Chikomborero Chiona is a 46 year old woman with 6 Children. She lives with her husband Norman Jimu in Hopley Harare. She and her husband are both HIV positive and are on the Anti retro viral Drug. Before Chikomborero became a member of the WLSA empowerment circle groups, she was on separation with her husband, unemployed and did not have any income to send her children to school. She survived on donation from relatives. She tried vending but it was not viable and could not manage her livelihood. In 2010 Chikomborero received Legal rights education trainings which included human rights and Rights based approach trainings from WLSA .She became a WLSA empowerment circle member and belongs to Gracious empowerment circle group. The Gracious empowerment circle is one among other groups that received raw materials for cobra making materials. Mrs Jimu and her other group members managed to start ISALs from the proceeds of selling Cobra. In 2015 Mrs Jimu realized that most children in her community were not going to school either because parents could not afford to pay for their children and or because the government was not offering and was not able to offer education services for children from poor families and vulnerable families.
Mrs Jimu clearly articulates that the Rights Based Approach trainings she received from WLSA gave her the courage and the confidence to approach the local authorities and explain to them how most children’s rights to education were being infringed in the Hopley Community. She stated that children were not going to school, families are poor and are not able to pay school fees but the government is not doing anything to cater for these marginalized people. However she decided to start her own school to cater for these children and not wait for the local authorities to do so. Mrs Jimu visited the Ministry of Education and gave them her complaint she also gave them her proposal to start a school in Hopley that would cater for the poor. She reports that The Ministry of Education encouraged her to start the school and they admitted that the government was not able to fund for all children. She was given the syllabus for primary school children and was told to proceed to start her school.
Her lack of adequate funds to buy land to build the school prompted her to accommodate these children in her home whilst fundraising to buy land and build the school on better and bigger grounds. She used funds from her ISALs and cobra making project to build one block that the school is currently using. She named her school Shillow college .She has managed to enroll 68 students with 36 girls and 32 boys in her school from grade 1 to Grade 7 and she employed 6 teachers. The headmaster of the school attained his Teaching Degree from the University of Zimbabwe. Mrs Jimu plans to build a school that accommodates many more children. She has since made good relations with the District Administrator and the ward Councillors for Hopley Community. She says this will give her leverage to attain land to build her school.
She is grateful for the WLSA trainings “I would have never been this confident and assertive if it was not for the Rights Based Approach trainings I received from WLSA. Thank you WLSA.”
Grade 5 pupils during a lesson