Siza Mtimbiri talks on Midweek about new model school project.
Siza, who is doing a PhD in Education, spoke about the Hope Academy and Medical Centre, a charity he has set up in Zimbabwe to create a model school in a poor rural area to combat the stigma associated with HIV.
He said the aim was to work directly with a rural community, educating both the wider community as well as children in the school. The school would include children with HIV, those affected by HIV and other children. He said it was important that the self-sustaining school be in place for a period of at least five to six years and that it be set up in a way that meant the village could sustain it themselves. “It’s about raising a new generation,” he said.
He added that he was working with the Ministry of Education in Bulawayo.
Siza, who grew up in a poor village in Bulawayo, is doing his PhD is on the impact of HIV/Aids on infected and affected rural primary schoolchildren in Zimbabwe. There are approximately 1.5 million adults and close to a half a million infected children with HIV/Aids in Zimbabwe. Siza estimates that there are around six children with HIV for every class of 40, but says stigma around HIV is still a big issue in rural Zimbabwe. “Many people still see it as a punishment for sin and the children are isolated. The impact can be huge,” he says.
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