The Common Good

Tragic Stats and Beacons of Hope in Zimbabwe

During my recent visit to Zimbabwe, a headline caught my eye: "Worst Exam Results Ever!" The pass rate was 27% for national examinations held at the end of primary school (after seven years of schooling). A tragic statistic that reveals not only the state of demise of a once enviable education system (one of the best in Africa) but the impact of the political and economic stability on the lives of the children of Zimbabwe.

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Fortunately, the Minister of Education (Senator Coltart) is both a committed Christian and visionary who has set his mind to use this window of opportunity to reverse the situation. He is a beacon of hope and an inspiration to Christians to find their vision and calling wherever they find themselves in Zimbabwe.

There are many ordinary people who just by doing what they can in their neighbourhoods are participating in the web of shalom that are offering an alternative vision. I know a Christian woman whose vision is to help communities deal with the impact of violence on children as a strategy for building peaceful communities. Her understanding of shalom is communities that offer safe spaces for children to grow and thrive. At the moment she is responding on a case by case basis on a voluntary basis but has a greater vision. Should this be something that any of you would like to be part of, her email is It is these "shalom acts" born in the heart, inspired by the Spirit that are beacons of hope. There is still uncertainty about the future and your prayers continue to be needed. God bless.

Nontando HadebeNontando Hadebe, a former Sojourners intern, is originally from Zimbabwe and is now pursuing graduate studies in theology in South Africa.

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