Assessment for Eco-bursaries

Friday 10th March 2010; for the first time in 3 years I rode my iron horse (Yamaha 125cc motorbike) again. Perhaps this time round I wasn’t half as confident as I would have been 3 years ago before the accident that rendered my left wrist stiff. Today the ASSETS team started the process of assessing new students to receive bursaries from the ASSETS eco-bursary scheme. I was assigned the school on the farthest side of the forest (Bogamachuko) where ten students needed assessment. By 10.30 a.m. I am sitting in the head-teacher’s office seeking assistance with directions of where the candidates come from. After drawing a sketch map of roughly where all the students live, I move on starting with the furthest of all, Mwadziwe S. Wale. The process of assessment students for awarding ASSETS eco-bursaries is always such a humbling exercise. Here one encounters some of the most desperate financial statuses you can imagine. The sight of poverty, hunger, malnutrition and despair makes one feel not only wealthy riding a motorbike but also wildly extravagant. The most encouraging thing today has been that parents have really struggled and sent most of the students to school in the hope that ASSETS will come in their aid sooner. You can always tell they have been waiting for someone from ASSETS as soon as you introduce yourself to the very humble folks, as though saying uh, at here last! Jane Sadaka