Senior Arts Reporter
Former diplomat with the Czech Republic Embassy in Harare and art collector Dr Marie Imbrova, has established ‘Friends of Tengenenge Club’, a charity organization in aid of children at the sculpture community in Guruve.
Friends of Tengenenge Club, is a non-profit organization, meant to improve the lives of several children resident at the sculpture community.
Every year, Dr Imbrova brings a group of five people from Czech Republic to tour around Zimbabwe and embark on charity work.
According to Dr Imbrova, the children at Tengenenge Sculpture Community, especially the girl child are in need of decent education and exposure.
“We do exhibitions aimed at raising funds for children at Tengenenge Sculpture Community.
“This was part of Friends of Tengengenge Club founded in 2008/10 and so far we have paid schools fees for children whose parents are failing to send them to school.
“We have also built a pre-school where 180 children attend and also we pay for one teacher. We want to do more but we know the (economic) situation in Zimbabwe is difficult especially for people who live in the rural areas,” she said.
She said next year two other children will enroll at secondary school with assistance from the club.
Dr Imbrova said her adoption of Tengenenge started way back when the Embassy of Czech Republic bought Emil Holub piece which was carved at the community.
“Since 2007 the Ambassador pledged to work and support children from Tengenenge. We have provided scholarships, uniforms and sports kits to empower the children.
“The problem is that most children are getting married at a younger age and one of the things we want to address is provide education and exposure to the girl child. We are going to initiate trips for the children to visit Harare so that they are inspired that there is a lot that a girl child can do other than getting married,” Dr Imbrova said.
However, some of the excelling children who have benefited from Friends of Tengenenge Club include, Archibald Gombarago and Memory Tembo who are now at secondary level.
At present there are about 11 volunteers who make up Friends of Tengenenge including Dr Imbrova’s sister Jinandre.
Tengenenge Sculpture Community plays host to 76 resident artists and 60 non-residents artists including Agrippa Tiriigu (30) who doubles as a tour guide.
Tirigu is an abstract stone sculptor who is passionate about empowering the girl child. Through working with Dr Imbrova Tirigu has ensured that best pupils get scholarships to pursue their education outside of the community