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 Bere Primary School, Buhera, Manicaland, Zimbabwe

The school needs clean accessible water. Some pupils have to cross the River Nyazwidzi to get to the school, the problem is there is no bridge and the river has crocodiles in it! The buildings are termite damaged and particularly the roofs are in danger of collapse.
These pictures were taken in July 2007. Please read the information in the right hand column. It was written by a lawyer who visited the school and took the pictures for us.

Together we will make a difference. 

What the school would like to do over the next few years....

water stains the walls as it runs down inside the classrooms. Pity the roof doesn't leak.

provision of clean water at the school - sinking of a borehole & installation of storage tanks & piping to classes, toilets & teacher houses.

roofing timbers support the roof, but for how long?

construction and commissioning of a foot-bridge across Nyazwidzi  River to enable pupils to safely access the school all year.

 there is not a part of the building that has not had some sort of repair work

rebuilding of the school in these stages:-

build one four classroom block (with staff room) on the southern wing of the existing campus.

demotion of oldest two classroom block & building in its place; of admin block housing a library & storeroom.

demolition of remaining three classroom block and replacement of same with a new four classroom block.

building of three (two user) teacher houses.

provision of resource materials, working capital, library books, stationery, classroom furniture & office equipment

additional housing for teachers.

building & resourcing of school tuck-shop for income generation.

starting of other income generating projects to sustain the school


Very sadly this school is one we are having real difficulties working with. The remoteness of the school and present situation in Zimbabwe has made it virtually impossible to carry out the work we want to with the school. We will not give up on them and when the situation gets better we will pick up where we left off. December 2009

December 2008 the school received about 400 text books and some funding for other materials. In 2009, a school in Scotland generated over 500 that was to go towards a new bridge project.

classrooms look OK from a distance BUT...Termite damage causes the roof to sag. Eventually it will fall in.

Those pesky termites seem to home in on the joints - perhaps they know its the best place to weaken the roof so it will fall in.

The timber is seriously weakened. Re-roofing is the only solution - perhaps a complete rebuild would bet better sine the follr has gone too.

Termite damage causes the roof to sag. Eventually it will fall in.

water stains the walls as it runs down inside the classrooms.

when it rains it washes the walls of the clasroom inside

Termite damage causes the roof to sag. Eventually it will fall in.

roofing timbers support the roof, but for how long? Then what happens?

There used to be a door on this classroom...

classrooms look OK from a distance BUT...


A sad and lonely sign. Kilometers from anywhere and feeling abandoned.

Ventilation? Sun-roof?

water stained walls and missing panes of glass are not a good learning environment

Termite damage causes the roof to sag. Eventually it will fall in.

character or period charm? no just falling apart.

Full door, half a door.

classrooms look OK from a distance BUT eneven roof edge is a clue to trouble

classrooms look OK from a distance BUT...

The roofing timbers support the roof, but for how long?

The school is 10km from the main road, in the village called Bere, in an area called Maburutse, in the Buhera District of Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe.

"Today, after a whole 7 years of learning, the children generally perform in the range of below-average to dismal."
(official description)

They have no chance and they have no hope.
They are condemned to the poverty that surrounds them.
The poverty that has haunted their parents and left the parents unable to put a roof on their classrooms.
unable to put a door on their classrooms.
unable to repair the floors to their classrooms.
unable to provide resources for their learning.
unable to pay meaningful fees.
unable to provide basic books.
unable to provide descent shelter for their teachers.
unable to stop the cycle of poverty
in conditions so bad that the teachers deployed at the school
feel dumped into the pit of poverty
feel demotivated .....

Teacher in doorway. Termites ate the door....

There is no library and no library books.

There are no basic text books and sometimes the only book in the class is the teacher's copy.

There is inadequate furniture in the classes.

Grade one and two classrooms have no doors, grade three has half a door and the rest will fall anytime now (termites have destroyed them)

Termites like to eat wood, even doors don't escape their attention.

The classrooms windows generally have no window panes and on cold days the children endure the merciless cold and on dusty and windy days the same.

The roofing timber is old and termite damaged...the roof barely holds onto the building.

Many roofing sheets are either damaged or bent and the roofs leak everywhere.

There are serious cracks in the walls making the classrooms dangerous.

Most of the floors are beyond repair.

The classrooms have been repaired over and over again and cannot economically be repaired anymore or safely be used.

Grades 4 and 5 share the same classroom because there is no space.

The Pre-School operates from under the tree.

This was the description sent us by someone who visited the school for us in late 2007. Things can only have got worse


Images used on this website are unless specified otherwise. Contributors of photos are J Zviuya T Bere R Marimbire
P Wrigley B Njopera G Makurudza Z Sithole T Tamani N Canning B Thorpe, M Chesoli
additional photos are credited on the page they appear.
Please email for permission if you would like to use any of the images on this site. We have often higher resolution versions which could be made available.