“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” – Plato
In Ngamo village, just outside the boundary of Hwange National Park, is a thriving primary school filled with the future leaders of Zimbabwe.
Tasimba’s Dangwe Clan, accompanied by Sue Goatley, Programme Coordinator from Children in the Wilderness, (CITW Zambezi Region), visited the village school in March 2016. As part of the Tasimba experience our Guests spent some quality time visiting both the nearby village and the school to see firsthand what living in a rural African community is like. CITW is a non-profit organisation supported by ecotourism company Wilderness Safaris, our partner at Linkwasha, to facilitate sustainable conservation through leadership development and education of rural children in Africa. The Children in the Wilderness programme is dedicated to environmental and life skills education for children, focusing on the next generation of decision-makers; inspiring them to care for and to become future custodians of their natural heritage.
Dressed in their maroon and yellow school uniforms, we were greeted at the gates of the Ngamo Primary School by the Grade 7 children, with wonderfully exuberant singing, dancing and drumming. The smiles on the faces of the children were reflected in the faces of our Tasimba members and set the tone for a heartwarming afternoon.
As a very special part of the Tasimba Experience, our Guests each sat at a classroom table with a group of 6 or 7 children and had the unique opportunity to answer rapid-fire questions from the kids about the world we live in and to learn more about their life in rural Africa. The exchanges were animated, informative and filled with peals of laughter as stories were told, questions were asked and connections made with these beautifully open, inquisitive minds.
Our members then presented to the teacher and Headmaster, highly valued gifts of flour, sugar and cooking oil which later would be turned into meals for all the children at the school. Then, while a tropical shower pelted down outside the brightly painted classroom walls, juice and snacks were served to the children by the Wilderness Safaris guide team. It was very moving to see some of the children putting their cookie into a pocket to share with younger siblings at home after school.
Ngamo Primary School is a perfect example of a part of the world that does so much with so little. Despite the absence of basic Western amenities like power and technology, the eagerness of the children to learn, the smiles on their faces, and the pride they have in their small rural school is truly humbling. From their classroom teachings to their playground equipment to their own vegetable garden they are delighted to share all that they have and know with complete strangers.
The Tasimba members left Ngamo deeply touched by the vibrant, open joyfulness and generosity which the children had shared with them. At the same time, there was a wistful awareness of a simpler life that we seem to have lost touch with in our complicated, materialistic lives back home.
As much as the children learned about life outside their village we too took away valuable reminders on the role of business leaders in our global community, the importance of education and ecological sustainability. Whether at home or half way around the world we all must focus today on nurturing and developing the next generation to be our responsible, caring leaders of tomorrow.
“Our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation. They will be the leaders of our country, the creators of our national wealth, those who care for and protect our people.” – Nelson Mandela