Founder’s concerns…advice needed!

Exactly two years ago, I was blown away by the reception given to me by the community surrounding the two Pakati schools, shown in the picture below. It was the climax to what was to be the first of hopefully many visits and donations, thanks to the generosity of those supporting us here at Friends of Pakati.

The Author with local MP Mr Sewera, Dr. Gurajena of Murewa RDC  local councillor Mr Mailiki, senior staff and SDC members from both Pakati schools, presenting IT and sports equipment donated in 2019

Current state of play for Friends of Pakati

Greetings to you dear reader, follower, sponsor, donor, supporter, collaborator, partner, and Friend of Pakati. I hope all is well with you, wherever you are in the World. You may have read our most recent blog – https://friendsofpakati.com/2021/09/26/pakati-news-updates/ – or not as the case may be. At the end of it, I wrote this short paragraph:

“Friends of Pakati is in the middle of a difficult period, which I will discuss in the next blog. The future may take us in new directions, into new collaborations. I hope we can move forward from our current struggles and help the two Pakati schools – and maybe other nearby schools too – with things like computers, books, materials, sports equipment, internet and many more things. But in order to succeed, we will need some help…find out what and how in the next blog👍”

So, here is what is really going on with Friends of Pakati, from my perpective, as founder and author of the blog. Below are the statistics indicating a gradual decline in interest in our website in terms of visitors/views, wich also reflect the steady decline in both money donations and merchandise sales in recent months.

The third graph – our monthly stats – is the key one for me, showing a slow drop over time in our views/visitor numbers. The fourth graph indicates we will not even match the level of interest that we had in our first year, and all figures show a steady decline.

The income has also been dropping, both in terms of donations and sales of our merchandise, making it hard to meet our need for funds to cover the cost of shipping the goods we obtain, let alone expand into the other areas we expressed a desire to in our Vision – see  https://friendsofpakati.com/2020-vision-friends-of-pakati-the-project-continues/ – begging the question ‘so how DO we reach our goals?’

This, my friends, is where you come in. Please. Bring ideas, solutions, advice, constructive criticisms. Please visit the site in depth, and read the blog, visit other pages, see what you think. I value your thoughts & opinions very highly, regardless of your location or participation with us.

Is the problem what we do, or how we do it? Are we on the right social media platforms? Are we getting the best out of them? Is the blog itself interesting enough? How can we improve the content? What are we doing right? What are we not doing? Are we presenting our material in the best way? What should we do more of? Or less of? Are there activities we should be doing? Are we not interactive enough? What can we do to sell more merchandise? How best can we raise more donations/attract more donors? How do we become better at those things? Should we use some of the money raised to better promote Friends of Pakati online/social media? If so, how?

Are you, or is someone you know, able to give support & advice on any of these questions? Please do let us know via the usual channels:

Email: friendsofpakati@gmail.com

Social media: http://Facebook.com/Friends-of-pakati or http://Twitter.com/friendsofpakati or http://Instagram.com/friendsofpakati where you can comment either publicly or privately.

It is very important to get feedback from you, to help us develop Friends of Pakati into what it hopes to be – a  humanitarian, education-promoting charitable organisation aimed at the community around the two Pakati schools, and maybe beyond if we can.

The Author at a recent event to raise the profile of Friends of Pakati

I, the Author/founder Chris Walker, look forward to your responses, and thank you for taking the time to read, respond & share widely across your platforms. I will of course publish further posts on this, including any changes that might come from the discussions. Thanks!

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 have been a Civil Servant in Bradford since 2005. I married a Zimbabwean woman & we have 2 sons.

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