We’ve got 3 weeks left in our school year. So many exciting things! We’ve got virtual graduation celebrations planned, end of the year wrap-ups, and other plans.
On another note, I’ve been looking into awesome people already doing many things I’d like to do more of:
This is such an awesome organization. I’ve seen their work up close. The number one thing I appreciate about ADRA Zimbabwe is their goal is to empower the people they help. When I visited a couple years back, they were doing amazing work of teaching some people to create candles, peanut butter, and other things to sell. That way, once the people learned the trades, they were better able to support themselves and their families. Incredible.
I love the model of empowering a community, to empower a school. My ideal model of the future school I will build will be one that is connected to the community in intentional ways. Classes during the day for students, evening classes for parents for different trades and skills.
KrochetKids was founded by a group of Californian guys.
I’ll keep exploring, and keep getting inspired 🙂
I have been going at breakneck speed for like 6ish/7 weeks now.
It’s bad when NOT feeling like you’re going to pass out is the new “relaxed”.
That being said, I sometimes say, I know when I’m at a good pace when I take time to indulge in a podcast episode. Not an audiobook (which I love – but aren’t really my idea of leisure), not Netflix (which is my version of numbing my brain), no, podcasts are literally my JAM. Love them. Looooove them.
That being said, yesterday and today, I listened to “How I Built This”. Both episodes really got my attention. You may argue a podcast is like an audiobook, meh.
I just know, hearing about how other founders got their start – whether it’s in business, social entrepreneurship, or nonprofit work, lights a fire inside of me.
Anyway, the weekend is coming! Yay!
Back in 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2019, I planned several small and big projects in Zimbabwe.
Re-winding for those of you who don’t know much about me, HI! I’m Vimbo! I’m a Zimbabwean-American an educator, and I spend my days leading an elementary school as a Principal in America. It’s really a lot of communicating with people, asking what they need, making sure students’ needs are being met, and OH, of course, VIDEO meetings (thanks Zoom and Microsoft Teams).
I grew up here, but in 2014 when I graduated from college, my heart really wanted to make a difference, specifically in education, in my birth country of Zimbabwe.
And then, I was 23 years old when I did my first solo international trip, fundraised for money to dig a borehole well at a high school in a rural town in Zimbabwe. Now, almost 6 years later, I’m itching to continue!
Here’s a real recap of things:
2014: PRETTY VERSION – I did a book drive, that started at my college graduation party to get books for an elementary, high school, and college campus in Zimbabwe
- REAL-LIFE VERSION – shipping books is a nightmare! – VERY MESSY. It took over a year and a half, but eventually, through quite literally miraculous means, the over 2,000 books ended up in Zimbabwe, in the schools! Worth it, absolutely worth it.
2015 & 2017: PRETTY VERSION – Two solo trips to Zimbabwe in June 2015 & June 2017/projects at Hwata High School for borehole (well) for water, installing running water, etc. Met and worked with some amazing people on the ground. Amazing friends, family members, churches, STRANGERS, gave over $15,000 over two trips to make this happen. I still can’t believe this really happened.
- REAL-LIFE VERSION – A lot of wins, a lot of really frustrating setbacks. I mean pre-trip, during the trip, after the trip. Some things seemed insurmountable at the time. I shed tears guys, tears. Months of working in the day, and staying up at night to email or research or ask people who KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING to help me. But yall, people are drinking WATER. WAAAAATER. Worth it. Absolutely worth it. (pictured below – the girls’ bathrooms, and the drilling process)
2019: PRETTY VERSION – A research trip to Zimbabwe to plot out what’s next. I set my eyes on fundraising to get elementary kids bikes, because, I mean, who wants 5 and 6-year-olds to have to wake up at 5am to walk 3.5 miles to school?
- REAL-LIFE VERSION – It’s still a dream. On paper. Where do we go from here?
I believe that reflecting on the past is a good start.
2020: Dreams – bikes, and distance learning, and wifi, and computers. Stay tuned!
Sometimes I sit and think about when I feel most like myself, like “me”. I recently took the Ennegram (Test) and discovered that I’m a Type 3…the ACHIEVER.
(Side-note: I actually think I may be a 1, but that’s another blog post for another day).
If you are REALLY bored and have some time, listen to this super insightful podcast all about “Threes”, or “Achievers”/”Performers”. You’re welcome.
That being said, one thing I value, whether I’m a “three” or not, is doing things, because they can be done, and because it’s important to help others.
Those are a lot of different thoughts.
Anyway, I feel like me when I’m speaking.
I miss traveling and sharing about educational inequality.
It is HARD work fundraising and posting and researching non-profit work and scheduling trans-continental phone calls (coordinating timezones) and writing letters…really, emails, who are we kidding!…but many many many emails.
Hard work I miss.
So here we are.
I have a lot of weird thoughts, like if the world as we know is ending, and a new world is beginning after this pandemic, now is as good a time as ever to figure out how to make an impact on the world.
On making education accessible for everyone.
Especially the most vulnerable.
Especially young girls.
I want to do the bike thing! I met kids, last summer, who walk 3.5 miles both ways to school every day.
Of course, now they aren’t in school. Many don’t have the capability to do distance learning.
So here we are.
What do we do, guys?
And by thinking, I mean, going to sleep.
One of my paintings turned out pretty rough.
No amount of YouTube “painting for beginners” could turn these blobs into an actual sunset.
So that’s not the point.
What a weird day, week, month.
Not bad weird.
Like a “what is the meaning of life” weird.
So I used to think anything was possible.
I used to think that I could grow up and build schools in Zimbabwe and fundraise and provide bikes for kids so they don’t have to walk miles to school.
Being a principal right now in this pandemic and helping transition to distance learning and teaching middle-schoolers math online has made my heartache. Because in some places, distance learning isn’t a thing.
Kids just aren’t learning.
My heart and my head and my everything senses are tingling.
This one actually turned out ok tonight. Yay oil painting 🙂
14 months. It’s been 14 months since YOU – anyone who donated, supported, prayed for me – helped me go to Zimbabwe and dig a borehole (or well for water) for the students and community of Hwata Secondary School.
I’m grateful for the money donated for the 2015 project (over seven-thousand dollars). This money has gone to good use – thousands of residents of Muzarabani NOW drink clean water everyday thanks to generous people like you. So thank you.
…But one borehole isn’t enough. It’s a great start, but there is still MORE to be done.
With your help, I’m going back to Zimbabwe this December.
It’s not going to be cheap, but here’s the good news.
If WE (you and me, we) do this right, we can turn Hwata Secondary School into a self-sustaining, stable school that will lead to other schools and projects being helped.
The students of Hwata need more water.
The students of Hwata need a garden.
Perhaps most importantly, the students of Hwata need hope.
I haven’t forgotten them.
I hope you haven’t either.
Founder of TineVimbo Inc.