Many Zimbabwean students drop out of school because their families can no longer afford tuition and the associated educational costs. This is an issue one American medical intern affiliated with Tiritose wanted to see change.
Necrisha Roach came to Zimbabwe in April 2016 as part of a global health elective offered by her home institution – The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Medical students take the course during the last year of medical school, which allows them to have a clinical experience abroad that is different from what they would normally experience back in the United States.
During her time working in the healthcare system in Harare, Necrisha experienced many challenges faced by doctors and patients alike. Necrisha saw the disparities between boys and girls through working with Tariro (the Shona word for Hope), a non-profit organisation dedicated to ensuring young girls have the same educational opportunities as their male counterparts.
While in Harare, Necrisha travelled to Tariro’s headquarters in Glen Norah, a high-density area (Township) on the outskirts of Harare. There she spent the day working with the girls and learning more about the aims and goals of the organisation. The time spent in Glen Norah brought to light the grim reality faced by many of Zimbabwe’s young women.
“Meeting these young women was a humbling experience. Their resilience and commitment to education despite what seems like insurmountable circumstances was truly inspirational”.
She met young women who lost parents due to HIV, living with extended families or in a single-parent household. As a result, the costs associated with getting an education were often too much for the family to bear forcing them to drop out of school. These young girls then relied on the financial support of Tariro and its donors to cover school fees, school supplies & transportation.
Tariro is committed to meeting the girls’ material needs as well as providing a support system for them and their families. This support involves HIV education, classes on healthy living including dance and music classes; to enhance love & appreciation for their rich Zimbabwean culture.
“Meeting these young women was a humbling experience. Their resilience and commitment to education despite what seems like insurmountable circumstances was truly inspirational”, Necrisha says. Prior to traveling to Zimbabwe, Necrisha with the help of her friends, was able to raise funds to help cover the cost of school supplies for 30 Tariro students for the upcoming academic year.
The Tariro visit became a turning point for Necrisha and the young girls she met. The girls were moved that a young American doctor came all the way from America to visit them and rallied her friends to make a financial investment in their futures. Recognising that the donation for school supplies were greatly appreciated, it was clear that there was still a great need among the students. To that end, Necrisha decided to cover the tuition for the next three years for a girl enrolled at Harare Polytechnic (a local tertiary institution) where she is pursuing her studies in Transport and Logistics.