Nearly a whole year ago we were driving to Heathrow airport to fly to Zimbabwe and I asked Sue if she would worry about us when we were away. After allying our fears that she wouldn’t worry she merely said with a hint of jealousy in her tone; “I just wish I was going on such an exciting adventure”

Zimbabwe really has been the adventure we’d have hoped for and we’ve had some amazing times and we’ve got so many memories but Friday the 19th July 2013 will be a day I think neither of us will ever forget. We had the pleasure of visiting Hatcliffe, a large high density suburb of Harare where approximately 40,000 people live with a lack of running water, plumbing and no electricity supply. It’s Africa that we see on the TV! Comic Relief style Africa..

A brief history of Hatcliffe is an area where the government moved its poorest people to, throwing them off their land and away from the city. It’s an area I believe is forgotten about about and an area that is largely ignored. For example it was only a 30 minute drive from where we live but we had never been there or previously heard of it.

Sean Mullens whose house we live at and rent works with a charity called living hope and they are doing so much good work there already. Their visions are huge and we pray that God continues to bless them in their work. Our reasoning for visiting is because Sean wants to see if we (in the form of the charity we hope to establish Hope For Harare) can help the schools that are already running and inspire the teachers there.

During the day we visited 3 Pre schools which are operating.The last one we visited was educating and feeding over 450 children from the ages of 2-7 for free with volunteer teachers and staff. The class sizes are between 50 and 80 children and the children will eat one meal of Sadza and vegetables each day which is provided by the school. The community spirit is incredible, they work together to provide for their kids and everyone has a huge smile on their face! Education is so highly valued and all the children want to do is be in school to learn.

Within one minute of arriving Sophie was surrounded by 50-100 children all wanting to sing with her and listen to her. Those who’ve had the privilege of seeing my wife with children (particularly in Africa) know how much she loves them and how much they love her. I just found this place to be so inspiring. These adults do what they can and expect nothing in return. They do it purely and simply because they love the children!

Despite the obvious constraints of schools in this area the children are learning. They sang songs to us, counted to 10, told us the 5 senses and spoke some English. The unpaid teachers know what they’re doing. Our intention would never be to go in there and tell these people what to. Just to offer them some support with teaching using limited resources to teach in a creative way. There is so much more, however that we can learn from them. I think how much fuss our government puts on certain statistics and then you see how these people live and learn together. It puts a lot of things into perspective.

What do we intend to do? Well for now we’re unsure and we need advice and guidance. Firstly we’d love to run a training course at our school where we could invite other teachers to show them how we teach and what things we do in England that mean the children’s learning is maximised. After that we’d love to find the money to fund basic resources for these schools so they can continue their work and improve their standards.

One Way Pre-School is our Zimbabwean mission but maybe God is giving us something else we can put our time and effort in to in the future. If is in our future to work more in Hatcliffe our Zimbabwean adventure will of took a very exciting new chapter for us both. Robin Williams was right when he said at the end of the children’s movie Hook (when portraying Peter Pan) “To live would be the greatest adventure of all”

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