CLUBHOUSE International has selected Dangamvura, a low-income suburb in Mutare, Zimbabwe as the home for its pilot program. While Dangamvura’s plight is not unlike that of other low income neighborhoods across Zimbabwe (and much of Africa, for that matter), we decided to work within the community due to initial familiarity; three of the eight founding members were raised there. CLUBHOUSE Scholarship Upon its inception, CLUBHOUSE introduced the CLUBHOUSE Scholarship, awarded to students from Rujeko and Sheni, two public primary schools in Dangamvura. The scholarships are awarded, upon recommendation from educators and other community leaders, to incoming Grade 7 students and will finance their schooling for a full year until they leave for high school.
As we work toward the development of well-rounded community members, the scholarships are awarded for a combination of extra-curricular achievement, service to the community, intellectual competence, and good character- a novel concept to a community in which has traditionally only rewarded academic achievement.
The first scholarship class (2013) consisted of eleven students, and we are currently sponsoring a group of ten. CLUBHOUSE Festival While the scholarships instantly resonated with the recipients and their immediate families, we were under no illusion as to how limited an impact we were having on the school, let alone, Dangamvura community. Thus, in July 2013, we hosted the first annual CLUBHOUSE Festival at Sheni primary school. The Festival, which culminated in a well-attended football match between Sheni and Rujeko, was preceded by months of community service by students from both schools for which they received certificates on the day. Buoyed by the success of the first one, the second annual Festival was even bigger and featured high profile guest, the deputy minister of Education as the keynote speaker.
The second year of applicant for the CLUBHOUSE Scholarship saw an increase in the number of applicants. Limited by funds, we selected ten students to be recipients of the scholarship. However, we are aware that being looked upon as a ‘scholarship’ organization would be detrimental to our overall mission of wholesome community building. With that in mind, we brought in the other applicants to be CLUBHOUSE Ambassadors to help lead their community in service and receive leadership development tools from the organization. In its first year of existence, the program has been a success and, while we continue to seek funds to be able to give out more scholarships, the CLUBHOUSE Ambassadors program looks set to continue and grow.