It is now a few weeks since students returned to school across Zimbabwe. Thanks to Deputy Head Mrs Pindura, here are some photos and information about what it is like at Pakati Secondary school now.
As can be seen here, the students are able to maintain good hand hygene at various different points around the school.
Classes are in full swing, and social distancing is being adhered to at all times in the classrooms.
Mrs Chingoriwo with her form 2 Agriculture class – all are wearing masks.
A form 4 student in Mr Chizenya’s History class doing a presentation.
Form 3 students in Mr Ediyeti’s Building class doing their thing.
It is great to see the school back in action, the staff doing their best, in difficult circumstances, to provide a good education to the students.
Our first video is almost completed…
Find out who this man is, and what he has to say about the Author of Friends of Pakati when the video is released sometime next week!
Our second video is being prepared also…here is a taster of what might be in this one!
Buy merchandise: https://friendsofpakati.com/merchandise/
Friends of Pakati is currently involved in two separate fundraising campaigns, and I though it useful to bring everyone up to date with both. Firstly though, a brief outline of the two campaigns would be useful, each followed by the current status of funds raised.
Friends of Pakati has, since 16th January this year, been running its own campaign – PC’s to PAKATI https://friendsofpakati.com/2021/01/13/pcs-to-pakati/
So far, we have now raised a total of £728.83 towards our goal, with a mixture of donations and sales of merchandise helping us on our way – see https://friendsofpakati.com/merchandise/ for more details.
Our second campaign is part of a joint venture with a partner organisation, VaTonatsa Foundation. See https://friendsofpakati.com/2021/04/06/the-plight-of-mapanga-primary-school-not-far-from-pakati/ for full details. We are hoping to help one of Pakati’s neighbouring schools regain an electricel power supply, this time solar powered.
As can be seen below, thus far we have jointly raised US$600 towards the total required of US$2260, the cost of installation.
I recently heard again from Debbie Chadbon, fellow former Maths Teacher at Pakati Secondary school. She tells me her plans to do some fundraising for Friends of Pakati are coming along well.
Here is what she emailed me:
This will help us in our quest to gather the funds we need to get the PC’s to Pakati this year – see https://friendsofpakati.com/2021/01/24/pcs-to-pakati/ for more details.
Coming very soon…
Our first video release! It’s almost ready, and just for fun, here is one of the out-takes!
Friends of Pakati and VaTonatsa Foundation have joined together for the second time in a year. In 2020 we co-operated to provide revision materials for exam classes at all five schools in Ward 14, Murewa District (see full story here https://friendsofpakati.com/partner-organisations-and-joint-ventures/ ).
Now we have joined forces again, this time to help one of those schools once more, Mapanga Primary school. We reported recently about their power supply problems (see here https://friendsofpakati.com/2021/04/06/the-plight-of-mapanga-primary-school-not-far-from-pakati/ ), and decided to donate some of our own funds – US$100 – towards their target of just over US$2300. This would allow them to have solar power installed at the school.
Together we are happy to report donations have reached US$600.00 so far, more than a quarter of the total needed. Thank you/Tatenda to all who have contributed towards the project, every cent/penny raised is welcomed by Friends of Pakati, VaTonatsa Foundation and Mapanga Primary school👍
Please keep spreading the word, and lets hope others are willing to help. If you or someone you know wishes to donate, here is how:
For donations in Zimbabwe, VaTonatsa Foundation FBC account number 1070244440127 Nelson Mandela Branch, or Ecocash to Varaidzo Mayenzanise 0775 012 162
Why indeed? Here is why I think it’s a great idea…both Pakati schools do their best to provide a good education to their students, but are often hampered by circumstances beyond their control. We want to help them improve what they can do, in terms of basic facilities that we take for granted here in the UK.
Our Vision (full details here: https://friendsofpakati.com/2020-vision-friends-of-pakati-the-project-continues/ ) explains our main aims, but briefly they are:
1. To help provide items such as IT equipment, internet access and other materials as required by both Pakati schools
2. Should funds permit, extending those in 1. to the three other named schools in the Ward
3. Should funds permit, provide scholarships to those deemed most in need
4. To help in other ways as deemed relevant/necessary
How to help? Here is how…
Buy some merchandise! See https://friendsofpakati.com/merchandise/ for full details
Offer practical support by emailing email@example.com
Look out for us on Instagram @friendsofpakati where we post random daily photos of/from Pakati
Watch out for our videos – will be publshed across social meda in the near future!
