support to the children and communities it serves. For example, in its programming, Nhaka Foundation noted that a combination of other goals is inevitable, for instance, the solar powered borehole which waters the garden is an effort satisfying the aspirations of SDG 7 (Clean and Affordable Energy) and SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) respectively, while the Nutrition Garden is an SDG 2 (No Hunger) effort.
Nhaka Foundation, as a non-profit organization works in close partnership with parents, caregivers and community stakeholders to ensure that the programs are sustainable and are testament of the communities own developmental aspirations.  Part of the sustainability effort ensures that the community is able to venture into small business opportunities. For example, once the community manages to secure enough vegetables for the children, they sell the extra produce and generate some income which will help in purchasing corn meal, cooking oil and other requirements for the feeding program. In addition to this, excess funds are also used to support the school purchase books, pens and other materials for the learners. Members of the community help with locally made construction materials and the classrooms are projected to last at least 50years, which is an achievement falling under SDG 9 addressing infrastructure development. Being locally made makes the bricks and other materials a sustainable means to build sustainable communities. Nhaka Foundation is also working with the School Development Committee and Rural Council on plans for other income generating projects.
 The partnerships between the community, local Council, BMZ – Terres des Hommes, Nhaka Foundation and the school authorities is manifestation of SDG 17, a key goal suggesting that efforts to achieve sustainable development require cooperation and partnership of different stakeholders, key being the government, NGOs, Private Sector as well as local communities earmarked for development. 

Whilst there has been tremendous progress made with this project, challenges such as lack of cooperation between certain stakeholders, political polarisation and community conflict also hinder greater progress. Nhaka Foundation as a non-partisan, independent and objective partner with this community continues to engage with all stakeholders in order to to have the children learn in decent, habitable and safe environments.

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Chitakatira Primary School Project Update

By Clementine Denga

Chitakatira Primary School is in the Chitakatira community, located in the Mutare South District of Manicaland. According to the 2012 census, the district has 81,928 inhabitants in 19,321 households, hence the high enrolment at Chitakatira primary school with 2048 children, 1012 being boys and 1036 girls. However, the work of Nhaka Foundation focuses on children between 0 and 8 years of age and promotes safe and clean ECCE institutions, child-friendly pedagogical models and teacher training, linking this with nutrition programmes and hygiene education, access to health care and psychosocial support. With this in mind the Chitakatira primary school site consists of one block with 2 classrooms for the ECD. Having a total of 342 learners in the ECD this gives a ratio of 1 classroom:171 students as compared to the standard of 1classroom: 28 students, so children have limited space and resort to learning under the trees. The ECD curriculum in Zimbabwe is very classroom oriented and at the same time aims to promote the physical and cognitive development of the children. The aim is to use child-friendly, playful and creative methods. Nhaka Foundation with the support of BMZ and TDH has implemented a project to quality, holistic and lifelong Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) for children between 0 and 8 years of age at Chitakatira. A construction project for Chitakatira for one block that consists of 2 classrooms is 80%complete. This block was built with the intention to reduce the classroom to student ratio. 
With regular health checks and screening for children 0-8 years as one of the outcomes, support from the Ministry of Health and Child Care will always be appreciated as they assist with screening the children. This is done to help monitor the children’s developmental status, detect malnutrition, developmental delays, and physical and mental problems at an early stage and, if necessary, take countermeasures to ensure the young children live a life full of possibilities. These health screenings are done every month of each school term. So far, we have done two health assessment activities for 741 children. The health assessments are assisted by the Nhaka Foundation Monitoring and Evaluation Assistant with the help of the Nurses.  
In order to improve the children’s nutritional condition and their physical and mental performance, Nhaka Foundation is running a nutrition programme for children between the ages of 4 and 8 at Chitakatira, the success of which is measured by regular health screenings which have been mentioned above. In order to ensure a clean, secure, balanced and regular meal for children a food preparation workshop has been carried out in Chitakatira. The workshop was facilitated by the Ward Nutrition Coordinator, Environment and Health Technician, and the Nurse. Topics discussed included hygiene, food preparation and balanced meals among others. Impact for this workshop can only be measured by the change in the children’s nutritional status which will be measured by the health checks and screenings to be conducted as the project progresses.
Training in conflict prevention and resolution helps parents and caregivers to avoid stress in families and education and to solve intra-family conflicts without the use of physical and psychological violence.  A two-day conflict prevention and resolution workshop was conducted in Chitakatira with the presence of the local leaders (village heads), school development committee and community.  As a result of the workshop the impact was fast felt as those that were known not to get along are now working together for the progress of the project. 
Early childhood is a period of enormous growth and development. Children develop more rapidly during the period from birth to age 8 than at any other time in their lives, shaped in large part by their experiences in the world. These early years of development are critical for providing a firm foundation in cognitive, language, and motor development, as well as social, emotional, regulatory, and moral development. Nhaka Foundation in partnership with TDH and BMZ is putting tremendous effort with the support of the community and local stakeholders to enable children to have a life full of possibilities.
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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Meet the Team- Clementine

Meet the Team- Monitoring and Evaluation Assistant
My name is Clementine and ever since I was a young girl, I’ve had a passion for numbers which explains my attainment of a degree in Applied Statistics.  Fast forward to now, I work as a Monitoring and Evaluation Assistant at Nhaka Foundation. I have been privileged to be part of the Monitoring and Evaluation team that aims to provide a better tomorrow for children through establishing a results based monitoring and evaluation system which has a systematic and routine collection of data during project implementation for the purpose of establishing whether an intervention is moving towards the set objectives or project goals for the benefit of the children.
Monitoring is the collection and analysis of information about a project or programme, undertaken while the project or programme, is ongoing, and evaluation is the periodic, retrospective assessment of a project or programme.
I believe in the power of numbers, and I keep my passion in action. With my love for numbers and Monitoring and Evaluation expertise I intend to analyse the quantitative and qualitative data collected through the M&E activities to plan for improvements, evaluate information to support decision making, and sustain the M&E system. Reporting on the projects will be carried out to ensure that the projects are meeting set targets and objectives.
Monitoring and evaluation is the backbone of any project or programme. With Monitoring and Evaluation, we can now quantify the impact of a project for the development and ensure the project contributes to quality, holistic and lifelong Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) for children between 0 and 8 years of age in underprivileged rural areas in Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Please follow our detailed activities on our social media platforms (FacebookTwitter, and Instagram) as well as the Nhaka Foundation Blog on our website and be sure to walk with us as we reach out and touch as many communities as we can.