AS part of its desire to equip pupils with knowledge and life skills in the context of health, water, sanitation and hygiene, a non-profit organisation Hand in Hand Zimbabwe (HiHZim) held its inaugural School Training for Resilience in Emergencies through Nutrition and Good Health (STRENGTH) primary schools’ competition at St Francis Nhema Primary School in Shurugwi District, Midlands province.
The competitions came at a time when HiHZim has been actively involved in mobilising primary school children in educational nutrition and health clubs.
The competition attracted four primary schools from the district which are St Francis Nhema, Zhaugwe, Vungwi and Chino. Winning teams walked away with stationery and prize money, which would go towards scaling up their STRENGTH in children project activities at their schools.
The STRENGTH in children project seeks to address food insecurity, deteriorating water, sanitation and hygiene standards, and lack of hope, due to poor education quality and deteriorating school environments that school children are subjected to.
It also seeks to provide children with life skills and motivation required to overcome their daily struggles particularly for those in rural communities.
Speaking at the function HiHZim STRENGTH project coordinator Hazel Mhembere said the competition, besides equipping school children with skills for their future, was also contributing to the project’s goal of instilling confidence, motivation, and self-esteem among school children.
“The competition component is an initiative in the STRENGTH project which seeks to motivate, increase exposure and test the knowledge which school club mentors would have imparted at the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe-facilitated school clubs.
“Through the STRENGTH project school children are equipped with knowledge on nutrition, hygiene, sanitation. This knowledge is then tested through quiz, poetry and role play competitions,” she said.
Shurugwi Schools Inspector Junior Isaiah Chikafu said the competition also presented a good initiative as it motivated learners to improve their performance skills and offered a lot more rewards than just winning prizes.
“The competitions offer a chance for participants to get substantial experience, showcase their skills and uncover personal attitudes. These life skills are relevant in strengthening their future livelihoods,” he said.
Chikafu commended HiHZim for the work it was doing in Shurugwi District saying the project was complementing government efforts to impart life-changing skills to pupils.
“Our children now know the importance of nutrition, health, sanitation and hygiene and we are proud of the fact that they have been applying this to their daily lives, at school and in the community,” he said.
St Francis Nhema Primary School scooped the overall outstanding WASH component school and the overall best prize while Zhaugwe Primary School got the second prize.
In the poetry competition, Zhaugwe Primary School took the first prize, while St Francis Nhema Primary School got second prize. Vungwi and Chino Primary schools received third and fourth prizes respectively.
Turning to quiz competition, Chino Secondary School took the first prize, while Zhaugwe and St Francis Nhema primary schools were tied in the quiz competition. Vungwi Primary School took the third prize.
In the role play competition, Vungwi Primary School came out tops, with Zhaugwe Primary School and St Francis Nhema Primary School taking the second and third prizes respectively.