This post follows on from the piece I wrote on 26th November, regarding small scale development projects around the area I am familiar with: Pakati and the nearby communities. I want to highlight some of the great work being done locally to try and improve the lives of some of the poorest people in the area.
Friends of Pakati came about because of a conversation between the Head of Pakati Secondary school and one of his predecessors from 30 years ago. This is not the first project the author was involved in at Pakati….
In 1990, I became aware of small scale development funding being available to suitable projects, particularly in rural communities. I heard about projects such as bee-keeping, rearing chickens, and as I did, organising a borehole and associated agricultural plot for a school. As with a number if other projects, some of what was set up is no longer present, but the community borehole remains, and is regularly serviced by Murewa District Development Fund (DDF).
Manpanga School is only a few kilometres from Pakati, closer to Murewa. Vatonatsa Foundation is a local non-profit organisation which among other things, helps a number of particularly deprived children with their school fees and uniforms who attend Mapanga Primary school.
Their core focus is the welfare of children, and in order to ensure they are well fed and also to help them earn an income, at the school Vatonatsa have an ongoing project growing a high-nutrition plant called Moringa. It is a valuable plant in communities where people struggle to get maximum nutrition. The plant has a lot of ways it can be consumed, but most common is by eating the leaves such as in a relish (sauce) or tea leaves. This project was begun in March 2019.
This from Vari Marez of Vatonatsa:
“We also are involved with goat rearing at Mapanga school, and also the social reach out we initiated in line with the Children’s rights convention, so we are conducting an exercise to assist children without birth certificates in Ward 14 of Murewa. Most of our work is currently based at Mapanga, although our projects will spread to most other areas of Ward 14 too during 2020.
There are more projects which Vatonatsa are involved in, in and around Mapanga school. I will include more information and photos from these in forthcoming articles in this series. There are also many other projects going on in the area, and I will also discuss them in future posts, detailing who is involved and what is being planned or already being done.