MUTARE– The Royal Netherlands embassy to Zimbabwe has stepped in to provide affordable lighting solutions for over a thousand primary students from low income and underprivileged families in Manicaland.
Netherlands embassy deputy head of mission, Eva van Woersem, officiated at the handover ceremony at Chirovakamwe Primary School, which extends the twinning arrangement between Mutare City and Haarlem stretching back to 1992.
Van Woesem said the relationship set between the two cities has also supported numerous developmental projects including the construction of Sakubva Health Center, home industry market and support to the city’s housing projects.
She said the huge development inequalities affect Global South’s development agenda under the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), where 592 million people have no access to clean energy.
“Today’s handover is a small but positive step towards SDG 7 and towards brighter futures for all the students that will be able to read after dark. No more excuses for late homework.
“These lights are a source of clean, reliable light for the students, they will save families money and also reduce the risk of fires at home,” said Van Woersem.
Mutare District Schools Inspector (DSI) Creezin Chofamba said the donation will empower, in particular the girl child who faces many challenges in accessing power, in the residential suburbs without power.
“We are grateful to the Embassy and the City of Haarlem which has continuously supported our education sector, in particular less privileged students and girls which are failing to access clean energy sources,” said Chofamba.
The Dutch Embassy also made a similar gesture in 2014, donating 576 premium solar products distributed to 11 schools in the district. The Waka Waka solar products are high end renewable energy products which also include solar flashlights and power banks.
Deputy ambassador Van Woersen’s diplomatic mission also toured the Musasa One Stop Centre for Gender Based Violence (GBV) which was constructed courtesy of the Human Rights Fund from the Embassy.