An amazing event took place in Zimbabwe last month.
On July 15, more than 2,000 people gathered to break ground for construction of the new Matau Primary School buildings. The Matau Primary School project is funded through the Oprah Winfrey Foundation in honor of Tererai Trent, the woman whom Oprah Winfrey has declared to be her all-time favorite guest, after 25 years of The Oprah Show.
If You Desire Those Things, It Is Achievable
Tererai Trent grew up in the rural village of Matau. As a young girl in rural Zimbabwe, she lived without running water and electricity and only attended two terms of school before she was forced to marry at age 11. In 1991, she met a woman from Heifer International and told her what her greatest dream was: to move to America and get her PhD. The woman looked at Tererai and said, “If you desire those things, it is achievable.”
By 1998, Ms. Trent moved to Oklahoma with her husband and five children. Just three years later, she earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education. In 2003 — the same year her husband was deported for abuse — she obtained her master’s degree. Today, she is happily remarried and has been awarded her PhD.
Tererai Trent Never Forgot The Children Of Matau
Still, Ms. Trent has never forgotten the children in her own village, wanting them to have the same opportunity to follow their dreams and realize their potential. The donation to the Matau Primary School project was announced on May 20, 2011, during one of the final “Oprah” show episodes.
The new school will have 850 students, and will include new latrines, new classrooms, new homes for teachers, a preschool playground and a school administration building. In addition, some 4,000 preschoolers and school-age children from Matau and neighboring villages will be reached through early education programs and a community-wide literacy program.
Thank you, Oprah Winfrey Foundation
Ms. Trent, who could not attend the groundbreaking, sent a special message to the children, which was read at the ceremony, “My heart is filled with joy when I imagine thousands of you sitting in these classrooms, starting your journey to becoming the finest women and men you aspire to be,” said Tererai Trent. “Make the world proud. Show the world it is achievable, Tinogona.” The education project has $1.5 million in funding from the Oprah Winfrey Foundation.
You can watch Ms. Trent telling her own story by clicking here.
Photo Credit: The Brave Discussion