Courage Matiza wrote -
“Most of our students are unable to progress to the next level of their studies because they fail their English reading and writing exams. Usually most drop out of school instead of repeating their studies because of financial constraints ” laments the deputy headmaster of Ndanga High School in Birchenough Bridge, Zimbabwe.
For students in Zimbabwe English reading and writing proficiency are crucial skills that are imperative to their academic and professional development. Unfortunately, for a large number of students in rural Zimbabwe, English is not their first or second language. This is due to a lack of necessary resources such as books and textbooks that help to develop student’s literacy.As a result many schools located in remote areas across Zimbabwe have witnessed several of their students fail English exams and drop out of school.
WriteMe libraries for Zimbabwe hopes to aid in the development of these reading and writing skills by providing the necessary resources to students. We believe literacy is a powerful tool to break the poverty cycle in rural Zimbabwe as it empowers young Zimbabweans with the skills to develop their communities. Indeed, to give a child a pen and book is to arm them and their community for the future.
We will provide the space and resources needed to develop reading and writing skills by building /renovating libraries in remote schools. These libraries will be platforms where students engage with the literary world. Through provision of domestic and international reading materials we seek to open out a world of opportunities for students .
In addition, the WriteMe essay writing competition is an opportunity for students to showcase their writing skills and an incentive for students to be engaged in the writing process. WriteMe hopes to amplify the voices of these young Zimbabweans by publishing these stories in the form of e-books and paper books and distribute them to a global audience.
We also hope to conduct reading and writing training workshops that aim to develop students literacy skills. These workshops will serve as platforms on which we not only train students to master the basics of writing but also expose them to opportunities in the the world of literature.
We are excited to be launching our essay competition from 15 February to 20 March at Ndanga High School. In addition, we hope to renovate our first library, the Ndanga High Library, in July 2013.