Matau Primary School Project

  • Tererai's Dream Matau Primary School Project Children from remote villages in Zimbabwe will receive a quality education because of one woman’s dream. Photo credit: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/Save the Children
remarkable Grace and Patience
The Year in Pictures
A Swing for Edith

Realizing a Dream, Nearly Two Years Later

In May of 2011, a remarkable woman named Tererai Trent from a rural village in Matau, Zimbabwe, was named by Oprah Winfrey as her favorite guest of all time. The honor came with a special gift - a $1.5 million donation from the Oprah Winfrey Foundation to rebuild the Matau Primary School in Tererai’s home village, and improve learning for nearly 4,000 children, ages 4 to 14, in nearby communities.

Read Dr. Tererai’s remarkable story here.

Watch Oprah's inspiring interview with Tererai at the 2013 in the World Summit

Follow the Matau Primary School’s progress on Tererai’s blog.

School Opening: Heading Toward the Finish Line

Nearly two years later, five classrooms, two teachers’ houses, one preschool center, one playground and new latrines and handwashing stations have been completed, classrooms have been painted and equipped with desks, chairs and books, and clean water is flowing from a new well and tap. Children and teachers are already using these spaces. Construction is being completed on one new classroom, a new library and a new administrative building, and volunteers are starting to repair teachers’ houses and classrooms at the Secondary School, with materials supplied through the project. More photos.

The three year project also includes teacher training to help young children prepare for school and to help older children improve their reading skills. The agency also is helping instructors plan and prepare activities for preschoolers and carrying out a community-wide literacy program.

Early research findings from March 2013 on children’s reading progress are encouraging. Just six months after teacher training and two months after the community reading programs started, early readers are getting a boost. Read highlights here.

Helping Hands: It Takes a Village

Volunteers from Matau and the 12 surrounding communities are volunteering their time and embracing the Matau Primary School Project as their own: 400 volunteers molded and cured nearly 400,000 bricks; 73 trained volunteers are promoting and leading after-school reading camps; 18 trained volunteers are teaching preschoolers. Read more about the how the community is lending a helping hand to make a difference for children. Matau Project PDF

Last Updated April 2013