An update from Father Nicolas in Zimbabwe
Posted in Updates
9 December 2021
A letter from Father Nicolas in Zimbabwe: I should have left Zimbabwe a week ago but got caught by the new Covid restrictions. Well, being stuck in Zimbabwe in summer is no hardship and I am enjoying my enforced holiday while continuing with Tariro work. I have had a marvellous time meeting all the youngsters. Despite the disruption caused by Covid they are in good heart and moving forward. Here are some highlights:
In the rural areas there are now 6 boys and girls doing A level. They seem happy and confident they will do well. I am not quite so confident as I think Covid has had more of an impact than they realise. However, there are plans to get them all together as soon as their exams are over to talk about their futures. Rural kids have little idea of realities outside school. The hope is to introduce them to these and also show them that whatever results they get Tariro will stick with them and help them make the best choices. They deserve it.
Tadiwa, whose mother died last year just as he was about to do O levels, still got 9 As and 2 Bs and is now doing A levels in Maths, Physics and Chemistry, and doing them well.
Munashe, a bright but sorrowful little boy TFYP took on last year for secondary school, has grown confident and happy in the last 18 months. He has also discovered that carpentry and design is his favourite subject. This is good news since, instead of dreaming about becoming a pilot or a lawyer, he is already seeing himself as a carpenter. There is always work for a good carpenter in the rural areas.
Another new boy whom I met for the first time comes from a very unhappy and abusive home. His teacher told me he is very clever so I was able to tell the boy that if he does well enough in his exams he will be able to go to a good boarding school next year. The look of delight and determination on his face at this news was a joy for me. He now has hope of escape from his misery. Would any of you readers like to sponsor him? It would help us a lot and encourage him.
I had a lovely day with the youngsters at Tariro House in Harare. Two had just finished their degrees. Two have just got good jobs. I talked with each one and was delighted to find how much more confident they have grown. A kind English friend had given me some money for treats so we had a massive ‘braaivleis’ with amazing quantities of meat roasted on a fire by the boys. I was delighted to find Zimbabwean meat is as good as it ever has been.
As always, it’s hard to answer the question “How is Zimbabwe?” The weather is fantastic and the country is beautiful. If you have US dollars life can be very good. If you don’t have a decent job life is very hard. The government are inefficient and corrupt and help friends make vast amounts of money so Harare is increasingly defaced with huge mansions in the worst opulent taste. But the people I meet, the teachers, priests, domestic staff, religious sisters, and of course the young people we support, are good, honest, hard-working and fun. They show us what Zimbabwe can be.
Thank you for your support. Your donations help us transform the lives of these children. Have a lovely Christmas and keep in touch.
Nicolas Stebbing CR
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