A plea for help in these unusual times…

Friends of Pakati is in an unusual position riight now. We have a small amount in the bank (£280, or approx. US$335), but due to the current global pandemic causing various lockdowns, fundraising activities have ground to a halt. However, things have just been starting to ease up a little, though its too early to say what the effects might be, and of course the fundraising page is open 24/7…

Pakati Secondary school during lockdown, still closed for now

The reality is that we are going to need a lot more money to meet our ambitious aims for this coming year. See https://friendsofpakati.com/2020-vision-friends-of-pakati-the-project-continues/ for full details, although this will also be the vision well into 2021. As Friends of Pakati develops into a more formal entity, then the intention is to broaden its scope. Some of this has been mentioned already in a recent post, https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/05/08/whats-happening-at-friends-of-pakati/ where there is talk about collaboration. What is also possible, if funds allow, is to develop a scheme to try and help some of the poorest students gain access to education. Help with things like fees, uniforms and equipment, or possibly income-generating projects to help such families provide for them.

Below is one of the early paragraphs of the next chapter in Pauline Machengo’s extraordinary story….and a plea for donations – large or small, in any currency – to start to build the funds up for what is likely to be the delivery of goods during 2021, though we still can’t predict exactly when that will happen:

“THE BUS was idling, ready to go. Its head was already facing the exit gates of Roadport (coach terminal in Harare). I was sitting by the window craning my neck in order to have a clear view of the Forth Street taxi rank. Eagle Liner buses are so high that you can see people walking around like ants. The view was so perfect. I was smiling like nobody’s business. Finally I was on my way to Cape Town. Goodbye Zimbabwe!”

Pauline Machengo’s amazing story will continue on the blog….if people will donate to http://gofundme.com/friends-of-pakati small or large amounts are welcome! Equivalent of US$2 or GB£2 or more…just need a few to join in & then we will release this next chapter in full.

I heard from Debbie Chadbon again recently, and although she was disappointed not to be able to do the proposed Bristol 10km run in early May, she did say “I am thinking I might do it around our local park in the Autumn instead and I’m trying to keep the momentum of running going.” Hopefully this will come about, but there is stil a certain amount of uncertainty about things at the moment….

Admin block, Pakati Secondary school

I am also asking for help to widen the readership of the blog. I am keen to get more interest from the Pakati/Zimbabwean diaspora wherever they are, as well as from people in the UK and elsewhere. This will need more sharing, retweeting, liking, spreading the word among your contacts, encouraging them to take a look, read some of the stories, share it themsleves, maybe donate whatever can be afforded…all of this will help tremendously in delivering the aim of supporting the two schools at Pakati. Thank you!


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.

5 thoughts on “A plea for help in these unusual times…

  1. Tinotenda zvikuru. Excellent updates. Let’s support the identified areas requiring action such as support to underprivileged children, widening readership
    and interest and support to Pauline’s story /book.

Leave a Reply