By Clayton Mafuratidze and other FCTZ staff, July 2014
Nqobile Daison Phiri (20) of Masiyarwa High School in Ward 3 of Zvimba District Mashonaland West Province of Zimbabwe is a happy young man because he will write his Advanced Level examinations in November 2014 without any worries. This thanks to the Rural Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Project, a Government of Zimbabwe project implemented by Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe, funded by Ukaid and managed by UNICEF.
One day after completing his studies “Nqobie” as he is affectionately known by his peers hopes to be the Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police. He believes he has the height and most importantly the discipline which is a prerequisite for one to lead the force. He is a footballer and believes that a ‘sound mind is in a healthy body’. However his journey of life is a sad one just like many of the unfortunate kids in the rural areas of the country.
His father passed on when he was young and his mother later remarried. Together with his young brother, they stayed with their maternal grandmother who struggled to pay for their fees. His step father had his own financial challenges and could not afford to pay fees for him and his brother. He finished his Ordinary Level Studies in 2012 and shortly got employed as a shopkeeper to supplement income back home. When results came out, he realised he had passed his Ordinary Level with good grades. He was encouraged to proceed to Advanced Level and is studying Business Studies, Geography and Shona.
However in 2013, Nqobile failed to raise fees for the first term and would frequently be chased home to look for fees. He would play hide and seek with the authorities to gain entry into classrooms. However the Rural WASH Project came to his rescue. Nqobile was chosen by the School Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) selection Committee to be a Rural WASH Block Grant Beneficiary. The Block Grant is an innovation that asks beneficiary schools to exempt vulnerable children from paying fees/levies for a certain period in recognition of the material support rendered to them by the project towards construction of BVIP latrines and a hand washing facility.
“I am happy because all my fees for Upper Six have been paid for by the Rural WASH Project. I was also informed that my areas for Lower Six have been scrapped, thanks to the project again. Our fees/levies are $48 per term. This makes me more comfortable and focussed on my studies as I prepare for final exams this year. I used to think day and night on whether I would fulfil my dreams to lead the Police Force of this land. I dream to be the Police Commissioner General one day. I have everything that it takes to be in the force, the height and intelligence. However the force needs brains too. This is why I am happy and excited that I will write my exams without any worries of fees/levies areas.”, echoed Nqobile. Surely the sky is the limit for you ‘General Nqobie’.