Almost here…Friends of Pakati merchandise

The very good news is that our various products are almost with us! Soon after, they will be available for sale. Full details will be in a forthcoming blog, which will also become a new page.

Our producer of 3 of our items – mugs, coasters & key rings – is MJB, based in my home town of Scunthorpe.

This week he delivered the finished items to my Dad’s home nearby. This weekend I will go to collect them. Here is the box containing our items at his home.

Also, here is a sneak peak of the new badges being prepared….we are expecting them early in the New Year.

A word from the Author as 2020 comes to an end…

December 2020

As I sit here in my home in the UK, I often think back to what I was doing at Pakati Secondary school. This time 30 years ago, I was back at my parents home in Scunthorpe for Christmas, and planning to go to Bradford where my closest friends lived. The idea was to celebrate New Year at my favourite watering hole – the now defunct MacRory’s Bar, close to Bradford College where I had trained to be a teacher.

I had no idea of what was to come when I returned to Zimbabwe a few days later – the full story has been told on this blog before – https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/07/07/pakati-memories-part-2-sports-entertainment-and-so-much-more/ – towards the end of this post. It tells the story of my being promoted to Acting Head at Pakati Secondary, something of which I am immensley proud of to this day.

I spent two terms as Acting Head, and I have always thought I did more for the school than I had in two years as a teacher. I was able to organise the administration, sort out the timetables, resolve staffing issues, and occasionally, I still took a lesson. Eventually however, there wasn’t time for me to teach, and it wouldn’t have been fair on the students for that to continue I felt.

Mr Chifaka, Head of Pakati Secondary school, with the Author in 2018

Now, after recent re-visits to Pakati in 2018 & 2019, Friends of Pakati is becoming more established as it enters its 3rd year in January 2021. I am optimistic, looking forward to the next round of challenges ahead – Charity status, Merchandising, Fundraising, IT & other equipment, new stories & profiles, tales of life at both Pakati schools & among the community, developing the reach of friendsofpakati.com in new ways – all likely to be celebrated in some style come September/October, circumstances permitting.

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

As always, there are things going on in the background, which I am unable to elaborate on at this time. There are people also in the background helping me – us, the team running & advising Friends of Pakati – some of whom do not want to be named. There are new people becoming involved in our venture, as supporters, fundraisers, advisors, facilitators, etc., which is part of the reason for my optimism.

Please allow me to thank everyone concerned with Friends of Pakati for their efforts, either as contributors, donors, sponsors, collaborators, writers, photographers, advisors, readers, supporters, followers on the various social media platforms, those who like/share/retweet our posts, those who contact us with encouragement – All of you give me personally the inspiration to continue. So THANK YOU! and please keep spreading the word as widely and as often as you can.👏👏👏👏

September 2018

🌲SEASONS GREETINGS🎅

From everyone involved with Friends of Pakati, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you, our readers, supporters, donors, sponsors and contributors, A Very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Myself, the Author, would also like to say a huge **THANK YOU** to all who follow us and/or give of your time and resources to help us. I can tell you that everything you do for us is greatly appreciated by the schools and local community which they serve. Let us keep friendsofpakati.com going into 2021 and beyond, and I hope that I, and one or two others, will be able to visit once more in September/October 2021. Best wishes, Chris😁

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

http://twitter.com/friendsofpakati

http://facebook.com/Friends-of-pakati

friendsofpakati@gmail.com

Friends of Pakati – looking ahead to 2021

As we approach the end of 2020 – a year many people will be glad to see the back of – Friends of Pakati will be launching its plans fot 2021 very soon. Below is the outline of what we have in mind:

Vision for 2021

Our Vision for the coming year will be taken from our document ‘Charity Purposes’, which has been compiled for the application to be registered as a charity here in the UK.

The basic ideas are that we aim to use our funds to help both Pakati schools with things such as IT equipment, internet access, and other educational equipment to help the schools improve the educational experiences of their students. In addition, if funds allow, to provide a small number of scholarships to those most in financial need. Also if funds allow, we may try to help the 3 other named schools in the same Ward in similar ways. We may also provide assistance we deem necessary should funds allow at the schools requests. Joint ventures with similar organisations locally may also be considered where relevant to our stated purposes.

