HiH hosts inaugural schools competitions

Hand in Hand Zimbabwe on Friday held its inaugural schools’ competition, which ran concurrently in Chirumanzu and Shurugwi, as part of the organisation’s desire to equip students with knowledge and skills in motivation, health and entrepreneurship under its Motivated and Entrepreneurial Youth Project (MEY)

The competition, which ran under the theme “Building a motivated, healthy and entrepreneurial youth begins now”, attracted 15 schools in each district.

In Chirumanzu, Leopold Takawarira Secondary School took the first prize, followed by Hillview Secondary School and Siyahokwe Secondary school which came second and third, respectively, in the quiz competitions.

In the poetry competitions, Mukomberamwa Secondary School took the first prize, while Leopold Tawawira High school took the second and Driefontein High School the third.

In Shurugwi, Chironde Secondary school took the first prize , while Kushinga Secondary and Zviumwa Secondary took the second and third prize respectively in the quiz competitions.

In the poetry competitions in the  district, Kushinga Secondary took the first prize, Gato Secondary the second and Bokai the third prize.

On top of the trophies, winning teams walked away with stationery and prize money, which will go towards starting enterprises or scaling up of existing ones.

Other schools that did not make it to the podium also received consolation prices which included stationery and Hand in Hand Zimbabwe Star for life t-shirts.

Various stakeholders from Government Ministries, National Aids Council, Midlands Aids Service Organisation (MASO) and educationists were in attendance at the schools competitions.

Hand in Hand Zimbabwe MEY Project Coordinator Rejoyce Moyo said the schools competition is part of the Motivated Entrepreneurial Youth (MEY) learning project, where Hand in Hand works with schools and train students in entrepreneurship and health as a way of equipping them for the future.

“The competition component is a new initiative that came about through interactions we have had with school patrons who believe that for the students to remain motivated and interested in MEY activities, we should bring in an element of competition and rewards,” she said in an interview.

“After careful considerations we couldn’t think of a better way of testing the knowledge that we would have imparted into students, with regards to entrepreneurship, than a schools competition. Through the MEY Project students are trained in health, motivation and entrepreneurship, so there is a need that we  test the knowledge that they have gained through training sessions. This knowledge will be tested through quiz, poetry and drama competitions,” she said.

Chirumanzu Acting District Schools Inspector Bornface Chimbiya said the schools competition is a good initiative as it supports the National Schools’ curriculum.

He commended Hand in Hand Zimbabwe for the work it is doing in Chirumanzu and Shurugwi through the MEY project

“The work Hand in Hand Zimbabwe is doing is the first of its kind in our district, where schools are so involved, teachers and learners are given so much prominence, we haven’t had this kind of exposure for a long time in our districts and this thrust of the new curriculum is being immensely supported.

“Hand in Hand Zimbabwe is doing a wonderful peace of work which I would urge other organisations to emulate because the practical skills that our learners are acquiring will go a long way in enhancing what we are doing in the new curriculum,” he said.

Chimbiya added that the hands on approach being advocated by the programme equips students with practical skills they can apply to their daily lives, at school and in the community.

“That kind of impact is what the new curriculum is focusing on,” he said.

Chimbiya also said learners should be consistently exposed to the competition as it keeps them motivated to continue learning.

“Some of the students come from schools that are in remote areas and this opportunity to meet with colleagues a very important experience, the sharing of ideas and the moulding of friendships. I feel it should be done on a more regular basis,” he said.

Midlands Aids Service Organisation (MASO) Programmes manager Jabulani Mapingire said their partnership with Hand in Hand Zimbabwe on running the programme has been very fruitful.

“The project has greatly impacted lives of students as accurate information pertaining health, entrepreneurship and motivation is being disseminated.

“This has positioned these youngsters at the right place, as they are getting information at an early age before they even experiment, to a point that even when they want to experiment, they do with full knowledge of the consequences,” he said.

Deovelance Mpofu, a 16-year-old form four student at Driefontein, said she and 20 other Star-for-life club members under the MEY Project have managed to open a tuckshop at their school where they sell fresh chips and make profits of up to $2 000.

The Hand in Hand Project MEY project contributes to sustainable development in Zimbabwe through improving health awareness, motivating the youth to believe in themselves and providing entrepreneurial skills among students (13-18 yrs) and young adults (18-35 years) who are out of school.

The three-year project commenced in April 2017 and will end in March 2019. The project is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals 1, 3 and 17 and with UNAIDS 90-90-90 goal of eradicating HIV.

The MEY project contributes to sustainable development in Zimbabwe through Improving health awareness and entrepreneurial motivation among adolescents who attend school (15-18 years).  This is achieved by offering customized training to strengthen the school children self-confidence, motivation and hope for the future.

The training is based on health and motivational programs, combined with an inspiring introduction to the training in entrepreneurship. The project also aims at strengthening health awareness, self-esteem and motivation of the unemployed and disadvantaged young people (18-35 years) who are not in school. The project component targets the unemployed youth who dropped out of school, or find themselves in vulnerable situations.

These are mobilized into social and economic “Star Clubs” where they get a tailor- made training based on health and motivational programs and complete entrepreneurship training. The expected project outcomes are 1) An increase of young men and women’s (15-35 years) motivation and capacity to maintain good health and livelihoods and 2) An increase in strengthening health awareness, motivation and economic activity of young people who are not in school (unemployed and disadvantaged young people, 18-35 years).

This project is implemented in Shurugwi and Chirumanzu districts collaboratively with all the relevant Government of Zimbabwe Line Ministries, Arms and Departments. Three (3) strategic partners, Hand in Hand Zimbabwe, an enterprise development oriented organization, Midlands Aids Services Organisation (MASO) who have extensive experience in health awareness and Star for Life (South Africa) who are experts in motivation coordinate the project.

Hand in Hand Zimbabwe is a non-Profit organization that helps resource limited and marginalized people in rural communities, particularly women, to create better livelihoods for themselves and their families through its flagship series, the Jobs Creation Programme (JCP).

JCP encompasses a self-help approach that is premised on a four pillar model involving social mobilization into self-help groups (SHGs),training in entrepreneurship and economic development, facilitating access to microloans and facilitating market linkages and value addition.

Apart from the Jobs Creation Programme, the organisation has over the past three years incepted the Motivated and Entrepreneurial Youth (MEY) Project, Community Upliftment Project (CUP), Green Enterprises Project (GEP) and Jobs for Zimbabwe.

The organisation was registered as a non-profit trust in Zimbabwe in July 2015 and is presently supporting communities in seven districts namely Bulilima, Chikomba, Chirumanzu, Gwanda, Lupane, Nkayi and Shurugwi.

Hand Future Trust Zimbabwe is part of the HIH Network. The Network is a group of Hand in Hand organizations that have a global shared vision to alleviate poverty through job creation.