For the over 800 students and 22 teachers at St. Mary's Primary in Zimbabwe, partnership with Grand Circle Foundation has meant literally refurbishing the school from the ground up.

We have built new teacher housing, classrooms, a library and computer lab and of course toilets. Once the buildings were done we were able to add solar panels to provide electricity for lights and fans.  We also constructed a fence around the school to protect the children from both animals and traffic along the busy road.  The classrooms and library were stocked with books and desks and to encourage reading from an early age we created a special reading corner just for the younger children.  Once the school was fenced in, the garden could be brought back to life since the community livestock were no longer coming in to nibble.

The land here is extremely rocky & farming is difficult but the school wanted a garden to benefit their agricultural curriculum & eco-club program.  We funded the tools necessary to start their own gardens. Supplies included shovels, forks, rakes, wheelbarrows, watering cans, shade cloth & vermiculture worms which would be used to start up an Eco-Composting facility.

As a conservation effort that focuses on poverty alleviation, the Eco-Composting Project teaches conservation-based and cost-effective food production practices at a household level, with the potential to expand these activities to earn extra income.

We also installed a solar-powered water pump along with water storage tanks at the existing borehole to provide drinking water on tap for the students along with irrigation for the garden, and to protect the garden and students from the animals in the area we constructed a fence around the school’s perimeter.

Covid and the lack of tourism hit Zimbabwe and the Victoria Falls area particularly hard, where 90% of local income is tourism related.  Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we were able to have ongoing food support programs at several schools that kept vulnerable children fed and safe from malnutrition during lockdown and now that schools reopened we’re keeping them fed with a breakfast program.

We are so pleased to announce that an additional borehole sponsored by GCF was dug at St Mary’s Primary School. With a water Diviner already having identified the location where the borehole is going to be most suitable, the drilling process is about to begin taking place. Due to an increase in enrollment at St Mary’s over the last two years and an increase in the water needed for domestic use by the school and the broader community for crop up-keep and livestock provision, the previous borehole was put under much pressure.

With this new borehole, approximately 1800 people will benefit from it, including most of those who live nearest to the school. This will help significantly with overall efficiency with day-to-day tasks and learning, as walking and waiting to collect water can often take hours out of a day for community members and students.