From time to time, I hear from people associated with Pakati schools, and post their stories on here. I am often able to update the blog with new material from them with more recent photos.
Here, then, is a long-awaited follow up to Juliet Valley’s first post back in August 2020 – see it here: https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/08/14/weekend-star-juliet-valley-former-pakati-teacher/ for some background.
Juliet is a market vendor in Kotwa, a small town on the Harare-Murewa-Mutoko road, not too far from the border with Mozambique.
She lives in a village about 35km away where she grows a number of crops in her fields. They are partly for consumption, but a lot go for sale.
Seen here in her fields back in February this year, she tells me most of her crops were planted in December 2020. Thanks to a good rainy season this year, she has a good amount of produce to sell both at her own market stall, and in Harare’s biggest market – Mbare Musika.
Water melons and pumpkins are favourites in many rural communities
Sorghum is widely grown in the rural areas of Zimbabwe
African beans are very much part of the diet across Zimbabwe
These two bags contain groundnuts. Juliet says they will keep for many months. She intends to sell them in Harare, at Mbare, come September. She expects to get a better price for them later in the year. All the remaining goods Juliet says she will sell in Kotwa market in the coming weeks.
Life can be hard as a subsistence farmer, but when the weather holds, and rains are good, then there is a chance to make some money for these communities. This is then good news for rural schools like Pakati, as it means fees are more likely to be paid, meaning they can buy more equipment for their teachers and learners. When the crops are not so good, they can struggle. This is especially true if there are emergencies, such as we have seen at both Pakati Secondary and Mapanga Primary schools when their power supplies were damaged and cut off. As you will know, Friends of Pakati helped Pakati to restore power, and are appealing for donations to get Solar power to Mapanga. http://Paypal.me/friendsofpakati
Here is a link to the full video interview of the Author, Chris Walker, with Aunty Mimiey on facebook live from Saturday 10th April 2021…hope you enjoy it👍am hoping to put it out on youtube in the near future
There are comments below the video too. I hope some additional support comes out of this, the feedback and comments are very encouraging! Thank you to all who participated, especially Aunty Mimiey herself, and Maggie for connecting us.
There are a number of reasons why I am optimistic about Friends of Pakati in the coming months, and below I set them out.
• Covid 19 situation in the UK
Here in the UK, vacvinations continue apace, and currently over 60% of adults have had their first jabs. Around 10% have had the second jab to date.
Lockdowns are easing across the UK, and large parts of the economy are beig re-opened with Covid safety rules in place. Stats showing decreases in infections, death rates sharply reduced, and the main concern is that of new variants coming in.
• Upturn in the weather in the UK
Although it is not yet summer here, temperatures are steadily rising. With longer daylight hours, people’s perceptions are of brighter days ahead. We can go out more now, to more places and do more things. As a result, people feel better, and are more likely to respond positively to appeals like ours at Friends of Pakati.
• Media publicity increasing
Folliwing on from several appearances on BBC Radio Humberside (my home area) I am now getting interest from BBC Radio Leeds (closer to where I live now). Waiting to confirm a new interview, hopefully next week.
• Increase in fundraising activities being planned
In addition to the fundraising through general donations, we also have items for sale – see https://friendsofpakati.com/merchandise/ – there is also the https://friendsofpakati.com/2021/01/24/pcs-to-pakati/ initiative. I am told also that Debbie Chadbon, former Pakati Teacher, is preparing to to a 50km bicycle ride to raise fubds for us!
• Broader social media presence
Friends of Pakati now have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and under the name of Christopher Walker, also LinkedIn.
The facebook interview coming up later today (Saturday 10th April) gives us a chance to broaden our support base
• New publicity material being produced
Videos for use on Instagram & possibly Youtube are currently being prepared. Here below is just one small clip, likely to become part of a longer video when editing is complete:
Well, the Author has been given an opportunity to talk about Friends of Pakati in a live discussion on facebook…see information below, and there is a link to the event this Saturday 10th April at 7pm UK/BST (British Summer Time) or 8pm in Zimbabwe/South Africa:
I am looking forward to discussing all aspects of Friends of Pakati, including how I ended up teaching at Pakati, recent return visits, and the developments we are trying to support there.
• Friends of Pakati is now on Instagram! @friendsofpakati
• Heard from BBC Radio Leeds this week – they want to interview me about Friends of Pakati, possibly as early as next week!
• Some short videos are being produced, will go out on Instagram & other social medua channels once finalised
• Helping Mapanga Primary school is now turning into a second joint venture with VaTonatsa Foundation – details to follow soon!