It is a brisk winter’s morning in Chezhou Community situated in the Dete Cluster of Villages in Zimbabwe. You can hear the students arriving before seeing their cheerful faces. The cool air carries their songs and laughter as the five Primary Schools of the Dete cluster arrive to the Community Center, to acknowledge and celebrate World Environment Day 2015 – Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume With Care.
This yearly event held by African Bush Camps Foundation in partnership with Painted Dog Conservation, is much anticipated by the children from the various schools and they put a lot of work into the presentations that they were to make on the day.
The schools in attendance were Mambanje Primary, Chezhou Primary, Sir Roy Primary, Main Camp Primary and St Francis Primary. It is a special day not only to see how the children interpret the theme and what their understanding is of the World Environment and conservation as a whole, but also for the children to get together and mingle with their neighboring communities and have some good fun.
Once all the schools were in attendance a prayer was said and everyone sang the Zimbabwean National Anthem. Mrs Sibanda, a Business Community Leader, did the Welcome and Mr Masuku from African Bush Camps Foundation did the introductions before the members of Ingonyama, a local entertainment group did their speech and performance.
The Litter Clean Up of the Chezhou Business center then commenced and all the Students went around picking up papers and we then planted 3 trees that will be taken care of and nurtured by the Business Community Leaders. The members of Ingonyama, Painted Dog Centre and the Adults all got involved in the proceedings and assisted the children.
We all then walked across to the Chezhou Primary School where the main part of the day was to be held. Everyone sat under some gorgeous Acacia Trees and the Headmaster Mr Gumbo welcomed the visitors to his School. Mr DJ Nyathi then did a very invigorating speech on World Environment Day and the Conservation of our earth.
The presentations then started where the various schools displayed their Banners that they had made, the boys and girls gave wonderful Poems reflecting the theme of the day. The Drama/Skits that the children did were so good and had everyone in the audience laughing, listening and taking note. All the schools then sang their World Environment day songs that they had created and the presentations were wrapped up with ample applause. The judges provided by PDC had a difficult task at hand selecting the placings and in the end Main Camp Primary and St Francis came tie 1st, Sir Roy was 2nd, Mambanje was 3rd and Chezhou came 4th. A really fantastic effort was made by all the children and their teachers and we applaud you all. The winners received prizes in the form of stationary and trees to plant at their schools.
Rutendo and Terrence, who are both on the High School Scholarship program with African Bush Camps Foundation, came along and assisted with all aspects of the day. Giving back to the community, they have both been spending a lot of time assisting at Main Camp Primary where they both went to school. Rutendo assisted the children with their Poetry presentations and Terrence worked on the children’s drama which came first in their category. They were both so proud of the children that they had worked with.
The Master of Ceremony, Mr Phiri wrapped up the day with a vote of thanks and a prayer.
A huge thank you goes to our partners Mr. DJ Nyathi and the Painted Dog Conservation Team, without your assistance the day would not have been such a success. Thank you to Mr Gumbo of Chezhou Primary for hosting all the schools and the members of Chezhou for a tasty lunch. Thank you to the Local Leadership, Mrs. Sibanda for your participation and to the Forestry for providing the trees. We thank Ingonyama for their wonderful singing and dancing and for their participation in the day and to the ZRP police for ensuring a peaceful event.
Most of all thank you to all the children for your sterling efforts.