5 News Items!

Welcome to our latest blog!  We think we have some interesting things to tell you & show you this week, so without further ado, here goes!

Donations of goods appreciated

Head of Pakati Primary school, Mr Mahachi, has just sent me the first photos of our recent donations being tried out…

Mr Mahachi in his office trying out his new Chromebook, one of a handful recently donated to Friends of Pakati by Oasis Parkwood Academy, a Primary school in Scunthorpe

Friend of Pakati Bradley Mell presents the donation from Oasis Parkwood Academy, courtesy of his mother who works there!

Along with the Chromebooks from the school, we were given some t-shirts by Scunthorpe United Football Club they found hidden in a cupboard!

Chanetsa Primary seen accepting thier donations

The t-shirts came in a box with 75 items in, mixture of Large, Medium and Small sizes. We gave 15 of them to each of the 5 schools we visited in late September.

We have received photos from two of the schools of the t-shirts being tired out on students, first at Pakati Primary, and from Mr Mawedze at Chanetsa Secondary school:

Pakati Primary students display their t-shirts

Chelanetsa Primary school were happy to show their donations

Friends of Pakati future

Plans are being made for discussions between ourselves about key issues for our future plans. Many of those involved can be seen on our recent blog https://friendsofpakati.com/2022/10/29/who-are-we-find-out-about-us/

We are going to talk about our vision, objectives for 2023, our online presence, fundraising, merchandise, and plans to visit Pakati in 2023

Once our zoom meeting has taken place we will publish a report of what is agreed, then put it to the Heads & other interested parties so we are together with our plans for the coming year.

Time out

In early December, Friends of Pakati is going to take a break from its regular updates. This will allow us to make any changes deemed necessary from our meetings. Hopefully we will return quickly with noticable improvements to what we do.

Podcasts

Coming soon are the two podcasts recorded with Pauline Machengo as we interviewed each other!

Pauline Machengo, former student at Pakati Primary school

Pauline is including herself interviewing me as part of a longer piece, but we have agreed to post them both here at Friends of Pakati. Both are currently being edited in preparation for publishing, hopefully next weekend.

Catch up on all our podcasts here: https://friendsofpakati.com/friends-of-pakati-podcasts/

We also have a number of other interviews recorded with people at Pakati Secondary school, including the Head Mr Chifaka, a couple of teachers and a couple of students. I am waiting for the OK from the school to publish them.

The Author talks to one of the staff at Pakati Secondary school

What’s this all about…?

Soon we will be announcing an interesting arrival for Friends of Pakati…keep watching this space!

After the successful trip to Zimbabwe in September/October, we need to keep things moving, changing & adapting, looking forward to next year and hopefully progress from our combined efforts.

 

 

Podcast 12 – Tinashe Pindura talks to Friends of Pakati

Welcome to a fascinating blog today! Not least because it has an unexpected development towards the end, after the Podcast.

The Author meets Tinashe Pindura at Pakati Secondary school, September 2019

Let me introduce you to Tinashe Pindura, former Deputy Head & Teacher of English at Pakati Secondary school until fairly recently. She has been a great source of information, stories & images for us here at Friends of Pakati.

She has been on the blog before – check out these 2 posts from 2019:

https://friendsofpakati.com/2019/01/28/staff-profile-5-mrs-pindura-deputy-head-english-teacher/

https://friendsofpakati.com/2019/03/05/first-memories-of-pakati-mrs-pindura-deputy-head-and-teacher-of-english/

So, onto the podcast…our 12th, introduced once more by our editor, Bradley Mell

Now, to record the podcast I had to travel to her school, Mukombami High school, between Juru Growth Point and Musami Cross, another rural school.

As we talked beforehand, she was asking me about working abroad…she had thought about the UK but she didn’t like the sound of our winters! She had heard about a different opportunity in Africa, and days later while I was visiting Pakati, she was busy applying.

I got a message on Whats App, and tried to encourage her…

….it worked! So on October 19th, she arrived in Kigali, capital of Rwanda.

