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e r 1 998
CAROLINA ABROAD: ZIMBABWE
Gladman Mapeto said on his 1998
application that the best day of his life
was the day he started school. Mapeto,
who was 13 when he applied, called his
garden his most prized possession because
it helps feed his family and community.
He was most proud ofraising the money
for his primary school fees and "buying
my school uniforms and stationery for
the past four years by working at South
Down Tea Estates after classes, during
weekends and on holidays."
Some of the children have worked since
age 7 or 8 to pay their primaty school fees.
the majority ofthe families, at least one
parent is deceased; in all, the financial sit-
uation is grim.
"These children are handling situations
I can't ever imagine handling half as well,"
said Laura B.olton, "and they're in the
Branson Page, who joined Bolton on
the 1998 tearn, said: "It's amazing what
kids in America take for granted- these
kids realize that ifthey don't have an edu-
cation, life is going to be much harder."
"My images of Africa before I went to
Zimbabwe were shaped by
or television documentaries,
and I went in with pity for these people,"
Chapman said. "Mter seeing the work
ethic of these kids and their families, I
have more respect for black Zimbab-
weans than any other people I've had
Take, for example, 1995 scholar Enock
Mpofu, a straight-A student who wants
to attend medical school and become a
surgeon. Enock grew up in a one-room
shack and often had to stay home because
his family could not pay primary school
fees, but this did not stop his thirst for
education. Enock now speaks four lan-
guages and understands a fifth, and he
rises at 3 a.m. every day to study. With-
out the scholarship, his education would
have ended at age 12. With it, he is
excelling at Milton High School, one of
the top boarding schools in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe achieved independence in
1980, so many ofthese black African stu-
dents are the first generation to go to
quality schools, or to go to school at all.
"I feel like we are building a foundation
of scholars in Zimbabwe [who] are going
to grow up and make a huge difference
in their country," Page said.
'Every day until I die'
But the progran1 isn't unlimited, and
difficult decisions are made each year.
Raising money to fund the scholarships
has been a challenge. "S4S is like a little
business with fund raising as its profits,"
Clark said. "As soon as that stops, we go
bust. It's a grim reality."
The students mail scholarship
brochures to businesses, asking them to
sponsor a child at a cost of $800 a year or
$4,000 for all five years of their sec-
ondary education. This covers school
fees, uniforms, books and the extracurric-
ular sunm1er activities, and sponsors
receive school reports, photographs and
letters in return. Sponsors also have the
option ofproviding higher education for
their scholar for the same amount of
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