Dutch Reformed Church: Margaretha Hugo School for the Blind

Dutch Reformed Church

Margaretha Hugo School for the Blind

The Margaretha Hugo School for the Blind (commonly known as Copata School for the Blind) had its origins when the parents of a blind boy approached Dutch Reformed Church missionary Reverend Hugo at Chibi Mission for help. Rev. Hugo asked his wife, Margaretha, to look after the boy and she replied “I will try,” from which was born the later motto of the Margaretha Hugo Mission – “We will try.”Soon, there were 8 children in her care. Margaretha later went to South Africa to learn how to teach Braille.

Established in 1915, the school was registered as a school in 1927 as the first school in Southern Rhodesia providing services to students with disabilities. Because of challenges with accessibility, the school was moved to the Zimuto Mission farm in 1938.

From its initial founding, the school has grown to include a primary and secondary boarding school supporting 480 students with disabilities, most of them with visual impairments, coming from across Southern Africa. The school has a staff of 35 primary and 14 secondary school teachers and continues to be managed by the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ).


  • Mark Loomis