Support from Iron fans plus an interesting idea for the future of the project

Matt, Brad and Matt of the Iron Bru forum/podcast
outside the Honest Lawyer in Scunthorpe

Today before Sunthorpe United’s first home game of the 2019/20 season, fans forum and podcast presenters collectively known as Iron Bru, recorded a podcast in a local bar called The Honest Lawyer. They very kindly invited me to speak at the beginning of todays podcast recording on behalf of this project. This was the second time for them to ask me to be a guest on their show and they have been very supportive, as have many individual fans, and staff at the club, as well as the chairman, Peter Swann. I am very grateful to all for that support.

Iron fans at the Iron Bru podcast recording today

In addition, Iron Trust another supporters group also held a raffle in support of friendsofpakati.com at the event, with 5 prizes of various memorabilia items going to the winning tickets. Thanks to John for organising it. Good to see the shirt collecter and trader Simon present who tells me there is more money coming to http://gofundme.com/friends-of-pakati very soon, boosting the total before chairman Mr Swann lives up go his promise of doubling what we raise. Hoping to have this organised for two weeks time at our next home game.

FUTURE DEVELOPMENT FOR THE PROJECT

This is not formally agreed as yet, but discussions are currently taking place between myself, the Head of Pakati Secondary school, the local councillor for the ward, the MP for the district and other community members involved in/supporting the project. I will also consult donors and supporters here in the UK

The suggestion has been made that the project becomes about more than just Pakati schools. There are a number of similar schools in the district of Murewa, all with similar needs. They are the lowest funded schools in Zimbabwe, kept afloat by largely subsistence farming communties whose income is not stable, but fluctuates with the weather and subsequent harvests each season/year.

These schools, like Pakati, provide as good an education as they can, but often lack basic equipment, teachers frequently farm themselves as pay can be intermittent or low, and students, no matter how keen, cannot get the exam results their hard work deserves without proper facilities. As the curriculum becomes more IT-based, Pakati and schools like it are in danger of being left behind, creating further disadvantage to already struggling communities.

Once the funds raised here up to now have been spent and goods delivered to Pakati schools, then the idea is that this project will support more of these schools in Murewa district, with the backing of the local politicians, as they can help organising things like clearing customs and delivering items to the schools. It maybe that we set up whole new online/social media/fundraising presences, or use these current ones under the same banner, but with a clear statement about any funds/donations raised will be spread among more than just Pakati schools. We would continue to use Pakati as an exemplar school due to my personal connections, continuing to demostrate how life is for all concerned in these and similar schools.

My thoughts also include an idea to allow donors to say whether they want those donations to just go to Pakati or are happy for them to be shared across the district, then keep the two funds/donations separate.

If any of you reading this have any comments, thoughts or ideas please to contact us friendsofpakati@gmail.com or http://twitter.com/friendsofpakati or http://facebook.com/Friends-of-pakati

Thank you – please share widely!

Author:

My name is Chris Walker, and between January 1989 and September 1991 I worked, through VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), at Pakati Secondary School in Murehwa South district in Zimbabwe. I was a Maths teacher for 2 years, the Acting Head for the last 8 months there. I have also taught in Botswana & the UK, had 4 years working for VSO, and spent the last 13 years as a Civil Servant in Bradford. I married a Zimbabwean woman & we have 2 sons.

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