Pakati Trip Diary – part 1

Welcome to this first diary of preparation for the trip to Zimbabwe!

The Author at Pakati, September 2019

With only a few short weeks to go, I will keep you all updated of our progress regarding all aspect of the trip, including the donated goods, the funds raised for the solar power repairs, how the money is being spent, how the first repairs are going, plus what our partners and other interested parties are doing. Catch up with our recent posts here:

https://friendsofpakati.com/2022/08/14/solar-power-progress-report/ and https://friendsofpakati.com/2022/08/21/help-us-to-raise-600-please/

So, to begin with, here is what has happened this week:

Monday 22nd August – The donated laptops, t-shirts & polo shirts were boxed up, taped up & labelled ready to be collected the next day.

Donated goods being packed into boxes

Also, I was called and interviewed by my local newspaper, the Telegraph & Argus in Bradford – see here – https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/20716095.chris-walker-friends-pakati-return-zimbabwe/ – and the article was published that day. It was also syndicated in at least two Zimbabwean news organisations, and word spread quickly on several network groups I am a member of.

Tuesday 23rd August– The couriers came to take the 3 boxes around lunch time, to take them to the shipping agents COEDMA FREIGHT INTERNATIONAL LTD of Leicester – link to their website here: https://coedmafreight.com/

The 3 boxes about to be taken by the couriers

I got a donation of £19 via paypal. I received a promise of a donation of £100 at month end.

Wednesday 24th August – COEDMA notified me of the goods arrival at their offices in Leicester. They also told me we will be billed once the goods are ready to move to the airport for scanning & clearance.

The boxes arrive at COEDMA FREIGHT INTERNATIONAL LTD.

I got a call early afternoon from BCB – Bradford Community Broadcasting – a local radio station I have been on before. They wanted me to come onto their early evening programme to talk about Friends of Pakati having seen the T&A article earlier this week. I went on at 17.45 to 18.00, a very good interview with host Maureen.

Thursday 25th August – COEDMA confirmed the goods are ready to go to the airport, and sent me the bill. I paid it straight away out of Friends of Pakati funds, ensuring they go on the next stage of their journey. I logged into their tracking app to check on updates, which confirms they are due to depart for screening at Heathrow on Thursday 25th.

I got a donation of £5 via paypal. A colleague at work offered me a laptop to bring in next day.

Friday 26th August – I received two donations in cash from colleagues at work, a total of £20. Donations transferred from paypal & from cash into Friends of Pakati’s bank account. Total towards the £600 needed now at £44 with the promise of £100 still to come on 1st Sept.

One of the items in need of repair at Pakati Secondary school is a broken panel, seen here being inspected recently

The promised laptop is still being ‘cleaned up’ so I am told I will receive it next week.

Saturday 27th August – Donation of £10 via Gofundme received. Donations thus far at £54

Following discussions, Friends of Pakati has decided it will repair the Secondary school solar power systen first, leaving us to raise more funds to complete at the Primary school

Sunday 28th August – We are currently discussing how best to distribute our donated goods, and will update once all is agreed with interested parties. Appropriate ‘Letters of Intention to Donate’ will be prepared to meet the required protocols.

Having discussed with the person who is having the goods delivered to them in Harare, I will collect them on my way from the airport.

Pakati Primary school, 2022

NEXT WEEK:

More details on progress of our goods, our fundraising and plans for the trip. Hoping to record a new podcast with our regular host, Bradley Mell.

We are also planning to use any photos and videos taken, to create a visual diary of the visit, which will go out on our youtube channel. Some short videos are lijely to go out on our Instagram & Twitter feeds

Lastly, it looks increasingly like I will have to start afresh with Facebook, & create a new personal account and newcpage for Friends of Pakati. As soon as they are done, I will spread the word.

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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