Zimnat, one of the country’s leading insurance and financial services groups, on Friday (August 2) handed over an ablution block for girls to Chizungu Primary School in Epworth.
Zimnat undertook the construction of the ablution block in partnership with Fund a Child’s Education Zimbabwe (FACEZ), a non-profit making organisation that assists marginalised and underprivileged children.
The ablution block is meant to improve the children’s learning environment through the development of healthy and hygienic sanitation facilities.
Prior to the construction of this ablution block, there were just two regular toilets for staff and two blocks of pit latrines, one for boys and the other for girls. Some of the pit latrines were constructed by the children themselves.
“Modern ablution facilities are important to improve the children’s environment and minimise the likelihood of infectious diseases, some of which, such as cholera and dysentery, are linked to poor sanitation,” commented Zimnat group chief executive Mustafa Sachak.
“With more than 2 500 children enrolled at Chizungu Primary School, the importance of adequate ablution facilities is obvious. Zimnat decided, therefore, to assist the community and school in building an ablution block by financing its construction,” he said.
With such a large number of children enrolled, Chizungu Primary School has a hot seating schooling programme and conducts lessons outdoors as well as in indoor classrooms. According to FACEZ, more than 700 of the pupils struggle to pay school fees.
“This reflects the dire needs of the community and how the toilet block comes as much needed relief,” Mr Sachak said.
Zimnat staff, management and executives helped out with finishing touches such as clearing rubble, painting and cleaning the area.
“We hope our effort goes a long way in making your lives better,” Mr Sachak said, as he cut the ribbon at the handover ceremony.
The headmistress of the school, Mrs Nongwana, received the block on behalf of the community.
“This initiative definitely goes a long way in making our lives better. We are grateful that Zimnat funded the block for our girls, despite the tough economic environment in our country, and we hope they will continue to do such great initiatives in the community,” she said.
Zimnat is a diversified financial services group made up of four business units, namely Zimnat General Insurance, Zimnat Life Assurance, Zimnat Financial Services and Zimnat Asset Management. It is associated with Sanlam, the largest non-banking financial services group on the continent.