Zimbabwe poor get a shot at SA schooling

9th July 2010 at 01:00

Thousands of children from Zimbabwe have crossed the border into South Africa with the hope of getting an education since the country was named host nation for this year's World Cup, according to the Department for International Development.

The former Government gave almost #163;1 million to the Musina project which provides shelter and support to young people, helping to ensure they do not end up homeless or involved in crime.

Working closely with principals and teachers, one of the major aims of the initiative - run by the charity Save the Children - is to enrol children in school.

"Education offers the best route out of poverty for those living in the world's poorest countries," said international development secretary Andrew Mitchell.

"Every child deserves a decent education - it should be a right for all, not a privilege for the few. That is why the UK will support every effort to make the education of children across the whole of Africa the lasting legacy of this World Cup."

Around 100 unaccompanied children cross the border from Zimbabwe into South Africa every month.

Aid workers have reported an increase in the number of children drawn to the country because of the World Cup and have predicted dramatic increases in numbers during the football tournament.

In 2009, the Musina project supported 6,000 children at drop-in centres on the border and placed 4,000 in education.

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