By Trust Rukwava
A Taiwan humanitarian aid organization, Tzu Chi foundation on Wednesday officially commissioned two classroom blocks at Murerekwa Primary school in Zaka to improve learning conditions for pupils who had been facing challenges of inadequate classrooms after their school was destroyed by Cyclone Idai a few years ago.
TZU Chi through a strategic partnership with local Ward 13 Councilor, Manfred Mada, constructed two blocks to ease overcrowding of pupils in the few classrooms block that survived the wrath of Cyclone Idai.
Some were also relieved from learning in the open and under trees.
Speaking at the colourful ceremony that was graced by government officials, local councilors and members of the community, Cllr Mada applauded the Tawanian organization for rescuing hundreds of pupils.
“The two blocks were funded by my partners Tzu Chi foundation from Taiwan, I provided labour, pit-sand and river sand. All the materials were bought by Tzu Chi. The first block had been destroyed by Cyclone Idai while the second was old and seemed to be a death trap for learners so we had to demolish it and rebuild.” said Mada.
In statement sent at the commissioning ceremony, Tzu Chi Foundation said it was touched by the plight of vulnerable pupils whose learning conditions have been affected by the natural catastrophe.
“During the humanitarian aid relief program that Tzu Chi held in Zimbabwe, volunteers visited the school in Ward 8 Zaka, Masvingo Province. The children had to combine classes sometimes and in worst case scenarios they would learn under the scotching sun. Tzu Chi Foundation Trust Zimbabwe began the renovation for two blocks Tatanga and Tagona blocks.” Said the Foundation.
Zimbabwe experienced heavy rains in 2019 that resulted in destruction of infrastructure, loss of lives and livestock.
Murerekwa Primary School was also affected as rooftops were blown off from three of the school blocks Tatanga, Tagona and Tanaka.
The damages disrupted the learning environment for two hundred and thirty seven (237) children in Grade 1 (104), 2 (100) and 3 (33).
Murerekwa School Head Tobvesu Chidzurira, said the construction of the two blocks is a welcome development.
“Our school caters for a large catchment area from about fifteen villagers. We had faced challenges of blocks destroyed by Cyclone Idai and we feared for the safety of learners and teachers but with this donation I feel very happy and greatly honoured since teaching and learning is now done in a safe environment with the school having been beautified,” said Chidzurira.
Community leaders and parents of pupils it the school expressed gratitude over the gesture by the Taiwanians for serving their community in the education sector.
Zaka Ward 8 Councilor Tererai Tererai, applauded his fellow leader, Mada and his partners for prioritising the education sector in the district.
“After the school blocks were destroyed by Cyclone Idai, our colleague around for assistance to repair the blocks. He then approached a non-governmental organisation called Tzu Chi which agreed to help us with the repairs. We also thank them as they also drilled a borehole for the school” said Tererai.