Determined to Develop has 48 residential youth who live on Maji Zuwa’s campus full time. These young people live with us for different reasons. Some are orphans without family. Others are from struggling households in the local community, many from single-mother headed homes, and they and their mother want a structured environment with electricity for studying, rules for staying on track, and support and guidance from our staff. Many are from households where they were being raised by elderly grandparents. All are disadvantaged in some way.
On September 3rd, D2D welcomed the guardians or parents of all of the residential sponsored youth and held a two-day meeting to update and introduce everyone to the D2D’s residential sponsorship program. The meeting saw over 50 guests and local chiefs come together for a day of interaction with D2D staff and village leaders.
D2D is not an island and this time allowed us to emphasize our partnership with existing families. The aim of the meeting was to interact with guardians, get to know them better and make sure they knew us well, strengthen the relationship between D2D and parents/guardians, update them on how individual youth are doing, and talk about how best D2D staff members together with parents/guardians can build the residential sponsored youth’s careers. During this meeting, the sponsored students, parents and guardians and local chiefs were given information about the updated rules and regulations, criteria, school objectives and expectations of residential sponsored youth. Often, parents and guardians rarely have time to talk to their children about school progress, hence D2D wanted to re-emphasize the importance of parent’s role of enforcing and encouraging their children to work hard in school.
Parents and guardians had a tour of D2Ds office, the residential youth house and a communal evening meal. The parent open day came two days before the start of school term and for many students it was a nice time to catch up with their parents and guardians before starting school. D2D staff loved interacting with the parents and guardians during social time, and sponsored youth proudly showed their visitors around.
After a big family meal in the evening, local village headman made a speech emphasizing the appreciation of D2D in the provision of parental care, school fees and learner support. Parents, guardians, and chiefs were happy to interact with their children and D2D staff members during and after a family dinner which is always taken on Saturdays. During this time parents and guardians gave advice to their children and promised to work hand in hand with D2D staff members to provide support in raising the residential sponsored youth through advice, counseling and guidance.
We thank attendees for their continued collaboration and support of the program. D2D would like to thank all of our supporters and donors too. As an organization which relies on donor funding to continue carrying out our mission, any and all support is received with thanks and appreciation.
Tawonga chomene (We thank you)!