Friends of Pakati…

…was set up for one sole purpose: to help improve the development of education at the two Pakati schools, namely the Primary and Secondary. By extension, the local community should also benefit from these developments. The original intention to provide IT equipment has been partially delivered, and the promise of further equipment would mean the schools would then be able to introduce IT lessons formerly, helping them meet Ministry requirements in terms of how the Curriculum should be delivered.

The project came about through discussions with the Secondary school Head, but from the beginning, the local community and staff from both schools have been deeply involved, providing information, stories, pictures, profiles, ideas, thoughts, comments. It has been via facebook, twitter, Whats App messages, with contributions as well from former students from before, during and after my time at Pakati being significant contributors.

The author is nothing more than the conduit for the donations to the project, ensuring it meets the stated aim of assisting the development of the two schools. He does not do this for any personal gain, or glory, nor does he consider himself a hero, just an ordinary person trying to give something back to a community he served 30 years ago, and who he remains ever grateful to them for their ongoing support.

More recently, the project has come to the attention of the local councillor, District Council and local MP, all of whom have been tremendously supportive.

One person who has been perticularly supportive is my host and friend, Bothwell Riside. He sent a long message intended for publication, but given the current circumstances which will become clear, I have decided only to quote a short section (apologies to Bothwell):

Events and the aftermath (referring to the handover ceremony recently)
“I had the privilege to have first hand information on all that was happening. We had a couple of trips to the capital city as well as some time out to meet friends and relatives in Murewa, Marondera and Harare. Most of the people we met had genuine expression of love, and we had several tokens of appreciation while others invited us for breakfast and just a mere chat. Notable among these were the councillor for ward 14 who invited us to his house and he gave us a hen. In African culture if a visitor is given a hen you would have been given a special welcome. The MP also met us at the Rainbow hotel. What an MP we have who could interact with people from his constituency in such a friendly manner.”

“Sadly I don’t rule out the existence of people who might have had their own agendas, some for their personal benefit. We have an incident of some individual(s) who we believe are threatening us in one way or the other, putting the whole project in danger. We are dealing with it in whatever ways we can. “

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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