Here is what she told me when I asked her about it alll. Here is the full report:

“Just saw a press release by the government of Rwanda and Zimbabwe advertising the need for trained personnel in different fields. The first time I brushed it off then my friend said we should give it a shot. I wasn’t too decided and kept on procrastinating then eventually applied. I remember highlighting to you that I wasn’t too sure if Rwanda was a good fit and u said it’s not bad. Eventually I got called to write a competence based exam which was really tough but I managed to sail through. After passing I got called for an interview via zoom.

The interview comprised of the Rwandan and Zimbabwean team with experts in my field. It went well leading to my leaving Zimbabwe on the 19th of October along with other Zimbabweans who had gotten job offers.

The flight was less than 3 hrs . On arrival at Kigali international Airport was surprised seeing a lot of aeroplanes belonging to Rwandair . I ddnt expect them to be that advanced considering it is still a developing economy. We got welcomed by the Zimbabwean ambassador to Rwanda which was a nice gesture. One thing I can say about Rwanda is that people there have a strong work ethic and they sure know how to keep the country clean.

Also got to eat fried and cooked bananas for the first time!”

Tinashe sent me a some photos, including her new accommodation which she shares with 2 other Zimbabwean women colleagues. She is now training Rwandan teachers in teaching English.

Tinashe’s view from her work in Rwanda

Friends of Pakati wishes Tinashe well in her new environment, so Pakati is spreading across the World! No doubt we will hear from her again with more stories, about life in Rwanda. Good luck!

 

 

Who Are We? Find out about us!

Hi everyone! Thought it might be useful to guide you through exactly who we are behind the scenes.

Lots of information about Friends of Pakati is available – just follow the links!

Our new main headline photo is now shown across social media. Recently restored solar power paid for by Friends of Pakati has allowed the Secondary school to resume IT lessons after a long break.

Who We Are:

Founder:

Chris Walker – former Maths Teacher & Acting Head, Pakati Secondary school

Key Supporters:

Bothwell Riside, former student at Pakati Primary & Pakati Secondary school, and

Lorraine Mapuranga, former student at Pakati Secondary school

Bothwell and Lorraine visited Pakati a week after I had come home. Bothwell was on a brief trip to his home area in Zimbabwe

Debbie Chadbon. Former Maths teacher at Pakati Secondary school

Stuart Pine. IT Manager at the Stephenson Group, Leeds – our principal IT donors

Bradley Mell, Podcast host & editor

Vari Mayez, Founder & CEO, Vatonatsa Foundation, our partner organisation based in Zimbabwe

Heads of Pakati schools:

Mugove Chifaka, Secondary

Ambrose Mahachi, Primary

We have many others who have contributed information, stories, pictures & videos. They are teachers at Pakati schools both past & present, many former students, local.community members, and last but lot least local politicians & dignatories. The contributors are based in many countries, including Zimbabwe, Botswana, Soith Africa, UK, and South East Asia.

Our Vision:

Our stated Vision – https://friendsofpakati.com/2020-vision-friends-of-pakati-the-project-continues/

Social Media:

Twitter – http://Twitter.com/friendsofpakati

Facebook – http://Friends-of-pakati-110613601783878/

Instagram – http://Instagram.com/friendsofpakati

YouTube – https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCI7Q04FpB-xXpYrbVVvusgQ/videos

Fundraising:

Gofundme – http://Gofundme.com/friends-of-pakati

Paypal – http://Paypal.me/friendsofpakati

Here is who Friends of Pakati exist to help – the wonderful students of Pakati schools in Zimbabwe

Any Questions?

Want to know more about us? Would you like to help us? Donate to us? Sponsor us? Support us in some way?

Contact us – friendsofpakati@gmail.com

 

Friends of Pakati – What Next?

Welcome dear friends!

After our recent hugely successful visit to both Pakati schools and the 3 others in Ward 14 of Murewa, the question now is, what do we as Friends of Pakati do next?

