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Jul 3, 2018

Keeping hope alive in the Girl Child

We are excited to have launched the Girl Child Mentorship Programme, which gives hope and a vision for vulnerable girls, enabling them to see a future beyond the social pressures they face. The sessions have been running smoothly and the girls have something to look forward to every weekend and have come to treasure the time they spend with their big sisters.

We have had five sessions and Laura explains more:

"As I write this about our Girl Child Mentorship Programme for our newsletter on, I'm humbled beyond words. Three weeks in and honestly the beautiful fruit is so overwhelmingly wonderful! Precious girls finding hope and joy for life. Lives that are hard and broken! 

I have watched our four mentors - past Makomborero students - pour all of themselves out into the preparing of sessions, getting ready for the launch and now running each week, building relationships and changing lives. I am so proud of them!  They are experiencing the beauty of witnessing people's lives change before their eyes and they are loving every moment! It's hard to quantify all of this, but if you could be a fly on the wall, your heart would skip a beat at the freedom, joy, and purpose being found in this safe place in Mufakose! 

So what does a morning look like? It begins with an icebreaker which is usually a fun game. The girls then spend half an hour on a handicraft, learning to crochet and working on their blanket for a local orphanage (see picture above). They have found such joy in learning this skill! 

The main session is pre-prepared by our previous Makomborero girls, approved by me and which covers various life skills. This term we focus on the girls as people, their value, and worth, owning their past and moving forward, leadership gifts, various life skills, body language, public speaking etc. We end with a time of reading aloud an inspiring book on a woman.

Some of our sessions require digging deep into who they are, others are equipping them for life, giving them hope! We are so thankful to the two schools who have entrusted 9 of their girls to us. What a privilege! 14 year old, vulnerable girls being given hope! We are now exploring the possibility of setting up a boy mentorship programme! They need this too!"

 From one of our previous students (leading the scheme):

I vividly remember the first day of our Girl Mentorship Program; anxiety and excitement overwhelmed my heart. I was nervous that the girls might not be able to accept me but at the same time, extremely exuberant to get to know them. Our first day was an introductory session and it was so beautiful how although this was the first step, the girls were welcoming. That on its own made me content as it just assured me that the girls were willing to embark with us on this mentorship journey. Over the next two sessions, I could see the girls opening up, their hearts trusting us and seeing their faces beaming with joy showing us that this is just the place they had longed to be at. It's touching how some of the girls are walking several km just to be part of that sisterhood circle we have created, and to hear one of the girls saying "Are we done already? I wish we could stay for the whole day"!

Amazing is just the word I'd use to describe the Girl Mentorship Program because honestly, that's what it is. Each Saturday I feel like I have something to look forward to - seeing those 9 beautiful faces again! The Girl Mentorship Program has given me a purpose, the gift of sisterhood and the bonds we have created are priceless."

Some of the girls taking part share their thoughts on their experience: 

"Makomborero has helped me how to crochet and how to handle life through hardships. Never look down upon yourself, you should be proud of who you are. Don't compare yourself with others and I've learned how to tell my story."

"Makomborero is helping me to do practical skills crocheting and it is also helping me to be honest and confident. I have found people to share my stories with and I trust them. I can feel free if I tell them my story."

"The first day that I joined the Makomborero Mentorship Scheme I felt like I was flying up high. I am learning skills like crocheting and I'm enjoying it. I have found people friends and sisters who love me as I am, and who I can share my life with."

As Belinda says, "The mentorship programme has given me something to look forward to every Saturday morning and the rare opportunity of forming a relationship with a stranger and to make an impact in their life. I couldn’t be more grateful!" 

I believe it sums up the general feeling of the Leaders of the Mentorship Programme. We look forward to the remaining programmes in the term and their Motivational session with a successful female, who will share her journey and demonstrate that it is possible.

Learning and sharing from each other
Learning and sharing from each other
The Girls have blossomed
The Girls have blossomed


Apr 20, 2018

Fantastic Start to 2018! It can only get better!

Girl Mentorship Programme
Girl Mentorship Programme

We love the start of each New Year – it is filled with such hope and expectation.  It is also an incredibly hard adjustment for our new Lower Sixth Students coming into the house.  It takes all term and they are brave and courageous as they face a completely different culture in the Boarding House and at their new schools.  BUT they are all doing so well and as we reflect over the term we can see how well they are adjusting!  Welcome Patrice, Muzi, Martha, Tinaye, Simba and Tino!

Also, welcome to our new Lower Sixth External students – we were so pleased to be able to give you each a solar light and backpack kindly donated to us for you. Not only our external students but our internal students too received backpacks. These were so generously donated to us by IH Group and a wonderful past student that Mark taught at Hellenic. Often people are unsure how they can help but these kinds of donations make such a huge impact on our student's lives!

