TA News

TA’s Operation Day’s Work Supports Zimbabwean Orphanage

A home for orphans in Zimbabwe called “The Forty-Two” was the focus of Thetford Academy’s Operation Day’s Work (ODW) this year. According to the American Foundation for Children with Aids (AFCA), the Forty-Two is the effort of a single mother named Gertrude who is providing safe haven for 42 orphaned Zimbabwean children.

After a long year of drought and a wind event that damaged the children’s shelters, Gertrude has been relying on community support to operate her orphanage safely. To help, AFCA (whose organization is a former recipient of ODW funding) applied to ODW on Gertrude’s behalf – and TA students enthusiastically chose to support the project. 

Thetford Academy recently assumed leadership of ODW-USA after decades of participating in the program. They work throughout the school year to plan and organize the schoolwide work day, engaging community employers, matching students with assignments, arranging transportation, and more. On May 10, when ODW Day finally arrived, the club’s hard work paid off with a smooth and successful day.

Most TA students spent their days in the community doing jobs like yard work, landscaping, gardening, and splitting wood. Others worked at their own jobs and donated their day’s wages. Students sold baked goods prepared by TA’s Culinary students. All of the funds raised, including proceeds from the TA Show last month, will be combined for the Forty-Two. Within two years, the Forty-Two hopes to become self-sustaining with a kitchen, a storage pantry, and a garden, as well as chickens, goats, and beehives.

Thank you to all of the students and community members that helped make TA’s ODW Day a success – and enabled our small school to make a lasting difference for 42 young people.



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