The three Jairos Jiri centers I went to were fabulously managed and filled with love. The children are residential during the school year, and were happy, hearty and full of love.
Because these children are physically, not mentally disabled, it is expected that they pass the same rigorous grade six state test to continue on to grade seven that the rest of the children in the country have to pass. (Kind of like Zimbabwe's version of "No Child Left Behind.")
You will note all kinds of equipment strewn around all over the place in the pictures. This is not because the children can not keep it on or get to it, it is because as soon as the teachers and staff turn around, the children are taking it off, preferring to mobilize naturally, without the use of such tools!
The two photos where the children are holding eachother up was during a "Ballet" that they were lucky enough to partake in, thanks to a visiting Jamaican dance teacher who involved tens of kids in the amazing process. I have few pics because I was busy taking a video...which I am working to post on this site. The ballet will flabbergast you. It brings to front all kinds of gymnastic prowess that these children were taught to possess by this exceptional young teacher.
Most of the photos were taken as students were taking a break between classes or heading to lunch.
You will also note the children tending the chickens in a few pictures. My elementary school class did a fund-raiser to purchase chickens for the children so they could participate in a self-sustaining project once I was gone. This went on for a couple of years, with the staff sending me regular spreadsheet/updates on the progress they were having. The children, being children, loved the proces of taking care of animals!
Stanley Marowa was the head teacher at the time of my visit. I was blessed to be able to stay with him, his wife Chivumbiso, and their daughters, Tatenda ("thank you in Shona") and Faith at their suburban home. Chivumbiso is a home economics teacher and we became very close during my stay. I am now friends with the children on Facebook, and communicate with Stanley and Chivumbiso via email.
Below are photos of my stay with the Marowa family!