Karikoga Project in Zimbabwe SDG EN

 

Karikoga Project in Zimbabwe

Joaquín Béjar, Manuel Ogalla, Ana Estévez

Claretian-Fatima Team. Zimbabwe

 

Karikoga means in the local language "the one who is small and alone". This project offers accompaniment and support to children orphaned by HIV/AIDS or who are in a situation of serious vulnerability, in order to guarantee their right to education and improve their integral development. 

 

The St. Vincent de Paul Conferences and the Claretian Missionaries have been promoting karikoga for 13 years. The project supports families by covering, on the one hand, expenses generated by schooling, specifically tuition, uniforms, didactic material, school supplies, transportation, a meal; and, on the other hand, education, training, and counseling on security, legality, health and education issues.  Approximately 200 minors are served.

2020-21 Pandemic outbreak

The school year started late due to the confinement during the months of January and February, which has affected the school calendar in all trimesters. 

 

It has not been possible to develop all the planned activities, although visits to families were made during the months of January and February, especially the latter when the confinement measures were relaxed.  Workshops have been held with the Legal Guardians of the orphans, in four main areas: LEGAL, HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND SAFETY, with wide participation of the Guardians.

 

In these workshops, the volunteers explain the "Education Changes Lives" Program, where it comes from, what is the main objective and the activities that are carried out, and what is expected from the legal guardians in terms of safety, health, education, and obtaining legal papers for children participating in the project. The usual meetings between volunteers and the ongoing training course have been held to improve skills and tools for project management.

There is a major concern about access to the right to education for girls, especially orphans. Girls are often left at home doing household chores and taking care of younger siblings. Although the number of child marriages has decreased, they continue to occur and it is feared that they may increase again. Orphaned girls are often the ones who require the most follow-up and care, as they suffer abuse because they do not have their parents, and their legal guardians are not capable of accompanying them or do not know how to do so.

Women, within the families caring for the orphans, who for various reasons did not have access to education when they were children, look with admiration and motivate the orphans more, making them realize the importance of taking advantage of this opportunity to access education. Some of them have even considered resuming their primary or secondary studies within the programs offered by the primary and secondary schools.

 

Joaquín Béjar, Manuel Ogalla, Ana Estévez

Claretian-Fatima Team. Zimbabwe




 

Comments