Africa is a land of many sound, rhythms and colors.  People here dance to the rhythm and the beat of the drum …. and they even dance to rhythms they cannot hear.  Africa is a great continent full of people of all colors.  It’s a proud mother who loves her children. But it is the kids who usually suffers the most.  African children are more likely than children in the rest of the world to grow up malnourished, without an education, and affected by conflict and HIV/AIDS.  Stats are scary – with more than 140 000 000 kids in sub-Saharan Africa living in extreme poverty.  And although children here face some of the most challenging circumstances we believe in helping them to DREAM BIG.   War and poverty have destroyed most dreams here in the bush.  And although many of us manage to dream achievable dreams many of our kids don’t even have a dream.

STATS:  175 children out of every 1 000 dies before they reach their 5th birthday.  We have 200 000 child slaves in Africa.  120 000 kids involved in armed conflicts.  Nearly one third of children in sub-Saharan Africa are underweight.  Between 12 – 14 million kids have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS.  Only 57 % of African children are enrolled in primary education and 1 in 3 of those does not complete school.  For every 100 boys there are only 83 girls enrolled at primary school.
STATS:  World Bank/UNICEF/Africa 2015

That is why we make sure that every kid who joins our bush schools has the opportunity to DREAM BIG.  We don’t have businesses in the bush and the chance to find a job here is about 0 % – but we found ways to help our kids dream through:

  • Exposing them to excellence and serving in their communities;
  • Starting a ‘Buddy Project’ where they have the opportunity to see some of our ministries working eg. mechanics, teaching, health workers, administration workers, orphan care, agriculture and many other areas where we specialise in;
  • Teaching them various skills;
  • Entrepreneurial opportunities and teaching them the basic principles of ‘business’;
  • Emphasis on character.
Our bush schools have become ‘Dream Centres’ where we go the extra mile.  At the end of the year we invite parents and the community to share in those dreams as we celebrate the achievements of their kids at our schools.  Here is a few pictures to share in the occasion.

LEFT:  Sport Woman of the year award.  We have spend a lot of time making sure girls are part of our educational process and have the right to basic education until 16 years of age.

Joao Benjamim (suit and tie) opens the day with prayer.  Joao Feniasse (left) is the school principal and acted as the master of ceremonies.
There were a lot of prizes for the annual school closing event where we celebrated the achievements of our school kids.  First prize – Grade 4 was a mountain bicycle.
A colorful picture in the bush.  Our school has grown tremendously the last few years which meant we do not have all the facilities to gather inside a hall.  The sun was fierce but the expectation and contagious excitement kept everyone pinned to their seats.

Time to receive their certificates and prizes with proud parents watching.
Little Chimboma has an interesting story.  Her mom is a old widow who is raising 4 kids on her own in the bush.  She somehow manages to spend a lot of quality time with her kids.  All of her kids has shown that they can academically achieve top spots in their class.  Little Chimboma was the top student in 2010 and followed that up with a great 2nd in her class in 2011 for academical achievements.
CLASS OF 2000.  It was great to see old students who we taught and completed their studies in our Primary bush school.  Many of them are parents and are sending their infants to the same school where they graduated.  Many of these kids started under a tree with us as we had no facilities at that time.  Left:  Dwight and Lynn Lagore (Canada),  Right:  Joao Benjamim and Francois Rauch (Mozambique and South Africa) with the rest of our old students.

Dwight Lagore and Francois Rauch handing over gifts to the top achievers.  The ‘bubbles’ you see on the foreground was the idea of our school teachers.  Lets call it:  “side effects” since we don’t have dry ice in 40 degree temperatures the teachers felt the students should be treated with bubbles to make them feel extra special.  I laughed so hard at the gesture …. but everyone enjoyed it thoroughly.
FIRST PRIZE – Grade 4 top student receiving his bicycle ( with our ‘bubble making team’ working hard).

Sinambale Paradzai (teacher Grade 2 and 3) getting to the highlight of the day.  RESULTS for the end year exams being shared with the parents.  Will I make it or will I have to ……. (well you know what!)