Lesedi Primary School provides a unique opportunity for children from the poor, rural communities in this area to receive a quality education. Before Lesedi, the only option was a government school many kilometres away. Children frequently didn't attend or were excluded due to non-payment of school fees. The economic crisis in Zimbabwe means that government schools are severely under-resourced, with shortages of teachers, textbooks and equipment. The only option for a quality education is to enrol at a private school but these are out of reach financially for the families in the communities around Lesedi.
From humble beginnings just a few years ago, Lesedi Primary School now teaches two Early Childhood Development (ECD) classes and Grades 1-7 to over 290 pupils. The children receive mid-morning porridge and a nutritious lunch each day. We have dedicated Special Needs teacher at Lesedi Primary, providing support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.
Having given the children hope and encouraged them to dream, it would have been wrong to abandon them after primary education. Lesedi Secondary School opened for Form 1 learners in 2022 (including many of our pioneer students who started with us in 2014). At Secondary level we are teaching two streams of pupils, so have welcomed children from other local primary schools, in addition to those from Lesedi Primary. We will add a new form grade each year, so by 2027 the school will be teaching Forms 1-6 (up to “A” Levels).
In addition to the academic syllabus we are providing a strong vocational offering at Lesedi Secondary, ensuring that all our learners will have the opportunity to excel. All secondary learners receive a hot and nutritious lunch each school day.
When Lesedi Primary School first opened we charged nominal school fees but even this proved too challenging for many families, most of whom are living a subsistence lifestyle with no regular form of income. In 2018 we introduced a sponsorship program at Lesedi to ensure that no child is excluded from receiving an education. This has been a huge success and nearly all of our pupils are now sponsored.
The schools are equipped with laptops, and we have ICT teachers at both schools, enabling us to introduce our pupils to computers at a young age. Lesedi is connected to mains electricity and more recently the internet, considerable achievements considering the school is 3km off the main road and 14km from town.
Outside of the classrooms we continue to develop our sports facilities, and the children are now competing in inter-school tournaments. We are keen to provide a well-rounded education with exposure to a wide range of vocational skills.
The children at Lesedi are flourishing under the wonderful leadership of our headteacher, Mrs Mutori. The school regularly hosts groups of international tourists, and this exposure has not only increased the confidence of the children but also continues to expand their horizons. They are now daring to dream, with the knowledge that sponsorship will ensure they can remain in school.