Joint venture – Back-story and responses

On May 28th this year, I posted this message here on the blog: marking the formal agreement to enter into a joint initiative to help exam students at 2 Primary schools (Pakati and Mapanga) and one Secondary school (Pakati). Following further discussions with those 3 schools, Councillor Israel Maliki of Ward 14 in Murewa where these schools are situated, VaTonatsa Foundation, and other key supporters of Friends of Pakati, we added the other 2 schools in the Ward, Chanetsa Primary and Secondary – see for more details.

The overall view from all the people involved, and from the local communities, is very positive indeed. We feel vindicated in our efforts, and think that it has been well worth all the hard work. The feedback from the schools and others tells us all we need to know, some of it is shown further down this blog.

In view of this new collaboration, Friends of Pakati felt the need to boost its limited finances, and requested donations to help us contribute significantly to the venture. As a result, we added £300 from those generous enough to donate. Key to this was Roj Rahman of Mortz Property Service in Scunthorpe (the Author’s home town), and fellow former teacher at Pakati (also ex-VSO) Debbie Chadbon.

Below is Roj’s reasoning for giving to Friends of Pakati, for which we are most grateful as we may not have been able to help quite as much without it:

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be involved and make a contribution to a very worthy cause.
Knowledge is power and to help the next generation move forward to achieve peace, prosperity and progress is through education.
I wish you and Friends of Pakati and VaTonatsa Foundation to continue the excellent work and wish you all the best of health and continued success.
Roj Rahman
Mortz Property Services”

Following these donations, Friends of Pakati has sent US$500 to VaTonatsa as we agreed to split the cost of the production of the booklets for the 5 schools. See below the pictures of the recent delivery to the Primary schools and read about it here:

Green: Ngomamowa, Blue: Shavanhowe river, Red: bottom left to top right – Pakati Primary & Secondary together, Chanetsa Primary, Chanetsa Secondary, and Mapanga Primary schools

See more about Pakati Secondary school here

This is how our agreement has worked out – 159 students at Pakati Primary, Pakati Secondary and Chanetsa Secondary school students are covered by Friends of Pakati, while 115 students at Mapanga and Chanetsa Primary schools are covered by VaTonatsa Foundation. The split of US$500 : US$302 is not far from a fair reflection according to the 159 : 115 student split.

I am now delighted to have posted the report on completion of this joint venture with the production of booklets for the 2 Secondary schools, and delivery on Saturday 4th July 2020.

Delivery at Pakati and Chanetsa Secondary schools is shown below:

From the very beginning of this joint venture, Friends of Pakati and VaTonatsa Foundation have worked tirelessly together to bring it to fruition. We have collaborated with ideas, and with money, but definitely with a co-operative spirit that has been refreshing. The successful outcome has been entirely due to this co-operation. I think it is right that we include as many of the names as we can of those behind the initiative, from start to end.

For VaTonatsa Foundation, it has included Vari Marez, Yvonne Ncube-Zulu, Chiedza Manhera and Celia, all pictured. Also making notable contributions are Tashinga Muyengwa and Mildred, but there may be others too I am not aware of. I have to say I admire their work ethic in getting everything organised locally to produce and deliver it all to the 5 schools.

For the Schools, Mr Mugove, Mr Mahachi, Mr Mawedze, Mr Kadzimu and Mrs Maenzanise/Mr Vhuso. I would also like to thank all of the teachers at the various schools, whether I know them or not, for the incredible work they do to educate their students, in addition the School Development Committees and backroom staff who are also vital in supporting the learning environment.

From Murewa Rural District Council, thank you for approving the dustribution of the booklets, Dr Gurajena and of course, local councillor for Murewa Ward 14, Alderman Israel Maliki.

Last but not least, Friends of Pakati. Started by myself, but the inspiration to continue and to develop it comes from regular contributors and correspondents, such as former students Bothwell Riside and Lorraine Mapuranga in particular, both of whom I know very well personally. These have also more recently been added to I am delighted to say by another former teacher, Debbie Chadbon.

Here are some of the comments we have recently received about this joint initiative:

Mrs Maenzanise, Head of Mapanga Primary sent me this messsge: “Hello my friend Chris. Thanks so much for bringing our area to greatest height. Our learners have been introduced to a new thing in their lives. Revising while at home with the help of relatives and friends during the covid period. We really appreciate your love and help for them to excel in their school work. The material will go a long way. At our school almost three quarters have collected to date. Only a few who live far will collect this coming week. Thanks to all others behind the scenes. Be blessed”

From Mr Mawedze, Head of Chanetsa Secondary school: “Hello Mr Walker. Chanetsa Secondary are greatly appreciating the great effort you made to suport our form 4 learners with these booklets Our teachers and learners work is going to be that much easier. May God bless you sir. I am going to send you photos we were taking to witness this wonderful occasion.”

From social media:

William Elias said “May God bless you more……we thank you for your response.”

Antony Munyaradzi Chafa: “You’re doing a very good work for my community, I really appreciate everything.”

Thonsi: “This good deed will go far and wide in building the community and changing lives. Thank you Vatonatsa and Friends of Pakati.”

From Vari Mayez herself: “

On behalf of VaTonatsa I want to say thank you to Alderman Maliki for unifying and supporting us.
I want to thank Mr Walker and your team like Lorraine, Bothwell etc. I thank all the teachers in the ward who made this a success, our leaders in the community, the Village heads allowing us to come in, and the parents represented by all SDC members, thank you. May this love live on!

Tinotenda chose wose munhu ane chekuita nebasa iri totenda wose munhu akatsigira. Rudo urwu ngaruwedzere.”

Efforts like this are invaluable to the students, and many more will benefit from them in the future. They are free to the schools, as VaTonatsa Foundation and Friends of Pakati have themselves paid the approximate cost of US$800 in total between us. We have done so by raising funds (see above) and for us at Friends of Pakati, our meagre resources have now reduced significantly in spite of the recent donations. We now have less than £190 in the bank, so before we can do much more we will need further injections of money. They can be in small sums or large, from individuals or groups or businesses, we don’t mind. Please do give if you can, wherever in the world you are, so we can continue to help. Thanks to all of you who give via or use the paypal links on the side and at the foot of this blog.


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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