Weaving a Brighter Future

Middle School reaches out to Tinagona, Dr. Tererai Trent’s foundation

Trent’s visit has inspired Hockaday students to help and provide assistance to her hometown in Zimbabwe.

Small Group, Big Hopes

After Dr. Tererai Trent’s visit to Hockaday, a small group of Middle School students started making and selling beaded bracelets to raise money for Trent’s foundation, Tinagona. The foundation’s name means “it is achievable” in the Shona language, spoken in Trent’s hometown in Zimbabwe.

The money raised from the bracelets will provide nutritional meals to 1,050 elementary students. The funds will go directly to the Tinagona foundation’s current project of building a canteen or cafeteria at the Matau Primary School located in Zimbabwe, Trent’s childhood school. For many of these children, this will be their most significant meal of the day.

“The girls are filling a very special and important role in the area of global health and development,” Trent said.

Members of this group were taught to make these bracelets by a Tinagona representative this past January during a bracelet workday held for Middle School. However, this group of students decided to make these bracelets on their own time.

These bracelets were sold at the Middle School Holiday Bazaar and have been sold at numerous Middle School break sales.

One member of the group, Sarah Kate Feferman, has sold these bracelets outside of Hockaday.

Feferman has made over 100 bracelets since she started in late January. Toy Maven, a toy store run by Hockaday mom Candace Williams, bought 75 of Feferman’s bracelets for $600 and plans to buy more. Whole Earth, a recreational and outdoors gear store, is also interested in buying these bracelets.

“Dr. Trent’s work is so admirable to me because she fought through all her hardships to achieve her goals. Her hardships have only made her stronger and more determined,” Feferman said.

Feferman is planning on expanding the line. She hopes to introduce some earrings she designed as well to contribute to Trent’s foundation.

Because she was so inspired by Trent’s work, Feferman wrote a poem about her as part of an English assignment to write about someone who inspired them.   Her poem entitled Dr.Trent will be published in Trent’s book in the coming fall.

“She truly inspired me and I appreciated her work. I really wanted to help out more,” Feferman said.

Middle School Lends a Hand

This past January, an opportunity to make these bracelets was offered to a handful of seventh and eighth graders, in which a Tinagona representative guided them throughout the process and explained to them the benefits.

The process of making these bracelets was very specific and involved many supplies including paper beads, plastic string, nail polish to hold the bracelet together, and paper clips to ensure the beads would hold on the string. Additionally, a small charm with the word “Tinagona: Zimbabwe” on them was attached to each bracelet.

There are two types of bracelets—a stretchy, elastic one, and the more commonly known beaded bracelets, which the Middle School has been constructing. These bracelets have been sold at the Holiday Bazaar as well as several Middle School bake sales, with the funds going directly to the foundation.

“I personally think it’s a neat experience for students to participate in. They are able to create something that could have such a great impact for students at the school there,” Rachel Brandt, Assistant Head of Middle School, said, who helped organize and plan this workday.

Tinagona

Trent’s foundation hopes to break the cycle of poverty through educating students, so that they can use this education in their life and follow a path of success.

The construction of these canteens is a step towards that goal. Receiving a wholesome meal during the day at breakfast and at lunch will positively impact the students’ academic performance at the primary school. “[The canteens] will allow the children greater overall nutrition and food security in a rural location where food security is an issue,” Trent said.

Trent hopes to spread assistance and her mission to everyone. “I would like to help all students, regardless of their location in the world, to live up to their dreams and exceed at their goals,” Trent said. “It IS achievable!”

– Noor Adatia