Chasing Smiles

Smile for Charlotte Haggie

Smile for Charlotte Haggie

– Co-Founder of The Foundations Project

“The Foundations Project story starts in Whitecliff, Harare. My colleague Martha Damu and I were working in Whitecliff at the Just Children Foundation (a foundation for children living and working on the streets) when we realised that there were lots of government schools on the left-hand side of the Bulawayo Road but none on the right-hand side where the centre was. This meant that kids were running across the road trying to get to school and getting killed. Policy in Zimbabwe is such that children have to go to an Early Learning Development Centre before they can gain access to a place for Grade One. So we set up the Foundations Project as a Trust to work specifically with Early Childhood Development, looking to provide safe access to education for orphaned and vulnerable children.

Four years down the line, we now have a reputation that we can actually do it and I am excited to replicate the project in the future, opening up the opportunity to education not only to the hundreds of children in Caledonia but further afield. There is always more that we can do. “

The Foundations Project has been based in Caledonia for four years. Thanks to support from donors, the Caledonia District Administration and community, the project has grown from initially providing pre-school education to 14 children under a shade cloth to a centre on community owned grounds with four container classrooms, flushing ablutions, a solar powered well, four teachers employed from within the community and 80 children receiving schooling in the Early Learning Centre. The project runs a daily feeding program, feeding 200 children a day. The Project facilitates parenting skills programs, assists with the Support for Woman And Girls (SWAG) program and has a skills development centre.

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