NEWS

MAIDEN TRIP FOR LITTLE STARS2010-04-08

SEED facilitated the first ever trip - a tour of Harare International Airport and the Mukuvisi Woodlands wildlife reserve - for the Little Stars (Goromonzi) pre-school in August 2009.

When SEED trustee Jon Canessa visited the pre-school in July 09 he was struck by the teachers " how hardworking and dedicated to the children they were " and by the value the children and their families gave to education as something treasured, that brings standing, freedom and a way forward. It was money donated by Jon's church St Andrew's Church, Impington (Cambs) that made the trip possible."

The children of Little Stars (a pre-school which SEED helped to set up) are mostly orphans from very poor families. They tend to live either with their grannies, members of their extended families or in child headed families. Most of them had never been outside Goromonzi before. Their locality was the only place they knew.

The pre-school teachers observed that the children's thinking was very limited because of their environment. They therefore felt that introducing the children to a 'different world' would open their minds to new possibilities. The children had seen aeroplanes fly overhead but had never seen one up close or been to the airport before. Neither had their guardians or even the pre-school teachers themselves! Most tourists to Zimbabwe have seen the game for which it is famous, but these local children, who live so close, had not. At Mukuvisi Woodlands, a small park in Harare, they were able to experience a whole range of flora and fauna for the first time.

Highlights of the airport visit included parking in the VIP car park, visiting the viewing platform to see planes landing and taking off, asking questions, and getting up close to a broken down aircraft. At the game park the children were taken for horse rides and game viewing animals included giraffes, impalas, zebras, kudus, crocodiles, ostriches some at very close range! Children raised questions and the tour guide answered in ways they could understand.

SEED Projects Manager Robert Kazunga remarks; "On the way back to Goromonzi the kids had lots and lots of stories! They were talking to each other about the things that they saw and experienced. Joy and happiness was written all over their faces. When I finally dropped them home, the kids broke into song and dancing which attracted people from the neighbourhood. I would like to conclude that the difference that this trip made to these kids' lives is quite huge. What these kids learnt and experienced will continue to inspire them for the rest of their lives. My sincere gratitude to Jon and his church for affording the kids and their teachers to have such a fantastic experience."

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