Great to meet the Head of Pakati Secondary school, Mr Chifaka, once again after 3 long years!

We recently posted about some of the things we could do seen here on our facebook page:

The above sets out what we would like to try & do, but not all of it is possible without a huge amount of effort & fundraising…which will be very difficult in the near future as the soaring cost of living worldwide limits what individuals & companies are willing or able to donate to charitable causes.

So that begs the next question – what can we do to maximise our fundraising?

Well, following our recent Consultancy Project with MBA students from the University of Huddersfield’s  Business School, there are some good ideas to.help us try to attract more website visitors, social media folliwers, and ultimately, donors.

One of the key suggestions is a re-design of the website itself – friendsofpakati.com – definitely something I intend to look at very soon!

There will.be some changes & developments in our social medis presence, but also in areas such as fundraising & our merchandise.

So, the next question is – as a follower, donor, supporter – what do YOU think? Then a number of follow-up questions arise – What do YOU see as what our priorities should be? What do YOU want us to do to fundraise? How do YOU think we can improve our online presence?

Addressing the most important people for us – the students of Pakati schools

Please do respond! Email us at friendsofpakati@gmail.com or contact us via a Direct Message on Twitter http://Twittee.com/friendsofpakati or Instant Message on Facebook http://Friends-of-pakati-110613601783878/

 

 

 

Reflections on my trip to Pakati…

Hi Everyone! So now I finally have time to look back on my trip, & discuss some of the issues which were brought to my attention as I travelled across Ward 14, Murewa.

As I headed to board my flight from Harare to Lusaka, Doha, Dublin & finally to Manchester, I had plenty to think about. But before I talk about anything, below are the links to the recent blogs about what Friends of Pakati got up to:

https://friendsofpakati.com/2022/10/05/pakati-visit-2022-day-1-of-a-memorable-week/

https://friendsofpakati.com/2022/10/07/pakati-visit-2022-day-2-around-both-pakati-schools/

https://friendsofpakati.com/2022/10/09/pakati-visit-2022-day-3-big-celebrations/

https://friendsofpakati.com/2022/10/11/pakati-visit-2022-days-4-5-other-ward-14-schools/

It was an honour to address the students of Pakati Secondary school for the first time since 1991

Let me also take this opportunity to thank everyone involved with my trip, with special mentions to the following:

  • The Heads, staff, SDC’s, parents & students of all 5 schools & Village Heads in the Ward for their warmest of welcomes.
  • The MP & local Councillor, Murewa RDC, the DSI, and the DA for their help & support for the visit & donations to proceed
  • All other organisations who attended in support, including VaTonatsa Foundation & GirlUpZimbabwe
  • My host & Friends of Pakati representative Lorraine Mapuranga & her family for their fantastic hospitality!
  • All who spoke with me, were interviewed by me (& in one case interviewed me as well…), and took photos or videos of the visit

Thank you!

OK, so onto the various issues that were raised.

Firstly, I want to talk about things which were raised by students at Pakati – after all, they are the people Friends of Pakati exist for!

During day 3 at Pakati, our big celebration day, some students were calling for certain things to improve, and said as much to all present. They were asking for help to repair classroom doors & windows, and asked also for new toilets at the Secondary. I can understand that – it looks like they are the same toilets students have been using since I taught there over 30 years ago!

Part of the students toilets can be seen on the far left of the pucture, in the distance behind the heads of the students. Pic taken in 1991.

The SDC & local community may be able to help with things like doors & windows, but may need help to build new toilets.

I can say that the students can make a contribution themselves by looking after the school grounds better – e.g. litter picking & maybe finding suitable places for litter before/instead of dropping it. They can take more care of the internal classroom setting too – floors & walls, removing & discouraging graffiti. More pride in the learning environment would help. The staff can encourage students in these matters too.

