Education in Zimbabwe has been one of the successful policies that has been passed by the government. However many children continue to walk long distances to reach school every day. In Matabeleland South Province (Matobo District), most primary school children travel over 8 kilometres to reach for education. For Secondary education teenagers travel up to 20 kilometres to and from, for 5 days in a week.
As a measure to try and mitigate these problems, Sethule Orphans Trust has embarked on a Bicycle Project called Tshovel’imfundo in IsiNdebele native language, which translates to Ride for education. The project has since donated 20 bicycles to four schools (3 primaries and 1 secondary school) and is looking to donate to more schools. The project targets students who are more disadvantaged economically and socially but are academically promising or have good marks while living very far from school. It aims to lift the burden of walking long distance after a very long day of learning and to motivate the promising student to aim higher. It is also meant to encourage those who do not perform well to strive and do better as the bicycle is seen as an incentive of those who perform well.
The Tshovel’imfundo project has been in effect since January 2017. The community and schools support it by helping to protect the bicycles. The students themselves have improved in their performances and continue to display great responsibility in taking care of the bicycles. A goal of Sethule Orphans Trust is to continue to fund this important project so more children have better access to education.