Tears of a Travel Writer: Carrie Hampton

Tales from the Bush

Written by Kim Sparrow – As I sat next to professional Travel Writer Carrie Hampton in the cramped staffroom at Dingani school, she wept. With 25 years as a travel writer, she continues to be moved by her experiences. Especially for children who have to fight for their right to have water, right to eat and right to be educated.

Dingani School is situated in the small town of Dete, close to Hwange National Park. Supporting 380 children, the teachers and parent body have their work cut out. The students themselves are well behaved, studious, and sport giant smiles as they run through the parched schoolyard in uniforms made by the local ladies sewing club – Thandanani. The challenge lies in the school fees, food provisions and education resources.

“The idea that a mere US$ 30 would pay for an entire year of education for one child brought Carrie’s heart to her sleeve and her wallet to the table.”

Mr Ndlovhu, the Headmaster, explained that the Grow Africa Foundation supports various programmes, like the scholarship fund – Project Ruzivo. The idea that a mere US$ 30 would pay for an entire year of education for one child brought Carrie’s heart to her sleeve and her wallet to the table. With the Zimbabwean exchange rate and broken economy, this donation was transformed into school fees for 17 children for 1 term.

The money from this fund is channeled into the functioning of the school, building, labour and teacher housing. With a recent change in curriculum, the school is forced to purchase new text books, so every cent counts.

As thanks, the entire student body sang their gratitude in the understanding of how such visits and programmes support the school. The staff joined in, a small but formidable teaching team who dedicate their lives to serve the children of their community. The tenacity and commitment of the staff to create a progressive learning environment is truly humbling with such limited resources.

Donations such as Carrie’s gift of education has a rippling effect beyond words, and went some way to drying her tears. You, too, can visit this project when staying at Elephant’s Eye, Hwange. And if you’re looking to find out how you can get involved from afar, simply click the button below.


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