The plight of Mapanga Primary school, not far from Pakati…

….please read the story below, and if it moves you, then find out later how you can help us to help them. Even though we are set up to provide assistance to the two Pakati schools, it is hard to stand by when, having recently helped to get power restored to Pakati Secondary school ( ) we find out a nearby school is in even greater need…

Students at Mapanga Primary school

Therefore, following discussions with other stakeholders involved in Friends of Pakati, we are now also trying to help the neighbouring school, Mapanga Primary, which is having serious problems with power, as reported earlier in this blog:

Transformer at Mapanga Primary school before being hit by lightning on 6th January this year

Their power was cut in early January 2021, folliwing a lightning strike on their transformer. The Head, Mrs Maenzanise, told me that the transformer they had does not have a replacement available in the country. It would in any case cost at least US$5000 if any were available, way beyond the reach of the school and its community.

Mrs Maenzanise, Head at Mapanga Primary school.

The school, like the two Pakati schools, is in a remote rural area of Zimbanwe, its students are all day scholars. They are from subsistence farming families, living with the vagiaries of the weather in order to grow enough to eat. They then sell any excess to local markets, which is how they cover the cost of school fees and other expenses. There are times when they cannot manage even those modest school fees, leaving the school short of much needed funds for any development or much needed repairs.

The school has a fridge for the tuck shop it runs

According to Mrs Maenzanise, the loss of power affects many aspects of school life, for example, the following:

-Wifi not working
-No printing of learning material
-no lightning during the night to deter thieves
-teachers houses -cooking, t.v and all electrical appliances down
-Charging phones
-Projects such as barber shop & tuckshop

Inside the classtoom at Mapanga Primary school

To install a similar solar supply to Mapanga as that at Pakati Secondary school, they have been quoted US2400, though that was the maximum likely cost. The company who repaired Pakati’s solar unit are willing to help by trying to spread the costs if they can, allowing Mapanga time to raise the funds needed.

Solar panels at Pakati Secondary school

In view of these circumstances, and following the successful restoration of power recently at Pakati Secondary school, here at Friends of Pakati we have therefore decided to donate US$100 to their funds, in the hope of encouraging others to do the same. In addition to this, both myself (US$40) and keen supporter and donor to us, David Scott, (US$60) have added to the funds. Thus the total of US$200 has been sent to Mapanga.

If you, or someone you know, would like to help, please donate to saying it is for Mapanga, & I will forward it to Mapanga school.

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.

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