Another donation; School meetings; Food security in Ward 14

Just this week I heard from my fellow ex-VSO Maths teacher at Pakati Secondary school, Debbie Chadbon she. She told me about what happened after the fundraising plan was thwarted recently – see https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/09/29/schools-limited-return-fundraising-hit-again-by-covid19/ Below is her message to me:

“Hi Chris
I hope you and your family are well.  I managed to raise £50 selling the pumpkins we grew on our allotment to friends and neighbours.  I have kept the jam and chutney to hopefully sell at the next sale trail planned for March 2021 – fingers crossed it goes ahead.
Best wishes Debbie”

See https://friendsofpakati.com/fundraising/ for the latest total showing for our current round of fundraising.

Anyone happy to donate to us please use our main fundraising page http://gofundme.com/friends-of-pakati

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Both Pakati Primary and Secondary schools have recently had consultations with their local community. A combination of senior staff, SDC members and parents of students who attend the schools met (in a covid-safe way) to discuss school budgets.

I have received the minutes of the Primary school meeting courtesy of the Head, Mr Mahachi (pictured above during lockdown earlier this year). Below are the key points from their meeting:

• 65 parents from the 12 villages of the catchment area attended. All present followed Covid 19 protocols throughout the meeting.

• Main discussions revolved around the school accounts as presented by Mr Mahachi, including budget allocations for the previous year, and fees to be levied. These would be charged pro rata, due to delays and staggered returns to school because of covid 19 restrictions and Ministry guidelines. Fees were agreed by the parents present.

• Parents raised other issues about non-payment of fees, which were addressed by Mr Mahachi. Further items were covered around all aspects of covid 19, and general concerns about children’s safety, particularly in light of a recent death of a young boy, Tapiwa Makore, in tragic circumstances a few kilometres from the Pakati catchment area.

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Councillor Israel Maliki has been helping with the distribution of essential supplies to those most in need in the area. As part of the drive for food security, the Councillor was recently filmed at Pakati Primary school, discussing with local farmers about seeds which may give an improved yield in local conditions. More on this in the paragraph below the video.

The Word of Life Church used to use a Pakati Primary school classroom for church services, before a temporary ban was put by the government due to covid. They followed protocol and where allowed to distribute maize seed and basalt fertilizer to their congregants, who had attended a training workshop in Harare earlier. So the church pastor in the presence of the Agritex officer and the Councillor distributed the inputs on the day, as filmed in the grounds of Pakati Primary

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Pakati Primary school students in Grade 7 who recently returned to school to study for their exams. Next year they will be in Form 1 at the Secondary school

I have a few other posts under preparation right now, but I am always looking for new material – new stories, photos, videos, and new ideas about fundraising or features for the blog. Please do contact us if you can help! friendsofpakati@gmail.com

Author:

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 spent the last 14 years as a Civil Servant in Bradford. I married a Zimbabwean woman & we have 2 sons.

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