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News and events

Materials for the sewing room have arrived!

There was great excitement as Joy, the project director in Zimbabwe, arrived at Mapane in the vehicle funded last year by Bright Future Trust. She was there to deliver the sewing machines and set up materials, funded by the Beatrice Project, to enable the textiles teacher to begin working with the girls to make the re-usable pads, chosen by some of them, to enable them to stay in school and complete their education.

Teachers, community leaders and elders and even the Kraal head (the highest authority in the village) along with all the girls, expressed in singing and in spoken words their heartfelt thanks to Ntombi Nto and to the Beatrice Project. Everyone was eager to unpack the delivery and examine all that Joy had brought and their delight was palpable as they discovered not only the two sewing machines but threads, fabric, scissors, chalk and pins, plus a lot more: Joy had thought of everything.

As she told them her story and explained how the project came to exist, Joy could see the impact her words were having. When she described how she and her former school teacher, (a young volunteer from England at the children’s home where Joy grew up) were now working together as Ntombi Nto and the Beatrice Project, there was loud applause. Then the Kraal head stood up to give his thank you speech. Joy tells us he ‘’talked to the girls, encouraging them to excel in school and see the example set before them…He paused, as if composing himself, and then he asked the girls …’Girls, would it shock you or concern you if I shed a few tears… because the story told by mamma (Mrs Khumalo) has touched me’. The girls said, ‘No, Khulu,’ meaning grandpa in Ndebele, so he continued by freely wiping his eyes and let the tears fall. In the African culture it is not heard of for a man to cry in public and even more so in front of women and girls….it warmed and touched all that were in the school room.’’

Apart from the obvious difference the creation of the sewing room is going to make to the girls, it will also raise the status of the school itself. This could mean that it achieves the standards necessary for it to be somewhere public exams can be taken. Instead of having to travel 35 km from their homes, leaving in the dark to walk on isolated and sometimes dangerous tracks through the bush to a registered school to sit exams, the girls can now look forward to the possibility of sitting their exams at their own school!

Thank you to all our donors: you really are making a difference!