Inside a classroom, photo taken in 2019

The biggest issue I was made aware of, during the latter part of day 3, was that some among the staff at Pakati & among the community themselves, were not at ease with Friends of Pakati getting involved with other schools in the area. They see us as their own only. After all, it is called Friends of PAKATI,  & I am inextricably linked to Pakati by my personal history of working at the Secondary. It is a legitimate concern, & I will answer it here myself.

For me, to get things done in Zimbahwe requires co-operation, and sometimes compromise. Part of my response is already in print, in part 4 of my story of the trip (link is near the top of this blog). In order to do what we really want to – support Pakati schools – we needed to work with others, such as VaTonatsa Foundation, the local Councillor & the MP & others.

Therefore, in order to get the solar power restored to Pakati, and the football shirts which were exclusive to Pakati schools, and to get the protocols in place to celebrate as we did on day 3 (see also the link above), it needed a level of co-operation which could only be done with help locally.

The inevitable compromise which guaranteed Pakati got what was needed, something needed to be offered to the other Ward schools. The laptops were only suutable for the Heads to help with administration, & the t-shirts were easy to share being so many. No cost to Friends of Pakati, as we paid/are paying for the solar repairs at both Pakati schools. Really, as I see it, not to give a small amount to the other schools would have been selfish.

Let me reassure everyone, Pakati is always at the heart & centre of what we do, & always will be. It is where I became part of the community (I am a Gushungo, remember?). My personal connection to the school is what makes it very special.

Next thing we will do after the solar power is restored at both Pakati schools will be to rause funds to ship out the promised IT from our donors, the Stephenson Group – at least 20 PC’s. Hooefukky it will be done in tine to visit Pakati once mire in 2023! We hope to bring a guest or two as well…

Coming soon….

  • New podcasts recorded during my trip
  • New videos for our YouTube channel
  • More pictures released on Instagram
  • Short films being created for us
  • Much more from Pakati schools themselves

 

 

Pakati visit 2022 – Days 4 & 5 – Other Ward 14 Schools

Greetings everyone! Welcome to part 4, the final part of the events of my trip to Ward 14 of Murewa, which took me to both Chanetsa schools (Primary & Secondary) on the Thursday, and finally to Mapanga Primary on the Friday.

Prior to this trip, Friends of Pakati & our partners, VaTonatsa Foundation, had collaborated on a number of ventures, not least the Revision booklets during the Covid Pandemic. We produced them to help Grade 7 & Form 4 students – exam classes – but who to give them to?

Head of Chanetsa Secondary, Mr Mawedze, joined Friends of Pakati’s Lorraine Mapuranga as we visited their sister Primary school

Friends of Pakati support the Pakati schools, and VaTonatsa provide assistance to Mapanga. The issue then was – what about the Chanetsa schools? They are geographically between Pakati & Mapanga, in the same Ward 14. Historically students have moved between these 5 schools, & there are many family connections across the area. It seemed wrong to leave Chanetsa out.

Part of the welcome we had at Chanetsa Secondary school – a short video is further below in this post

All interested parties were contacted, key supporters of Friends of Pakati agreed, Alderman Maliki, local Councillor for the Ward agreed, VaTonatsa agreed. All 5 schools thus benefitted, and results turned put better than expected.

Friends of Pakati & VaTonatsa Foundation visit Mapanga Primary school

This year, again following extensive consultations, it became clear our funds would need to go to restoration of solar power to both Pakati schools. We had been donated a small number of laptops & some t-shirts, but the laptops were not suitable for learners, so it was agreed we should give them to the Heads to help school administration, and there were enough to include all 5 schools in the Ward. The t-shirts were sufficient to share also, at no cost to Friends of Pakati.

Here below is what happened when we handed over the donations to Chanetsa & Mapanga.

Chanetsa Secondary school

A very warm welcome was what greeted us on the Thursday morning!

We were shown around the school grounds, a small developing school which has strong links to Pakati schools.

Chanetsa Primary school

Here we were met with another lovely welcome!

They chose to give their students an early finish, as we handed over the donated items in front of the staff, School Development Committee members from both Chanetsa schools, and a number of parents too.

