BUDIRIRO Trust, a United Kingdom registered charity organisation that sponsors disadvantaged students in Zimbabwe, will be holding a dinner dance in the United Kingdom to mark 50 years of existence.
Trust chairperson, Sikhu Ngwenya said a range of activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary were taking place, with the annual dinner set for 2 December at the Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury in London to raise funds that would allow the organization to increase the number of students under the Trust’s sponsorship programme.
Zimbabwean musician, Chartwell Dutiro, will entertain guests at the dinner.
“Chartwell has kindly agreed to entertain us again; there will be a raffle with some great prizes such as a painting, or a spa day etc. A night of dancing will follow too. It is a great way to start the Christmas season” he said.
Ngwenya said an inaugural annual dinner was held last year, where Chartwell also performed, while Golden Anniversary Celebrations were held in Harare and Bulawayo in August, where the UK Trustees travelled to Zimbabwe to meet past and present scholars as well as our partner schools.
“Trustees are volunteers and they fund all their expenses themselves; this ensures that every donation made to Budiriro Trust directly funds a Scholar,” he said.
“We do have two coordinators in Zimbabwe, who ensure that we get all the application forms and school reports for each student. That way, a relationship is built between the students and the Trustees, who take an active interest in their studies.”
The trust, founded by Grace and Burke Benton in 1967, works with six partner schools namely Nyatsime College, St, Paul’s Musami, Waddilove High School, Nyathi High School, St. James School, and Thekwane School.
Ngwenya said the organisation was a unique trust which had built a sustainable model that ensured continuity while at the same time maintaining its fabric of working in the most disadvantaged parts of Zimbabwe.
“The criteria for selection are academic merit and financial need. Students apply through their school selection committees. These are made up of at least three senior teachers.
“The teachers will then nominate their best 6 applicants to the Trust. Trustees in the UK scrutinize each application and select the best three from each school currently.”Advertisement
Ngwenya said the trust was currently sponsoring 37 students each year, adding their short-term goal was to increase the number to 50 as soon as possible.
“Clearly, more needs to be done,” he added.
“At one time, the Trust was sponsoring 100 students each year, but finances dictate that to be sustainable and ensure that the students complete their studies without worrying about finance, we sponsor a smaller number
The partnering schools have infrastructure which ensures students were focused on their studies and change their lives.
“Lessons observed also show that the curriculum followed by the schools is fit for purpose in ensuring that the students can reach their goals. Budiriro Scholars have gone into a range of professions since 1967.
“Mildred Chasi, one of the earliest scholars became an environmental regulator, setting up the Environmental Agency in Zimbabwe,” said Ngwenya.
He said countless others had gone on to become doctors, engineers, teachers, entrepreneurs and lawyers and had made a difference to themselves, their families and communities.