Chris and Barney’s outstanding charity work in Zimbabwe

May 3, 2022

Two kind-hearted Sixth Form students at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools have visited primary schools, coached sport and trained with an anti-poaching unit in southern Africa.
Chris and Barney hand-delivered textbooks, stationery, clothing, toys and equipment and took part in school renovation work in Zimbabwe.
The friends, both aged 17, spent 10 days volunteering with the Hwange Schools Project, which aims to improve literacy levels and support schools in the Tsholotsho District of Zimbabwe.
Barney and Chris were delighted to meet people in villages across an extensive rural area and delivered much-needed items, the majority of which had been donated by Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools.
The Hwange Schools Project has multiple ongoing initiatives, including supplying textbooks, teacher training workshops, classroom renovations, supporting orphaned and vulnerable children, and helping towards the construction of a clinic.
Chris said: “The Zimbabwean people we met were so very welcoming, industrious and generous, but the area is devastatingly poor.
“The area has few resources, little government support, constant threats of elephant damage to subsistence farming, drought and Covid-19 crippling any chance of tourist income. Some children walk up to 12 miles a day to attend school, often barefooted.”
Barney said: “The pay of teachers has dropped by 90% over the last five years, being linked to the fall in the Zimbabwean dollar.
“Many families cannot afford to pay required school fees and young children are often needed to mind cattle.
“It was a humbling and overwhelming experience for us to meet the local community, learn about their culture and to see the desperately hard circumstances they face.”
The two Year 12 students took part in a sports academy initiative, introducing local children to sport with Barney leading a rugby training session.
They trained with the anti-poaching unit, were involved in school renovation work and ran craft workshops with children.
Barney and Chris would like to thank everyone who supported their venture with the Hwange Schools Project.
They also gave special thanks to Mr Mark Tamplin and the Sports Department for donating drink carousels and team training tops, Mr Nick Meek, the Head of Geography at Monmouth School for Girls, for providing a large quantity of geography textbooks, and Monmouth Prep School and parents for donating 40 book bags.
The 40 book bags were filled with stationery and handed to one of the poorest village primary schools in the area.
Chris and Barney are planning to continue with their fund-raising efforts for the charity and intend to make a new appeal soon.