1. Changing The Cycle of Poverty & Education
Conventional wisdom holds that education is the way out of poverty. However, when we look at the barriers standing between many Zimbabwean children and a good education, we find that many have their roots in the very poverty which we hope education will eradicate.
Poverty inhibits both a child’s access to education and their attainment when in education. This vicious cycle keeps many children in poverty and out of school. ZET recognises that the barriers which prevent Zimbabwean children from a accessing a full and high quality education are found both inside and outside of the classroom.
This ‘dual focus’ runs through all of our work. We aim to help improve material conditions within the Zimbabwean education system and to improve socio-economic conditions for children and young people in their lives outside of education. In doing so we can transform the “vicious cycle” into a “virtuous cycle” – one which helps keep children in school and out of poverty.
2. Genuine Community Ownership
Sustainable development cannot occur unless individual communities take ownership of the process. We believe that this ‘ownership’ is not something which can be inspired from outside or imposed from above.
For that reason, all of ZET’s work is done in partnership with existing grassroots organisations. They have full ownership of the work they carry out and they understand the challenges facing their local communities more fully than we ever could from our base in the UK.
Our role is to support their work through:
We help organisations to access funding which is not available to them in Zimbabwe.
We provide professional support through help with project planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. This support is important because it helps improves the quality of services provided and – vitally – it allows local development workers to spend more time actually delivering these services.
We are able to bring together different organizations working with Zimbabwean children. In the future, we plan use this network to bring about increased collaborative working, peer evaluations, and shared learning.
IF YOU GIVE ME A FISH YOU HAVE FED ME FOR A DAY. IF YOU TEACH ME TO FISH THEN YOU HAVE FED ME UNTIL THE RIVER IS CONTAMINATED OR THE SHORELINE SEIZED FOR DEVELOPMENT. BUT IF YOU TEACH ME TO ORGANIZE, THEN WHATEVER THE CHALLENGE I CAN JOIN TOGETHER WITH MY PEERS AND WE WILL FASHION OUR OWN SOLUTION.RICARDO LEVINS MORALES