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Giving children the gift of an education: Interview with Roseline Ndoro, Ndoro Children's Charities
Upenyu Makoni-Muchemwa, Kubatana.net
July 20, 2011

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Roseline NdoroRoseline Ndoro is the founder of Ndoro Children's Charities. She was born in Zimbabwe in September 1950. She has survived cancer and is in the final year of getting her degree in charity management. Ndoro Children's Charities was established after Roseline witnessed the overwhelming suffering of orphaned children in her community in Hwedza.

What motivated you to establish Ndoro Children's Charities?
I've always had a passion to help people. When I was growing up my father always used to talk about education. He used to say that without education we are lost in this world, and education would open doors for us. I was a good listener; I loved to hear his voice. Whenever he gave us school fees he would tell us that he couldn't leave us a big inheritance but the only thing he could give us was a good education. Listening as a child I didn't realise how big an impact those words would have on me. Having travelled and now living overseas, whenever I visit Zimbabwe I don't like to see people suffering. I am distressed when people tell me that they cannot send their children to school because they are unemployed. I've always tried to help where I can. Listen

What need did you see that you meet as a charity?
When I came in 2005, I hadn't been to Zimbabwe since my father passed away in 1994. My brother had come to London the year before, and he marvelled at the life we led there. In our discussions he shared the suffering that was happening in Zimbabwe. When I came in 2005 I was just crying. We went to Hwedza where we come from, visiting relatives and communities. My brother showed me so many graves of people I had known, many of whom had left behind children who were now being looked after by elderly people. I met a family that had lost three of their children and were looking after their five grandchildren. That really affected me, and when I returned to the UK I felt I needed to do something, to start my own charity. People told me to give money to UNICEF or to Save the Children and I said no, there have been so many charities in Africa, and the problems of Africa are not going away. I really wanted to start my own. Listen

How do you support orphans and vulnerable children?
Our plan is to sponsor children, and we have already been sponsoring children. We have found though, that we are not moving forward in Zimbabwe. We have some projects in Ghana, where we have volunteers who got to work with our orphans and it's moving very well. We also send volunteers to South Africa to work with the orphans there. In Zimbabwe, I wanted to register as a local private voluntary organisation, because I'm a local, and do the same thing, sponsoring children to attend school and build a school. We have been given land by Hwedza Rural District Council to build a school, so most of our money is earmarked for that. We wanted to cater for about 2000 children, starting with preschool all the way to secondary school, and even offer vocational training and help those who want to go on to university. We aren't touching our money because we are waiting for our papers to go through. Right now we help here and there by giving food, but it's not enough. Listen

What would you say are the challenges you face?
The challenges are not knowing who can help me. Not having anybody who can say yes this is a good project, it needs to be speeded up. I don't know where to go. I've been to different government departments. I've been to the Ministry of Education, I've been to the Ministry of Social Services, I've been to the Ministry of Lands, but nothing is moving. Those are the challenges. I've even gone to Hwedza Rural Council but no one takes responsibility. I find that they don't understand time. Like those children from 2005 some of them are now in their teens and I haven't given them what I promised. My heart breaks. I've been paying fees here and there, but I'm not really giving them a structure. I thought that through the school I'd be able to do that. Listen

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