We were also thrilled to receive our examination results for 2017 this term.   AS Results: 21A’s,10B’s, 5C’s, A-level Results: 2A*’s, 9A’s, 7B’s, 8C’s and 1D and Zimsec (External Students) 13A’s2B, 2D, 3E’sTop of Form

Tino started with us in January and sadly got an infected handed which went to sepsis very quickly.  It was a very painful experience for him and an incredibly difficult time for us trying to access health care for him.  It highlighted the desperate state of our health care system in Zimbabwe and we were very thankful we had the funds to mix private and Government cover for him.  He has made a full recovery and is settling into school life well!  He has also been selected to attend a 3-week exchange programme with a Jesuit school in Boston.  What an incredible opportunity this will be for him.

Roy, Munya and Brandon received full academic colours at their respective schools for their outstanding AS results – well done you guys!!  Chiko also received half colours for Cross Country this term – a sport he never knew how good he was at!   Shyline has also been on a journey of discovery with her sprinting, shot put and hammer throwing – she’s really good!  Isabel, Lincoln and Patrice have done exceptionally well in Chess and Isabel have made it to the Nationals over the Easter holiday.  Roy and Donald took part in the choirs that performed in the Eisteddfod, winning Honours in a few categories.  We love seeing our students discover new talents!

We had a fantastic movie night with all our students – we went to go and see Black Panther.  What a wonderfully empowering and inspiring movie.  It was also an incredibly fun evening, especially as for most of our student it was their first time at the movies!

Our Life Skills sessions have been lively this term with fantastic opportunities to chat, share and build deeper relationships with our internal students.  These have been such a highlight of the term!  The students learn lots and so do we!  We were able to implement our Safe Guarding policy at the beginning of the term, as we do each year and in light of the Oxfam scandal to know that we have a policy in place already is very reassuring.


Mobile Science Laboratory

Our Mobile Science Laboratory has kicked off this year with two sessions running every Saturday, with students from all over Harare.  It is exciting to see our teachers and volunteers run with this programme with such passion week in and week out.  We are seeing students gain confidence and love what they are learning each week.  We look forward to Term 2 and the new students that will join us.


Girl Child Mentorship Programme

In collaboration with ALA Mastercard and our past Makomborero Zimbabwe young ladies, we will be launching our Girl Mentorship Programme in May.  This is an incredible opportunity for us to impact vulnerable girls who could very easily drop out of school due to many factors.  These young girls will be roughly 14 years of age and we have been working on a curriculum and planning an exciting project that will run for the rest of this year.  More details will follow as we launch a Little by Little campaign on GlobalGiving to fund this life-changing project.  What makes this project sustainable is that it will be Makomborero past students who run the weekly meetings.  Young ladies who know first hand the struggles these young girls face.



We were thrilled to host GlobalGiving for an afternoon in March where they came to inspect our operations and how we run Makomborero Zimbabwe.  It is wonderful to partner with an organisation that checks on the integrity of an organisation, making sure that donors funding is being spent well and on what the money was donated for.  They were such an encouragement to us and kept saying they were blown away at what we do.  We feel their visit is a huge endorsement for us. 


We love our volunteers to come in and help in specific areas of need.  Saskia for her incredibly inspiring English lessons on a Friday, Alison for her fantastic knowledge of writing essays for university applications, Tsungi for his help with our Life Skills sessions this term and Patricia Mutumha from Nicoz Diamond for inspiring our 2017 leavers on their career choices.  Without volunteers, it would be very hard to do what we do!


Thank you

A big thank you to all our corporate and individual sponsors who really do make it possible to do what we do!  Your support is so valued!  Thank you, Thank you for continuing to choose to partner with us.

We were also so grateful to have Simba, one of our UK Trustees out to visit as term closed.  We are incredibly thankful to our UK board for their dedication and commitment to Makomborero and all that we do.


Black Panther , Movie night
Black Panther , Movie night
GlobalGiving Certificate
GlobalGiving Certificate
Holly and Norman from GlobalGiving
Holly and Norman from GlobalGiving
UK oard member , Simba
UK oard member , Simba's visit
Mobile lab sessions
Mobile lab sessions


Jan 24, 2018

Compliments of the new year

Destiny Graduation
Destiny Graduation

Well, we made it to the end of another year!  It is always incredible to look back and see everything that has been accomplished in the year and this year is no different.

During the August school holidays, we had a wonderful 3-day camp with our Internal and External Students at the Resource centre.  What a fantastic few days together - fun games, team building workshops, robots, writing workshops – community service in the rural areas, as well as celebrating all the students birthdays at a fun-filled party!  What a fabulous way to start the term!