The ‘Charity Purposes’ document will be published in full very soon.

Fundraising activities

This coming year we have some very ambitious plans for our fundraising, centred around a new Walking Chalkenge – this time not just for the Author, but for any who wish to help us! Below is a picture which hints at the plan….dont worry, its more about the total distance & funds raised, I aren’t planning to walk to Pakati myself!

Full details will be published soon, but the idea is to get as many people as possible to walk at least 1 mile and donate at least £1 for each mile to Friends of Pakati. This will be spread over a preiod of time, aimimg to cover the equivalent distance between Bradford and Pakati. People can do as few or as many miles as they wish, as often as they wish. They can just donate, or raise sponsorhip to donate if they wish. People can choose when & where they do the walk – and it doesn’t have to be a just a walk – a run, a cycle, a wheelchair – are also acceptable, as long as its under their own steam.

In addition to this, there is the merchandise being prepared for sale at the start of the year, as indicated in previous posts.

No doubt other ideas/events will come up, new donors/supporters/sponsors will come on board to help us in the coming months

Organisation

Myself, the Author – Chris Walker, my fellow former Pakati Secondary school teacher – Debbie Chadbon, and IT Manager for the Stephenson Group from Leeds – Stuart Pine – we will be the Trustees of the Charitable Trust to be set up as Friends of Pakati. Other Trustees may be added as required.

There are other key participants with whom we consult, including the Heads of the 2 Pakati schools, M Mahachi (Primary) and Mr Chifaka (Secondary), along with local councillor, Alderman Israel Maliki. Two former students of Pakati in particular have become involved as both friends and contributors/advisors, namely Bothwell Riside and Lorraine Mapuranga. We are most grateful to all contributors, including many current and former teachers and many former students of either/both Pakati schools.

Publicity

This coming year we will need more publicity in order to spread the word, to help us raise the funds needed to meet our ambitious aims. I am already trying to get local media on board, and hope to do more press/radio and maybe TV interviews, at least locally here in the North of England. Any who read tbis blog, please can you share each post with yoyr contacts on social media as mych as you can. Thank you👍

Friends of Pakati – Review of the year 2020

Let us as Friends of Pakati, including the Heads of both Pakati schools, plus contributors and helpers behind the scenes, give all who follow, read, share our stories and support us, the warmest of greetings! The Author would also like to thank everyone of you, and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year for 2021. We have some great plans ahead to look out for…!

Earlier in the year I did a 6-month review, and here is the link to see what happened in the first half of 2020 with Friends of Pakati:

This post will therefore cover the months from July to December, where activities have been continued to be affected by the global Corona Virus pandemic. We begin with something we are particularly proud of, our first collaboration with a different organisation. This came about because of the pandemic.

JULY saw the Author reminiscing about his time at Pakati, including https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/07/13/pakati-memories-part-3-acting-head-and-beyond/ Also the completetion of the joint venture with VaTonatsa Foundation was celebrated here https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/07/11/joint-venture-back-story-and-responses/

Throughout the year we have had new profiles appear, here are some of the newer ones: https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/07/18/saturday-star-former-pakati-student-fatimah-baye/https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/08/14/weekend-star-juliet-valley-former-pakati-teacherhttps://friendsofpakati.com/2020/09/25/portia-nemarurus-story-part-2/https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/09/04/star-profile-former-pakati-student-oswell-israel-nadzo/https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/09/09/midweek-star-mr-mutyavaviri-former-teacher-at-pakati-secondary-school-part-1/https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/10/08/thursday-star-patience-chinhoyi-former-student-at-both-pakati-schools/https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/10/24/pastor-aggie-jorambu-fombo-part-2-slightly-delayed/

Two of our regular contributors and behind-the-scenes supporters were both profiled once more, highlighting their moves from Pakati as students to adulthood and their current situations. Both links are here: https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/07/25/from-rural-girl-to-urban-woman/ and https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/07/31/from-rural-student-to-international-teacher/

SEPTEMBER saw a reminder of the events which took place last year, as Friends of Pakati formally handed over the computers and sports eqiupment we had acquired for the two schools – see links below:

https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/09/26/looking-back-arriving-at-pakati-1-year-ago/https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/09/27/a-truly-amazing-day-at-pakati-12-months-on/https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/09/30/september-30-2019/

There have been a number of posts about the effects of Corona virus on Friendsof Pakati and the schools themselves. Here is the link to our page about the effects of Covid 19 on Pakati schools, and how Friends of Pakati reacted to it.

