Oasis PSP (Pre-School Program), Zimbabwe
Orphans and vulnerable children in Southern and Eastern Africa face huge challenges to their safety, wellbeing and development, and education is critical to breaking the vicious cycle of poverty. In Zimbabwe, pre-school is a requirement for entry into primary education but there aren’t enough pre-school places available for all children. In many areas, the only pre-school available is too expensive for parents and guardians of vulnerable children to afford, which eliminates their chance of an education before they even start. Many vulnerable children in Zimbabwe are from households which are headed by young widows, grandmothers or the eldest sibling, who struggle to earn sufficient income to pay pre-school fees.
Together with Oasis, our local partner in Zimbabwe, we are tackling this crisis by empowering local churches to use their volunteers and facilities to set up free, high-quality pre-schools, for the most vulnerable children. This program enables thousands of orphans and vulnerable children, between the ages of three and six, to attend pre-school for free, giving them the opportunity to enter formal primary school education later, and have the start in life they need.
How we make a difference:
- We work closely with Oasis to understand the local context, to develop community-owned responses, and to share knowledge and solutions from other places where we operate.
- Together, we set up and run pre-schools which give children a safe place to play and learn while their parents and guardians can go out to work.
- We provide technical support and resources to the pre-schools, and we help the communities fund them themselves by assisting them to establish group income generating activities for sustainable income.
- We train parents, guardians and other caregivers to understand child rights and child protection issues.
- We run parenting clubs which offer parents and guardians a chance to meet regularly and receive training, mentoring and support.
- We establish village savings and loans associations as part of our Village Investors Program (VIP), which enables those looking after vulnerable children to pool their small resources and make business loans to each other, in order to earn a sustainable living and support children in their care better, and for longer.
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We are proud to be working with 27 project partners, across 217 communities, to support and empower young people for the long-term.