Here we can see how well they goods are receivef, by Mr Kadzimu, Head of Chanetsa Primary school:

Mapanga Primary School

Friday saw us visit Mapanga Primary school for the first time as we did for Chanetsa schools the day before.

Another amazing welcome came courtesy of the Head, Mrs Maenzanise!

We had a similar day to Pakati, if on a smaller scale. There were diistinguished guests including 2 local councillors, School Development Commitee members, village heads, staff, students & patents present.

We were treated to performances by students – poetry, drama & traditional dance – as well as several guest speakers. Here are some of the highlights:

Another great day in a very memorable week! This all brought my trip to all 5 schools in the Ward to an end – a week I will not forget in a hurry!

Many thanks to everyone concerned who organised the visits, the distinguishef guests, SDC’s, village Heads, all parents, staff & students at ALL 5 schools namely Chanetsa Primary, Chanetsa Secondary, Mapanga Primary, and of course, Pakati Primary and Pakati Secondary svhools.

Will we be back next year? We certainly hope so!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pakati Visit 2022 – Day 3 – BIG Celebrations!!

Hi everyone! Welcome to the real high point of my trip to Pakati this year – the day we handed overour donations & celebrated restoring (solar) power to Pakati Secondary school.

With the promise to complete the same restoration at the Primary school as soon as possible, we went ahead with the planned event on Wednesday 28th September.

Traditional dancing by students of Pakati Secondary school was very popular with everyone – see more further down this post

Both Pakati schools had been preparing for this day for some time, with a full programme of events planned. Speeches, music, performance, dancing, & presentations.

We had a number of distinguished guests in attendance, including the MP for Murewa West, Hon. Jonah Sewera, local councillor for Ward 14 Alderman Israel Maliki & Dr Gurajena of Murewa Rural District Council. There were members of the School Development Committees, Heads, teachers & students and parents of both Pakati schools, visitors from other local schools & voluntary organisations. Oh, and Friends of Pakati of course!

MP Hon. Jonah Sewera in full flow giving his speech before having to head back to Parliament.

One of several short poems as part of the entertainmemt from Pakati Secondary school

We looked on as the students and other guests entertained us & spoke to us about the schools, local issues, and thanks for the work Friends of Pakati have been doing.

These two brothers, firstly from the Primary school, wowed the crowd with their rapping

The Primary school provided us with more entertainmemt, including a short play, seen below:

The highlight for many was the Traditional Dancing, very much a feature of Murewa area. Here is a short clip from the Secondary school studemts below:

As well as the MP, we had speeches from the local Council, Mr Gutu, Ward 14 Councillor Maliki, and Vari Mayez from our partner organisatiom VaTonatsa Foundation. Plus our very own representative Lorraine Mapuranga, and my good self! Here are some images & clips. Translating fot me was Secondary sxhool English teacher Mr Mundodzi.

Mr Gutu of Murewa Rural District Council

Alderman Maliki, Ward 14 Councillor

Vari Mayez of Vatonatsa Foundation

Lorraine Mapuranga of Friends of Pakati

Mr Walker being translated by Mr Mundodzi

The handover of donated goods – the main point of the visit – was the culmination of our efforts after being delayed by Covid.

Having handed over the sample laptop & t-shirt, it was then my turn to be on the receiving end unexpectedley – from Councillir Maliki & Vari Mayez

After final thanks & prayers for the donations & all who attended,  everyone – including all students, parents, school staff, SDC members & distinguished guests were catered for with a late lunch. Before & after there were many photis being taken, just a few shown here:

A VERY successful.day for both Pakati schools & Friends of Pakati are DELIGHTED with the whole day! Thank you to ALL who contributed & attended👍

Day 4 & 5 to come in part 4… Friends of Pakati go to both Chanetsa Schools & Mapanga Primary for the first time!

Further Information:

We have so mamy videos of the programme, and soon we will put many of them out on our YouTube channel http://youtube.com/friendsofpakati We will let you know when they are up.