As we headed into the final 3 months of 2020, we looked at how schools were dealing with the limited return of students. The opened their doors on 28th September, and we published pictures and information from both Pakati schools, snd Mapanga Primary: see https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/09/29/schools-limited-return-fundraising-hit-again-by-covid19/https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/10/15/pakati-primary-school-grade-7-students-returned-recently/ and https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/10/30/school-life-under-covid-19-in-ward-14-murewa/

Local area developments in Ward 14, Murewa, have also come to light this year. In particular, there has been road improvements, part of which goes deep into Ward 14. See https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/10/18/developments-in-ward-14-home-of-pakati-schools/ and https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/11/20/ward-14-road-developments-latest-pictures-information/

A string of new pages have been added to the site, to help people find out more about specific things, such as fundraising, sports, schools histories, stories, profiles, corona virus, and joint ventures with partners. Merchandising and Charity status pages still to come. See https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/11/15/friends-of-pakati-website-update/

The Author has had a few things to say also….see https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/10/04/a-few-words-from-the-author/https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/10/11/statistics-i-did-teach-maths-remember/https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/11/01/a-little-about-the-authors-time-in-africa/

Merchandising and fundraising are progressing, and we are becoming a formal, registered charitable organisation. Friends of Pakati is about to enter its 3rd year of existence, looking forward to continuing to help the two Pakati schools.

New fundraising activities are being planned, new goods being produced for sale, and an update on the vision is being prepared for the coming changes to Friends of Pakati. I expect there will be new people to intoduce and many new stories to tell. All in all, an exciting year ahead is in prospect, with what is hoped to be another visit to Pakati in September/October. This time, the Author may not be alone when he comes….🤔

Friends of Pakati merchandise being prepared..

MJB, a company in the Author’s home town of Scunthorpe, are busy preparing to produce some of our merchandise.

All being well, we hope to have everything in place to sell our products in the New Year.

As mentioned previously in https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/12/03/update-on-merchandise/ a full price list including postage and packing will soon be added as a new page here on friendsofpakati.com

Here above are two of the three different coasters being prepared, having decided it will be good to have some variety for people to choose from.

Aa well as the coasters, key rings and mugs are also being made with 3 different pictures.

The third picture was set to be this one…

…but when it was trialled, it came out too dark & unclear. We are now trying the following picture:

It is important for us to show what Friends of Pakati is about – helping Pakati students, especially in terms of access to IT.

Latest news from Friends of Pakati!

Firstly, I have had word about a second batch of chairs which are being delivered to Pakati Primary school, donated by a former student currently working abroad. The first chairs were delivered back in September, see photos above & below.

Secondly, we have now ordered 100 badges…

…circular, with the design above. Next thing is mugs. We have ordered 50 in total, with 3 different desgins. 20 of the first, and 15 each of the second & third designs:

We are also ordering 50 key rings and 50 coasters, which will have the banner on…

..along with our website address of http://friendsofpakati.com and if possible, one of the pictures shown in the mug designs seen above. All being well, if we sell enough of them we can order more. If there are events we can attend, we can sell nerchandise, raising more funds for us in the long run. Other items may be ordered if there is a demand, such as t-shirts, mouse mats etc.

We are working on a pricing structure, and full details will be announced once the various items are ready for sale, most likely soon after Xmas.

Thirdly, Stuart Pine, IT manager at Stephenson Group Ltd of Leeds, UK, tells us more about his (and their) imcreased involvement with Friends of Pakati. The story will be based on a wide-ranging interview I had with him recently, which contains a number of positive developments in our collaborations.

