Advocating for Education

Reading clubs will benefit rural students like these young students in Riverdale community.

Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore, get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. – Proverbs 4:6-7

Zimbabweans value education, and the country once boasted one of the highest literacy rates in Africa.  Most parents in Zimbabwe aspire for their children to achieve a high school or even university education; however, students must pay for primary and secondary school, even public school, and, in a broken economy, many families struggle to afford the fees.  As a result, many good students must drop out in high school.  In addition, most schools struggle simply to pay teacher salaries, resulting in overcrowding and a lack of resources in many schools.

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai

Noah’s FARM is advocating for education in several ways:

  1. Student Scholarships
  2. School Textbooks
  3. Reading Clubs
  4. Ascot Community College

1. Student Scholarships

The first education goal of Noah’s Farm is to open the doors of opportunity for good students to continue their education and build their future.  These students have lofty goals and dreams—to help their community and country through medicine, engineering, environmental work, teaching, and preaching, but costs of tuition and uniforms can get in the way.  You can help provide a scholarship to a primary student, a secondary student, or a university student.  To date, Noah’s Farm supporters have helped over 50 students.

Three members of local Nazarene churches recently completed their certifications as teachers. They will help in our goal to establish school in Gweru.

One of our students lived in a simple two-room house in Gweru. After the support of Noah’s FARM through primary and secondary school, she is now a top student in medical school at the University of Zimbabwe!

2. School Textbooks

Zimbabwe’s state curriculum is comprehensive; however, teachers struggle to have the basic supplies to teach.  In many cases, there might be only one textbook for 10 students.  As Noah’s Farm serves low income rural communities, we want to come alongside teachers and help to provide supplies and in-classroom support.  You can join us by becoming a member of “The Book of the Month” club!

Les Thomsen presenting textbooks to teachers at Riverdale Primary School

Even with new textbooks, learners at Riverdale Primary face many challenges, such as classroom shortages.

3. Reading Clubs

Reading is fundamental, but most communities in Zimbabwe have no libraries, and students are often prohibited from taking books home.  In addition, students lose progress during school holidays and temporary closures.  Building on the idea that rural churches can bless communities in many ways, Noah’s FARM is developing “Reading Clubs” in the communities where we are working.  A library in a box will be housed in our rural parsonages, and churches will host open times when members of the congregation can work with students learning to read and preparing for exams.  Your donations ear-marked for “Reading Clubs” can help us increase literacy and school success in numerous rural communities.

Children exploring books that Noah's FARM printed from the African Storybook website.

Pastor Baruka having fun preparing for a rural reading club story time at his church.

4. Ascot Christian College (ACC)

There is a shortage of high schools in Zimbabwe, and the overcrowded schools that exist have a student to teacher ratio of 80:1.  The final dream that Reverend Noah Sibanda shared with us was the vision of building a new high school in the Ascot township in Gweru.  His dream was for this facility to not only offer affordable, high-quality education, but to also offer services to the community, such as adult education, a source of water and solar electricity, and a place for churches and other community groups to meet.  Addressing a huge need in the city, Gweru’s mayor and city council members are hugely supportive of the ACC project.

Generous donations have allowed us to near the completion of the first of four classroom buildings, and our investment in teacher training means that, as donations allow completion of ACC, well-qualified staff will be available to offer an excellent educational experience.  Join us as we complete Pastor Noah’s dream—Ascot Community College!

Reverend Noah truly had a vision of how ACC could benefit many people. One of our Noah's FARM students is currently working on her Ph.D. in education, with a hope of become headmaster at ACC!

The mayor of Gweru joined us for the ground-breaking of Ascot Christian College in 2019.

The first classroom building at ACC will reach completion in 2022. The building will also serve the local community and Ascot Church of the Nazarene.