Mambanje Community is one of the most remote communities in the greater Hwange area but also in very close proximity to the National Park, making it a very vulnerable community with regards to human/animal conflict. We embarked on a large range of grassroots development projects with the community in 2013 including improving the grade 7-pass rate of the school (which went from 0% in 2012 to 15% in 2013). Already the school is realizing these benefits with all classrooms now having doors, keeping the livestock out of the classrooms and meaning they can now secure their materials, 120 window’s were also repaired and each classroom has received new furniture that that each child has a desk and chair to work on. Our aim for 2014 is to assist the school and community with building adequate accommodation for teachers, building another classroom block so that each grade has its own classroom, building a road to the community and school and in partnership with Elefence International, installing a solar pump for the borehole which is currently not productive with a hand pump and at the same time providing the school with solar power for the classrooms and the teachers accommodation.
Once the school has a safe and reliable water source, they can also pursue other projects such as nutrition gardens and will also means that they can attract permanent teachers as currently teachers are only on one-term contracts, making it very challenging for the school to maintain any kind of sustainable development.