 

 

Pakati Visit 2022 – Day 2 – Around Both Pakati Schools

Welcome to Day 2 of my visit! Building up to the ‘Business end’ of the week, Lorraine Mapuranga, her son Keith, & myself spend time at both schools, talking to staff & students about Pakati.

Here is the link to Day 1: https://friendsofpakati.com/2022/10/05/pakati-visit-2022-day-1-of-a-memorable-week/

My view in the morning was pretty good…this pic was around 5.45am, temperature just starting to rise from around 15°C overnight, to a high of between 28 & 32° during the day.

There are some video interviews we recorded which will feature in later blogs, some of which may well feature as audio files as podcasts. We will review the footage with Bradley Mell, our (usual) podcast host. Let us now start the day…

Mrs Katonha seen watching the School Assembly

I wanted to try something different, and after talking to Lorraine, we agreed to walk to school on the Tuesday morning! I wanted to get a feel of what it is like for students themselves…and it transpired, at least one staff member who lives close to Lorraine! We thus walked 3.5km to school with Secondary teacher Mrs Katonha…it took us 35 minutes, and was enough to break out in a sweat for me!

After a few minutes, I was invited to address the School Assembly – something I had not done since August,1991! Here is a clip, translation is by teacher Mr Ediyeti.

Soon after the assembly, we took a walk down to the Primary school here at Pakati, where we met with Mr Mahachi, the Head, in his office to begin with. Just as I had done with Mr Chifaka earlier, I gave Mr Mahachi some Friends of Pakati merchandise – a mug, a coaster, a key ring & a badge – both Heads were delighted with them!

Mr Mahachi receiving his gifts

Mr Mahachi then took us around part of the school, as Grade 7 classes were writing their exams each morning that week.

We saw the preparation & distribution of the free porridge provided to all learners from ECD up to Grade 7. A local organisation provides the food, and local parents take turns to cook it & give it to the children. Here below are some of the images I took that morning:

We also saw the classroom which is condemned, but is occasionally used still if weather permits ,& space is needed. We reported on this in an ealier blog https://friendsofpakati.com/2022/06/12/pakati-schools-report-part-1-the-challenges/

There is an established well in the grounds of the school about 200m away. It is ready for work to be completed on a project to put a water tank & pipes to.the school.

After completing our visit to the Primary, we briefly returned to the Secondary before heading home.

One of Lorraine’s neighbours currently works in South Africa, and wanted us to take a photo with her daughter who is doing Form 4 at Pakati Secondary. We found her (Rosemary) and were happy to oblige.

Once more, in the late afternoon, we explored around the area of Lorraine’s home, where there are a lot of rock formations. We were accompanied by her son Keith who took many of the photos during this trip.

Here are a few pictures to show you:

In part 3….

The day I have been looking forward to for 3 years – celebrating with the schools, community & local dignatories – once again an extraordinary day at Pakati!

Pakati Visit 2022 – Day 1 of a Memorable Week!

Greetings all! Welcome everyone to this blog about day 1 of my amazing recent visit to Pakati & the other schools in Ward14, Murewa.

Well, it is hard to know where to begin! But, lets start with the first part of September 26th – Day 1 – in Murewa itself.

I was accompanied throughout my visit to Ward 14 by Friend of Pakati’s very own representative, former student of mine – Lorraine Mapuranga. She also hosted me at her home in the area (more on life in rural Zimbabwe to come on a later blog).

We visited, among other places, Murewa Rural District Council offices, where we were welcomed by Dr Gurajena & Mr Gutu, both of whom attended our big day on the Wednesday at Pakati. We discussed the protocols behind the visit, & shared our hopes that we can continue & do more for the schools.

Further, we visited the Department of Schools Inspectorate where we finalised the paperwork to allow everything to go ahead smoothly, as some protocols had changed. The DSI wished us well in our efforts, and commended our work to develop the schools.

