The Community Based Aid Programme (CBAP) has taken an initiative to provide psycho-social support to pupils that are now back to school following a protracted lockdown as a way of helping them cope with pressures of the new normal.
As part of the initiative, the organization visited Zimuto High School on September 27 to provide career guidance as well as guidance and counselling to pupils.
Speaking after the event, CBAP executive director Samuel Mhungu said in light of the new normal, students needed greater emotional support to help adapt their mind sets.
“During the lockdown, a lot of bad things happened and this has a bearing on children who have now returned to school. Some experienced sexual abuse, incest, gender-based violence and severe economic difficulties during the lockdown.
“All this may push them towards losing focus but we are here to discuss a possible way forward and help deal with the effects of those experiences,” said Mhungu
The event was quite interactive, with some pupils saying they felt the requirement for them to always put on facemasks was itself a risk on the health of one’s respiratory system.
Other pupils said they were glad that they had been given an opportunity to relate their fears and anxieties early.
“From the contributions that have been made here, it can be realised that many pupils had lost hope in the future. It is pleasing therefore that we have been presented with an opportunity to see the good things that we can still achieve despite the long time that has been lost to the lockdown,” said one pupil.
The CBAP, which is run by the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ), will also visit many other schools in the course of the term.