Freeman Chari wrote -
Sharon Cohen Zimcare Trust School is a not-for-profit rehabilitation and educational school for mentally retarded and mentally challenged children. It is situated in Chitungwiza town which is twenty-five kilometres from Harare the Capital of Zimbabwe. It is owned by the Zimcare Trust of Zimbabwe although it has a management establishment that is in line with the requirements of the Ministry of Education.
It is one of its kind in the city which has a total population of approximately 1 million people. With the 1% prevalence of the trait in Zimbabwean children it means that there are at least 4 000 children who need special attention in the City.
This institution was established to cater for the mentally retarded children especially those with Trisomy 21 (Down’s Syndrome). Its main purpose is to avail basic education for living to such children at the pace and rate of their own comprehension. It is primarily a development institution whose aim is to teach and care for the mentally handicapped children. The purpose of the school is to teach the children basic things that a normal child should be able to do without a hassle, like correct wearing of shoes, tying of shoelaces or bathing of the face.
Mental handicap comes with many complications. About eighty percent of the students at the school have speech defects and fifty percent cannot walk. Some of the students cannot eat by themselves. These are a fragile, attention-intensive group of children who need care and affection.
The school does not own a bus or a car. Transportation of the children to and fro their homes is being accomplished through the liberal assistance of wellwishers.
A minibus will act as a utility vehicle to overcome the following challenges
- The school does not have an ambulance. These children are very fragile and thus considering that their health is not predictable it is important that emergency measures be put in place to avoid fatalities.
- The school has to hire transport each time they purchase items for the school like food and stationery. This is quite expensive given that transportation is usually from Harare to Chitungwiza.