Friends of Pakati and VaTonatsa Foundation welcome Chanetsa schools on board!

**Breaking News**

Following discussions between Friends of Pakati, VaTonatsa Foundation, the Heads of both Pakati schools and of Mapanga Primary, plus Councillor Israel Maliki, we are all delighted to welcome both Chanetsa schools – Primary and Secondary – to share in the assistance being given to exam class students by the two philanthropic organisations. Below is the full story behind it all, including the rough costs involved.

30 years ago when I was teaching at Pakati Secondary school, Chanetsa Primary school was one of the main feeder Primary schools, and I remember one student in particuler from the area – Gift Chanetsa – who was a fine young man, a prefect, a great ambassador for Pakati, and a sportsman. He would run to school, maybe 5 or 6 km, then in the afternoon during athletics would run 10km, then run back home! He proudly represented the school as far as Provincial level. Until recent years, there was no Secondary school at Chanetsa, and it is still developing. At present, students at Chanetsa Secondary write their exams at Pakati, they are widely considered as a sister school to Pakati, as told to me by Mr Chifaka in 2018 when I revisited the school.

As the idea for our collaboration came about from discussions with Vari Mayez, the founder of VaTonatsa Foundation, it was clear to me that the proposal to help our exam students (who may be missing out due to the temporary closure of schools across Zimbabwe) would fit in very well with the vision set out here: so it was easy to agree. We at Friends of Pakati are concerned with 2 schools, and VaTonatsa have a particular interest in Mapanga Primary. A 2:1 split on costs seems fair. More about the costs further down this blog post.

All 3 schools sit in Ward 14 of Murewa District, and as such are represented by their Councillor, Israel Maliki. He is keen to see schools in his Ward develop, and has provided much support to both organisations to enable such development to take place. The addition of Chanetsa to this initiative is very much appreciated by him: “….The inclusion of both Chanetsa schools in that program is one of your best deeds….”

In a previous post I outlined the discussions which brought about this joint venture – see but here is the version sent to me by Vari of VaTonatsa earlier this week:

“As shared some months back here on, our partnership with Friends of Pakati and its founder Chris Walker (a former teacher at Pakati Secondary school) started in September 2019, when Chris came to donate some computers and sports wear. We as Vatonatsa Foundation felt it was important to attend the event upon the invitation of Councillor Maliki, a man I describe as hardworking and unifying. We felt that as philanthropists it was important to show support to the work that Chris had started at Pakati in Murewa Ward 14. My friend Holly Mahere (who is also a philanthropist) attended the event and that is how our relationship was born.

Fast forward to present the day, Friends of Pakati and Vatonatsa have established a powerful partnership, so this year we saw it fit to work together to harness the power /synergies that come with cooperation. The COVID19 pandemic has affected the whole world in lots of ways. Education has not been spared, but thanks to technology some parts of the world have come up with solutions such as online learning, to enable learners adhere to requirements for social distancing to minimise spread of COVID19. With reference to Zimbabwe, approximately 55% of students have started learning online while the other 45% percent are unable to do so due to lack of resources for the same. 80% of those are in rural areas where technological resources are still limited that is why we agreed to do the Rural Lockdown Campaign to enable rural students to learn as we wait for more initiatives from the relevant ministry to be fully implemented.Our goal is to give the students hard copy materials so they can read at home. We also hope that if we get more funding we can give them solar lights so they can also study at night to catch up. We are currently targeting assisting exam classes as they are most in need at this time.”

The addition of Chanetsa Primary and Secondary schools has been widely welcomed, as typified by the following comments:

Mr Chifaka, Head of Pakati Secondary said “…Chanetsa Sec still writes exams at Pakati. It’s good to include them, l will contact the Head about it…”

Bothwell Riside, former Pakati student and very good friend of Pakati said “…there is nothing bad in assisting other schools…it is good for local rural development…”

Lorraine Mapuranga, another former Pakati student and close friend of Pakati said “…Good arrangement..these schools are like family. You can’t leave your neighbour hungry. You share the little that you have. Well done for the inclusion of Chanetsa schools in your programme…”

The cost of printing the individual exam/test/revision packs for the schools breaks down to aproximately US$120 per school, a total of 5 schools = US$600. It was agreed that the cost would be split between Friends of Pakati and VaTonatsa Foundation in the ratio if 2:1 (you can tell the Author was a Maths teacher before!) meaning US$400 (FoP) and US$200 (VF), although VaTonatsa will do the actual printing and deliery to all schools.

Thanks to Mr Kadzimu, Head of Chanetsa Primary school for the following information and photos:

“Here at Chanetsa Primary school, in Grade 7 enrolment we have 60 candidates (19 boys, 41 girls), and the total enrolment for the School is 826 learners (399 boys and 427 girls) The school was opened in 1921. Our link to Pakati is by road via Jacobo township (about 2.5km). After Grade 7 our learners mostly go to Shamu Sec 5km away, Pakati Sec 9km away, and Chanetsa Sec 5km away. Some go to boarding schools like St Pauls, Murewa High and Nyahuni Mission.

Chanetsa Secondary school Head, Mr Mawedze, was kind enough to send us the following photos and information about the school:

“The above are Chanetsa Secondary school buildings, and it is a satelite of Pakati secondary school. It was opened year 2010 under the Headship of Mrs Chingoriwo, who is currently the senior teacher at Pakati Secondary school. Chanetsa Secondary has one complete block with two classrooms and two teacher’s houses. The second block is stil under construction, and is funded by council with great support from our ward 14 councilor mr Israel Maliki. It should be finished by the end of the year. Chanetsa has an enrolment of 153 learners, 36 of which are exam students this year. They continue to write their Zimsec exams at Pakati Secondary. Our feeder schools are Chenatsa Primary school and Mapanga Primary school. “

In the temporary absence of Head Mrs Maenzanise due to sickness, Deputy Head Mr Vhuso kindly sent the following photos and information:

“There are 55 students in Grade 7 at Mapanga Primary school who are due to write their exams this year.”

Mr Mahachi, Head of Pakati Primary school, tells us there are 78 candidates for the Grade 7 students this year.

Last but by no means least, Mr Chifaka, Head of Pakati Secondary school informs us that there are 45 O level (ZimSec) candidates in 2020.

So, to sum up, Friends of Pakati and VaTonatsa Foundation will be helping 193 Grade 7 students at 3 Primary schools, and 81 O level students at 2 Secondary schools. 274 students in 5 schools. The beauty of this is, apart from those 274, the packs should help students in the 5 schools for some time to come if the packs are looked after. I believe this will be US$400 well spent, an investment in those schools and communities.

**very latest on fundraising**

Thanks to recent donations our current total stands at £600, the most recent one coming from fellow-former teacher at Pakati Secondary, Debbie Chadbon! Thank you Debbie as it helps us to meet our objectives here at Friends of Pakati. As the initiative outlined above will deplete our funds, then if anyone here or anyone you know is willing to give a donation, small or large, then please do so via either the paypal links on this site, or via

More stories, photos, profiles, interviews, news still to come…


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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