Update From Our Director
Zara's Center has been busy since our last newsletter. Despite the continued challenges of COVID, we’ve provided essential food, medical care, and other intervention services for our vulnerable children and their families. In addition we’ve expanded academic support initiatives, and hosted events to highlight and honor community-based partners that make our success possible.
We held our annual tree planting ceremony in December and our year-end celebration in early January. Both events brought together the entire Zara community - children, alumni, staff, caregivers, and special guests.
- At the tree-planting, the community helped us plant eight trees to beautify our land. Each tree honored a different group that has made a difference in our kids' lives (i.e. grandparents, overseas donors, our Uncommon coding partner, etc.).
- At the year-end celebration, our guest of honor was Dr. Rumbi, a local doctor who has partnered with us to provide annual medical check-ups to every child in our care. We celebrated our recent graduates and college-going alumni, and we honored our own children with holiday gifts, food hampers, and solar lights for use at home – making it possible to study beyond sunset.
Academics & Tutoring
- We are proud that 100% of our children are in school in a country where 47% of youth are not in school [UNICEF]. Additionally, our students consistently outperform their peers on grade 7 exams at a rate of nearly 2:1. Despite these impressive outcomes, our kids have struggled during COVID-19 along with students throughout the country and around the world.
- In order to help our students succeed, the Zara’s Center Board of Directors voted to expand our academic support programming to include daily tutoring in core school subjects. An enriched tutoring program was tested in April during the school break and was very successful. In addition to small group tutoring, Zara’s Staff put together quizzes in each subject and grade. The children enjoyed friendly competition and received prizes for great scores.
- Our partnership with Uncommon coding is in full swing. All age groups are now receiving computer coding instruction and we are excited about the career opportunities that coding will bring to our young people.
- Behind the scenes, we continue to work on exciting plans for an expanded Zara’s Center campus, through a pro-bono partnership from US-based Krueck Sexton Partners.
- Keep up with our project here: www.zarascenter.org/our-expansion
Below are some recent photos from the Center. Thank you, as always, for your support for the children in our care.
Gibson J. Connick
Executive Director, Zara's Center