There are 3 Prize Giving evenings to fit in before exams begin and we love the opportunity these evenings offer us to celebrate our students' achievements and to reflect on their times at their incredible schools.

Awards and Prize Giving – St Georges

  • Chiko – Rector’s L6 Commendation and Coffin Prize in L6 Maths.
  • Brandon – Rector’s L6 Commendation and Blackbeard L6 in Geography.
  • Munya – Major L6 Commendation

 Awards and Prize Giving - Gateway High

  • Taku came 4th in the whole of Zimbabwe in the Zimbabwean Maths Olympiad
  • Belinda - Subject Prizes for Maths and Biology and Carnduff Trophy for outstanding Club Leadership.
  • Ruramai – Subject Prize for Chemistry and Physics and Science Trophy

 Awards and Prize Giving – Hellenic Academy

  • Chenai – received a trophy for best AS results and prizes for Mechanics, General Paper and Accounting.
  • Donald – Best in Economics L6 Prize.

Incredibly two of our students were made prefects at their respective schools this year – well done Kuda and Donald.  So proud of you both with the huge cultural adjustment this first year has been and to also be able to stand out enough for your leadership qualities to be noticed!  We know you will serve your schools well over the coming year.Various Upper Sixth students enjoyed their leaver's dancers at their respective schools and we always love seeing them dressed up!

Our students conquered the examination season with determination and stamina!  We look forward to their results in the new year.  Even though it is a term filled with exams – we still manage to accomplish quite a bit and have a lot of fun.  The swimming pool brought much stress relief during this time!

Our Annual Graduation is always a very memorable event – a wonderful time to bid our students farewell, look back over their time with Makomborero and celebrate who they have become with their parents, teachers, schools, corporate and individual sponsors.  It is always such a highlight of our year!  Find below the link to a short video of the wonderful afternoon.

Makomborero’s Christmas party is always a highlight of the year – Internal and External students, Makomborero Staff and family coming together for games and food and a present from Santa!  A very special way to end the year!!!

Have a little watch of this great video!


A huge congratulation to Chenai on getting into Harvard on a full scholarship! We are thrilled - what a journey this amazing young lady has been on.

Congratulations also to Destiny (Pioneer Student 2012) on graduating from Lipscomb University, with a Computer Science and Mathematics Degree. He starts his job with Goldman Sachs in January as a Technology Analyst.

We can also celebrate as all 5 of our university graduates are employed, all in their areas of expertise! This is huge in a country where unemployment is in the 90% and is a testimony to the long-term impact that Makomborero has!

 UK Visit

I had the incredible opportunity to visit the UK in November to attend a Makomborero event and speak to supporters and people looking in to support the work that we do.  This was a wonderful opportunity, humbling and incredibly encouraging. 

Selection Process 2018

Every year we say it gets harder, but honestly, it does.  Mark and I, with our Makomborero team, have just gone through the gruelling process of deciding which of the many worthy candidates who apply for a scholarship should be accepted. Laura tells us a bit more about the students coming into the house this year: 

"The stories of lives affected by the dire economic situation our country faces become more heart wrenching every year! Of the 500+ applications that we received this year, we invited 200 of these amazing students to the first round of testing.  It is a joy to meet all these students and get to know them a little throughout this process. We often get text messages afterwards saying they are sad not to have made it but what they gained from the testing process will stay with them forever. It is so much more than just testing!  It is often giving students their first experiment of the practical side of a subject, building relationships, having teachers invest fully into them, being treated as a person and not just a number, and that their voice wants to be head and holds value. We love watching all of our past and current students help out during this process, and seeing them reach out and build relationships too. The final part of the process involves visiting the homes of our short list of students.  These home visits are always emotional but also so incredibly humbling to be welcomed into a strangers home and leave friends. Some homes have this incredible atmosphere, despite what the family are facing. Laughter, joy etc.

So we welcome 8 new Internal Students into the Resource centre and 10 new External Students.  We so look forward to getting to know them. 6 have already started at Hellenic and St Georges and the last two will start this week at Gateway. Our external students are waiting for their O'Level results.

Please keep our new students in your thoughts as they make these huge cultural adjustments into their new schools.


Happy New year

We want to thank all our long-term donors – corporate and individuals who have continued to stand by us through some really tricky months in Zimbabwe.  We hope this year will see things improving in Zimbabwe and more and more students accessing an education. Makomborero continues to stay committed to its vision and is excited for whatever the new year holds.


Thank you all and a very Happy New Year!

Recruitment process
Recruitment process
Home Visits
Home Visits
Makomborero hosts Danai Children
Makomborero hosts Danai Children's Christmas party
Christmas party
Christmas party
Chenai gets Harvard Scholarship
Chenai gets Harvard Scholarship
Celebrations at our Christmas Party
Celebrations at our Christmas Party


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