Pakati: Review of the Year – Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of review of 2019!

Author flanked by Stuart Pine and Richard Musgrave from the Stephenson Group,
who generously donated computer equipment to Pakati schools

In July this year I went to Horsforth in Leeds to visit the Stephenson Group, where their IT manager Stuart Pine lived up to his promise to by handing over several desktop PCs, monitors and other IT equipment which included keyboard and mouse for each PC.

Donation kept safe in my Dad’s garage…

I used a portion of the funds raised to add significantly to the equipment. I added to the number of monitors to match the number of desktop computers. I added 2 laptops, bought an 8th desktop, and added a mixture of cables and multi-socket plug extensions.

Having brought them to my home in Bradford, I enlisted the help of my son Daniel, and he helped to set up and test out the equipment. Using our home wi-fi, he installed basic software including internet security for free.

Daniel setting up the computers

Once all the equipment was ready, early in September, Dan and I drove down to Leicester where we met the owners and workers at Coedma Freight International. This was the company chosen to transport everything to Harare, Zimbabwe, and deliver it to a secure address awaiting my visit to collect at the end of September.

Car full ready for the journey to the shipping company, Coedma Freight International.
Our equipment being securely wrapped and packed for the journey

Having used another large part of donated funds to pay for the transporting of the goods all the way from Bradford to Harare. By mid-September I learned everything had been safely delivered to the secure address in Harare where I would collect them later in the month.

Safely delivered!

In late August, I finally had the official presentation of funds donated by Scunthorpe United thanks to the Chairman, Peter Swann. As he was away, CEO Jim Rodwell did the presentation, and proceeded to donate some more club shirts to Pakati.

Scunthorpe United CEO Jim Rodwell presents the author with additional football shirts as part of the donation of funds promised to

While this was going on, two local Scunthorpe United fan groups were helping with publicity (Iron Bru and Iron Trust) and donations of memorabilia to sell for additional funds (Iron Trust). A lot of football shirts were given to sell, and another Iron fan (Simon) used his knowledge of the market to raise money via ebay sales.

Some of the shirts sold to raise funds for Pakati

During this time I had frequent contact with people in the Pakati area, and coninued to receive stories and photos showing life in the area.

Students collecting water from a well to use during Agriculture lessons
Learners in a remedial English class
Bothwell Riside, former student at both Pakati schools, giving an inspirational speech
to current learners at Pakati Secondary school

So the final instalment of the review of the year will be along in a few days, and will cover all of the extraordinary events around the delivery and handover of all donated goods in late September, contact with another former teacher, plus the discussions of what we do in 2020.


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 have been a Civil Servant in Bradford since 2005.

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