Two New Zealand 12 year-old twin sisters, Shefali and Shivani Sinha, have been nominated for the Shine-A-Light award by Genesis Energy - New Zealand's biggest energy provider - for supporting rural school library development in Zimbabwe.
Voting is under way to choose the winners. There is a likelihood Genesis Energy will support the work they are doing if they win.
According to Drieden Kunaka of the Zimbabwe Rural Schools Library Trust, which is registered in Zimbabwe and New Zealand, voting is currently underway at https://shinealight.kiwi/story/VGsb8crg9kG-CwjS2hUr_g?t=16102015 to choose the winners, who will be supported by the company for conducting charity work.
He said, “I am appealing to Zimbabweans to take part in this vote by checking the link below, and clicking on the love heart.
“We are all for rural schools library development. This project is now also being supported by musicians like Sandra Ndebele, Charles Charamba and Leonard Zhakata who want to sing a song about rural libraries and getting books for the poor.”
The mother of the twins, Anindita Dey, told VOA Studio 7 she is happy about her children’s interest in helping poor rural kids in Zimbabwe.
“They attend good schools here but were touched that there are some children who do not have access to books and that is why they decided to help in this projects. All the projects which they are doing on behalf of the rural library trust, including selling snowman, are going on very well.
“We are very proud of these children and we hope Zimbabweans will vote for them in the Genesis Energy competition so that they can raise more money for rural libraries. Everyone is excited about this project.”
At the same time, the newly-crowned Zimbabwe Rural Schools Library Trust Goodwill ambassadors Ropafadzo Kunaka (Drieden’s daughter), the twin sisters Shefali and Shivani Sinha, and their friend Ella Clausen, joined scores of New Zealanders recently who bought space at a fundraising gala organized to raise funds for Kaumatua (Maori elders)’s Iron Maori swimming event to be at Pandora Pond in Napier in January 2016.
Tables for vendors to sell their wares at the event held at Hui Te Rangi Ora Marae were going for $15 and $20 depending on size, and the girls thought that any amount of money towards Kaumatua’s well-being would help make a difference.
Ella was excited about her participation at the event and vowed to continue to do so “I am really impressed by the work my friends Ropa, Shefali and Shivani are doing for humankind, and will use every opportunity to do the same when I have the time.”
The girls’ participation was aimed at helping the Kaumatua and a selected rural school in Zimbabwe. “When we heard about the fundraising event, we thought we could kill two birds in one stone by renting a table to raise money for Kaumatua, and giving the profit of what we sold to the Zimbabwe Rural Schools Library Trust, said Shefali.
Kaumatua, Maori elders, have many important roles in their families and tribes, including preserving traditions and knowledge, providing leadership and nurturing the younger generations.
The girls rented two tables from where they sold an assortment of products including scarves, belts, decorating material and chocolates. “It is inhuman to see someone making efforts to improve the well-being of others and fail to take action”, added Shivani.
Ropafadzo used the event to launch her campaign to raise $500 towards reading activities at Nyamasanga Primary School in Zimbabwe.
She set herself a target to raise NZ$500 for the school that his father went to in line with the Zimbabwe Rural Schools Library Trust’s Ziva Midzi Yako/Yazi Odabuka Khona (Remember Your Roots) campaign which encourages Zimbabweans to give back to the underprivileged rural schools which their families attended.
“I am inspired by the work done by girls of my age group, Shefali and Shivani, and will work with them, other Goodwill Ambassadors and trustees to achieve good results for the children of Zimbabwe’s rural schools who need reading material.
“I am also setting myself a target to raise $500 to buy books for Nyamasanga School in Chitomborwizi, where my dad did his primary school, and I need the support of all,” Ropafadzo told a gathering where she, together with Shefali and Shivani were announced Goodwill Ambassadors for the Zimbabwe Rural Schools Library Trust.
She hopes to have met her target before she leaves for Zimbabwe towards Christmas.