Gibbs Employee Runs a Charity to Provide Supplies to School Children in Zimbabwe
Pencils and Smiles is a 501(c)(3) exempt non-profit that seeks to bridge the gap between education and poverty in Zimbabwe. They endeavor to motivate and encourage those less privileged, giving them hope for a better future and an opportunity to tower above the effects of the poverty they are born into.
The charity was founded by Fadzai Mavindidze, Gibbs Certification Clerk, South Bend, Indiana. She was moved by the story of a grandmother who walked over 5 miles to her grandfather’s homestead to borrow a pencil so that her grandchild could attend school. In Zimbabwe, supplies are not provided by the school and admittance is dependent upon the students’ ability to provide their books, pencils, and paper. Without a pencil, the child could not have participated.
Pencils and Smiles is an initiative that aims to ease the adverse effects of unimaginable situations and circumstances such as these, caused by poverty, which are robbing children in this little village, Mazvihwa, Zvishavane Zimbabwe, of their basic right to education.
Pencils and Smiles adopted an additional school to support in 2019. Rupemba Primary School is a remote rural school situated about 40 km out of Zvishavane, a town in the Midlands province of Zimbabwe.
There are about 330 pupils that attend. The school is comprised of two simple design blocks accommodating a large number of pupils. There are not enough desks and chairs and they live in lack but, their livelihood and peacefulness show they are not discouraged. They are a hopeful people. Everything needed is in very limited supply which makes teaching and learning a big challenge.
The adoption of Rupemba School was Pencils and Smiles highlight this past year. We distributed well over 300 pencils, and many other school supplies to help and make their challenges a little less and it was greatly appreciated. We harvested a lot of beaming smiles!
Fadzai commented, “It is clear a lot needs to be done to improve the learning standards for the school and that is our main objective as Pencils and Smiles. We believe in small beginnings and small consistent steps and deeds that lead to big and effective results with consistency and with time. Putting a smile on each child and teacher’s face one pencil at a time. Our initial distribution went well despite unavoidable hitches, we pushed through, spread some smiles and effected change. A big thank you to all that have been involved and have been donating to this cause. You’re making tremendous positive changes in these remote underserved communities.”
The mission of Pencils & Smiles is to make the learning process an enjoyable and fruitful experience through the provision of necessary tools and equipment for every child, in underprivileged communities.
For more about us please visit our website www.pencilsandsmiles.org and also visit and like us on Facebook and Instagram