Fourthly, discussions are ongoing about our transition from the current informal set-up, to becoming registered as a Charitable Trust. This will bring us greater accountability and scrutiny here in the UK, but will alsoallow us greater recognition, and public trust in our organisation. This can bring benefits, such as access to additional funding and publicity, which ultimately will allow us to help meet our Vision. As this progresses, our Vision will develop to match our Charitable Purposes as a Charitable Trust. Much of this will be included when I post on 16th January, to launch our plans for the coming year.

Finally, I am now preparing our Review of the Year, to be published between Christmas and the New Year. There has been a lot to cover this year!

Update on Merchandise…

Today we had some good news! The design for our merchandise has been sent to me, and after consulations, we have agreed to go ahead.

As a result, Friends of Pakati has ordered the following items to be produced: 1) Lapel badges, 2) Mugs, 3) Key Rings, and 4) Coasters

We will be setting up a new Merchandise page here on Friends of Pakati, which will have full details of prices, including postage & packing. Photos of each item will show what they actually look like once we receive the goods.

There will be discounts avaible for any combination of items to be sent together at one time, a full list of which will be provided on the new page.

We will let you know when you can formally place your order(s), but it would be useful for us to know in advance which item(s) you might wish to buy. Please email/private message us, but this will not be taken as having ordered anything. That can be done once the items are produced & prices all confirmed.

Some great news for Friends of Pakati!

Students at Pakati Secondary school, 2019

Fundraising

I have been on the phone to someone connected to my place of work. She and her family/friends have, in recent years, taken it upon themselves to get involved in helping small, local charities. Over the last 3 years or so, they have grown to about 30 in number. Every week they choose a small project to raise funds for. They have also gone on to start projects of their own, including funding a new school and orphanage in East Africa.

They wish to remain anonymous themselves, but they are happy to be known under the pseudonym of the Friday Charity Group. They have decided to help Friends of Pakati by raising funds for us, not just as a one-off, but hopefully over the coming months, to help us meet at least some of our objectives for the coming year.

What encourages me in particular is the fact they have been successful in their other projects, and have several contacts who help their chosen projects. Early days yet, but I am looking forward to our collaboration. Already we are discussing ideas, and looking at planning events once the Covid 19 pandemic dies down (hopefully early next year🤞). Quite clearly much more is to come about this in future posts.

Other issues to let you know about are as follows: Merchandise, Charity status, then something about upcoming posts on the blog.

Merchandising

Here is the first post about Merchandise https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/11/02/merchandise-a-new-initiative-for-friends-of-pakati/ On this issue, things are starting to move. I am expecting the design for the lapel badges to come through very soon. Following consultation with interested parties, we will use that design in all other merchandising products.

The plan is to have a Merchandising page, so those who want to buy any items, they can see what we have and what the costs will be to have them posted to anywhere in the world.

The items we are looking to add along with the badges, are Mugs, Key Rings and Coasters. Other possibilities are items such as Mouse Mats and T-shirts.

Charitable Status

Another area of progress is the move towards Charitable Status here in the UK. The Charity Purposes have been discussed among potential Trustees, and tentatively agreed. They will essentially become part of the Vision, and will be publushed there in good time, once accepted.

There are a number of things to sort out too, including setting up a bank account in the name of Friends of Pakati and registering with the Charity Commission.

Upcoming posts..

The most important post in preparation is about someone who became involved with Friends of Pakati from soon after we launched, back in January 2019. His name is Stuart Pine, IT Manager at the Stephenson Group Ltd, based in Leeds. We have had several discussions covering a wide range of topics, including issues such as Charity Status, Trusteeship, computers/IT equipmemt, fundraising, sports, schools, and ongoing collaboration, amongst many other things.

Stuart with the Author, 2019

HOT NEWS – Just received confirmation that our newest supporters – the Friday Charity Group mentioned above – have already been active on our behalf unbeknown to me. In the last hour I was informed they have put £270.00 into my bank, which I have added into the separate account where I keep the funds for Friends of Pakati.