Later that Monday afternoon, we went to Pakati Secondary school for a short time, and we found the staff & students were busy getting prepared for the formal occasion of Day 3 (Wednesday). We did manage a few photos though, saw that IT lessons were going on, and were shown some of what had been repaired at the Solar Power system.

Some of the staff & their children, including Mrs Munatswa, Mr Ediyeti & Mr Chizenya

IT lessons in progress

New batteries (in grey) next to the old ones which no longer work. A new transformer is also installed

It is very heartening to see our contributions helping the students learning, through our donated computers from 2019, powered now by the repairs to the Solar power paid for by Friends of Pakati this year.

We also met Mr Mundodzi, a blind English teacher. It is good to report on the support he gets at the school, including an assistant, an office to work from, and being treated as any other staff member by all concerned. He also became my translator on Day 3.

All in all, a very good, low-key start to what was to become such a momentous few days in the area. At least I did get to relax after school in the rural setting of Lorraine’s village.

 Lorraine showing me around the area, with the hill known as Chongwe in the distance

We got a little closer to Chongwe before heading home as the sun went down

There are some better sunset photos to follow on other days, but this was the first I took in the area

All in all, a very good start to the week, knowing it was just the beginning of an extraordinary series of school visits & events!

Next up – Day 2

I live up to my name, then I give my first assembly address at the Secondary school since August 1991, and we take a tour of Pakati Primary school

First blog in Zimbabwe since 2019!

A very warm (28-30°☀️) welcome to our first blog from Zimbabwe in 3 years!

For me the Author, it is wonderful to be back in Zimbabwe, where I will be spending time in the Pakati area for a week starting on Sunday afternoon. It will be my pleasure to be staying in the area again where the welcome is always generous.

Here is a brief outline of what’s been going on before the visit, & what the itinerary currently looks like.

Before visiting Pakati

I arrived in Zimbabwe on Wednesday 21st September at 11.30am after 27 hours of travelling! Delighted to have been met at the airport by Felix, my driver/fixer, and also Liorraine Mapuranga, my former student & reoresentative of Friends of Pakati.

As usual I marked my arrival with a display of support for my football team, Scunthorpe United, & Lorraine seemed happy to join in!

Soon after, we met with Vari Mayez from VaTonatsa Foundation, our partner organisation in Zimbabwe. We had a Nandos meal & chatted about our plans after a great welcome from them all, including Lorraine’s sister Rose.

L to R: Felix, Rose, Vari, Lorraine & Chris

Currently I am staying in Marondera, a town about 50 miles from the capital, Harare, and maybe 30 miles from the Pakati area. Here is the view from my room, and as the sun rose at the back of the house:

Thanks to Vari from VaTonatsa, we now have the necessary letters of Intention to Donate for all 5 schools we are visiting, and on Monday morning we are to present them to Murewa RDC to meet the protocol requirements.

Visiting the Pakati area

The 5 schools are: Chanetsa Primary, Chanetsa Secondary, Mapanga Primary, Pakati Primary & Pakati Secondary.

The itinerary for the visit is as follows:

Monday – Murewa RDC in the morning, Pakati in the afternoon

Tuesday – Pakati schools, continuing the informal visit from Monday

Wednesday – Formal visit, including discussing support for the schools including MP, Councillor, Heads, SDC’s, & other interested partners, before official handover of donated goods

Thursday – Both Chanetsa schools formal visit to handover donated goods

Friday – Formal visit to Mapanga to hand over donated goods.

To come in a future blog…

Friends of Pakati has already been in action, as I tracked down recent former Pakati Secondary Englulish teacher & Deputy Head, Mrs Pindura to her new school, Mukombami High. Following the format set by our podcast host, Bradley Mell, I interviwed her with questions Brad suggested. I added in one or two others myself.

The recording is on its way to Brad for editing, & will feature soon in a future blog as an audio file, as another episode in our podcast series to enjoy👍 here are our previous episodes: https://friendsofpakati.com/friends-of-pakati-podcasts/