Former Pakati student Rev Aggie Fombo: Part 3 – working with the disadvantaged

Here we welcome back someone who has had 2 previous posts – https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/03/14/mrs-agatha-joramu-fombo-former-pakati-student-now-a-pastor-in-mutare-zimbabwe/ and https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/10/24/pastor-aggie-jorambu-fombo-part-2-slightly-delayed/ with the latest on her community work. At the foot of this is a brief exchange of messages between us, which took me back to my time at Pakati 30+ years ago…also our links for donations are there too.

Former student of Pakati Primary up to Grade 6, Agatha Fombo, has come a long way in life. However, her strong faith has lead her to do some truly amazing work.

Recently ordained as a Reverend, Aggie has in fact been involved in her local community in the Province of Manicaland, Zimbabwe. She graduated with Bachelor’s degree in Theology– Biblical Studies, and was ordained soon afterwards

I chatted with her this week, and found out what she hss been doing. She spoke about her Foundation, links with other organisations, and also about the recent Christmas celebrations she had with disadvnataged community members. A very inspiring story I think you will agree!

Hi Aggie! It has been a while since we last heard from you. Congratulations on your Ordination and your Graduation! How does it feel, and how have your acheivements affected your work?

Thank you so much Chris.. Hey it’s still like a dream to me. I have always wanted to be ordained, and had always told my daughters that one day I want to be a minister. About the degree, yes yes I am so excited and humbled by finishing my degree in the year of Coronavirus. This was a great challenge, as I had to do many online lectures at my old age(!) but thank God I sailed through. This is going to open more doors for me to be a marriage officer, a chaplain and more responsibilities in my new office. It is a great achievement for me which comes with great opportunities as the Chairperson of Vanopaishe, my Foundation too.

That is wonderful to hear Aggie, could you tell us a bit more about your Foundation please?

Vanopaishe Foundation is registered with the Social Development Department here in Mutare, and has 7 board members, with myself as the Chairperson. I had it in my heart that I must help and reach out to the less privileged, starting in Manicaland Province where I am staying. I have a more than 250 people with albinism on my database for Manicaland only, more than 100 people with different disabilities, more than 30 orphans and 20 older people that I am reaching out to through the Foundation. My preschool too is the inspiration behind the Foundation’s vision of helping and reaching out to the less privileged children and adults.

The foundation’s objectives:

• To provide services and create programs that reduce the number of children outside families and on the streets

• To create a conducive environment and realization of rights for the people with different disabilities.

• To create equal opportunities in education for all the people from different walks of life.

• To create income generating projects for the vulnerable people to help with food, shelter and self sustainability.

In addition to this, and the preschool I run, we also give clothes to our vulnerable friends through a faithful donor – Beryl Josephine Davies – in the UK, and her organization.

I can see how much your work means to you, but how have you dealt with Christmas during this difficult time?

After the schools in Zimbabwe reopened on 9 November 2020, I got busy with the children from my preschool and the church. We were teaching the Christmas play, all in preparation for our 1st Annual Christmas party and kids graduation 🎓 which was to happen on December 13.

The children on the stage doing the Christmas play

We held the CHRISTMAS party at Lamour Farm in Old Mutare. My daughter Claris (popularly known as Mai Kudzi) worked tirelessly with me at the preschool and at church to make this day a very successful one. I hosted the less privileged people that I reach out to as Vanopaishe Foundation. With the Covid-19 restrictions, I had invited a few people with albinism, orphaned children, people with different disabilities and the few old people from our community. I am so grateful to have sourced some grocery hampers from an anonymous friend, and this went a long way in putting great smiles on the faces of our dear less privileged guests. We also managed to transport the everyone to and from the venue on the day. We had some people coming from Watsomba in Inyanga, Dangamvura location and Chikanga 2 and Westlea surbubs of Mutare. As Vanopaishe Foundation, we are so happy to have ended 2020 with a great sigh of relief even in the pandemic.

On the day with the people with albinism

Sadly this year has started on a very bad note again with a total shutdown being announced by our government. This new Covid 19 blow has put our lives on a stand still again, especially as many people in our community will be without food on the table once more. We are still praying for provision in some projects to help in their self sustainability. As the Chairperson of Vanopaishe Foundation, I am looking forward to a great year, and I am optimistic despite the global pandemic.

What an amazing story from Reverend Aggie!

Let me, on behalf of Friends of Pakati, thank Aggie for all the hard work she does in her community, also for spending time supporting us with her stories and by sharing our posts among her international contacts👏👏

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Just as a short aside, we were discussing the time when I was at Pakati (1989-91)…it turns out if she had stayed on at Pakati Primary beyond Grade 6, then move to the Secondary school, I would have taught her! I asked her if she knew me…

Yaaa but I only did up to grade 6 at Pakati. But every holiday I would come home to Chigwada and would see and hear people talking about you…it was a new thing in our life to have a murungu (white person) teaching at a rural school….lol so it was Mr Walker all over

What were they saying…?

It was the talk of the time that there is a murungu at Pakati school, and when you visited our shops hey we could sneak to truly see a murungu teacher in our community….

🤣🤣🤣 did you see me then?

Oh yes I knew you..

Wow really? Did you speak to me?

Oh no, we could just gazed at you from a distance! hahaha so funny at the time, we were just children

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To donate:

http://www.gofundme.com/friends-of-pakati

http://Paypal.me/friendsofpakati

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.

11 thoughts on “Former Pakati student Rev Aggie Fombo: Part 3 – working with the disadvantaged

  1. This is amazing! Such a full year of accomplishments. Your sisters in Christ from the USA are proud of you.

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