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Gweru Clinic and School Assistance

Service LearningService Learning | Community Zimbabwe

Project Overview

Gweru is the administrative capital of the Midlands Province and most of the population is concentrated in Mkoba High Density Township. Students will have the opportunity to work alongside two organizations, Mkoba Polyclinic and Bunina School, to provide residents of the township with a higher quality of life.

A large proportion of the community does not have access to private healthcare facilities and is therefore totally dependent on the poorly staffed and serviced local clinics, specifically Mkoba Polyclinic. In 2002 alone, Mkoba Polyclinic assisted 47,580 people. Currently it is estimated to be giving aid to over 90,000, and is ill-equipped, poorly funded and, above all, severely understaffed. Their maternity ward supports all surrounding areas, recording an average of 125 births per month with only two delivery beds. The Opportunistic Infections Department processes about 2,500 cases of HIV/AIDS a month, while the Extended Program for Immunization Department does a minimum of 1,900 immunizations in the same time frame. This service provider is heavily dependent on goodwill and support from donor agencies.

Bunina School was established in 2008 in a semiderelict farmhouse. The school is staffed by a Headmistress, Deputy Headmaster and eleven teachers who are exceptionally committed, traveling a long distance to the school, sleeping on the classroom floors during the week and returning home on weekends. The children they serve come from a broad area in the local farming district, with some walking up to seven miles to and from school everyday. Bunina has been given land to build on, meaning that the school can expand and provide more children in this area with an education.

Students on the Gweru Clinic and School Service Learning Program become a part of making Bunina School’s dream come true by helping to teach classes, serve teachers, assist with the physical building or work on their small scale agricultural projects.

Timeframe for Involvement 

A minimum of one week is generally the recommended timeframe for a meaningful impact and learning experience. Groups may be involved for up to four weeks.

Service Impact

At the clinic, students may participate in immunization campaigns, general outreaches and education drives. The involvement of volunteers eases the load on nursing staff, allowing them to serve more clients per day. The students will be involved in everyday tasks around the clinic to enable the nurses to focus more on handling patients, decreasing the pressure on medical staff and creating greater levels of motivation.

At Bunina, volunteers will work to involve each and every student without restraints of classroom space or necessary resources. This is part of a series of steps to achieve the school’s vision of accommodating each child in the outlying district in need of an education.

Learning Outcomes

  • By getting involved hands-on with the community, students gain insight and first-hand experience in solving real life problems that communities face
  • Service engagements instill and develop the fundamental skills of teamwork
  • Participants learn how to communicate effectively among themselves and with the members of the community

Accommodation

Located a few minutes away from the city centre, Antelope Park is set in over 3,000 acres of open savannah grassland. A unique game reserve and a haven of tranquility, Antelope Park welcomes guests and volunteer eco-tourists alike to it’s charming and remarkable camp site. Students have an opportunity to walk with lions, ride through the wilderness on elephant or horseback, or canoe on the scenic lake.


Featured Experiences

Boma Restaurant

Meaning “the place of eating,” Boma appeals to the senses with a variety of local dishes including game meat such as kudu, warthog and ostrich. Guests are welcome to take part in traditional drumming and dancing. You even have the opportunity to eat a local delicacy – mopane worms!

Craft Workshop

Enjoy a cultural evening with Zimbabwean musicians, after which the local craftsmen will be available to teach you how to craft beautiful pieces of jewellery and sculptures. This cultural immersion experience will not only teach you new skills, but give you insight into the cultures and traditions of the people of Zimbabwe.

High Tea at Victoria Falls Hotel

Visit the famous Victoria Falls Hotel, renowned for it’s colonial-era architecture. This five-star hotel is only a ten-minute walk from the falls themselves, and was built in 1904 as a key part of the “Cape to Cairo” railroad dream. Today, enjoying a high-tea on the terrace gives you insight into what life was like over a hundred years ago as you gaze at the Victoria Falls Bridge, mist rising from the thundering waterfall.

Tiger Fishing

These ferocious, predatory fish lurk throughout much of the Zambezi, catching prey with their enormous jaws and needle-like teeth. Add a tiger fish to your repertoire during your sports fishing adventure on the Zambezi.

Flight of Angels

Hover through the pounding mist of Victoria Falls as you explore the stunning landscape from the air. A specially designed helicopter, providing panoramic visibility to every passenger, takes you high into the sky to be truly encompassed by the mesmerizing grandeur of the falls.

Victoria Falls

Known as the “smoke that thunders,” Victoria Falls is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The waterfall system is the largest on Earth, about 1.7 kilometers wide and one hundred and eight meters high. Enjoy being awestruck by the sheer magnificence of the falls.


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