Oct 2, 2018

Making a difference in the girls' lives!

What an exciting journey it has been for the girls. Some who came barely able to look one straight in the face , too self conscious and extremely shy. They have blossomed , increased in self confidence and have developed a leap in their step. All this we could tell from the conversations we had at the Lunch we hosted to conclude last term's sessions. All the girls from Mufakose and their Mentors were hosted at the Makomborero Resource Center. Being the 1st of its kind we invited our past Makomborero gilrs from different year groups to come and share their stories and give motivational talks to the mentees. We had four ladies come in , the eldest was Pamela , now a seniour at Wellesley College in America , Sharon who is studying Medicine at the University of Zimbabwe, Charlegne from Edinburgh University in the UK and Yeukai also from Wellesley College. The girls shared passionately and honestly about their journeys , the challenges they have had to overcome and most of all making the Mentees realise that not so long ago they were just like them. Above all they represented a true testimony that there is hope and it is possible to fight the odds and achieve whatever you set your heart on. The biggest take away was it does not matter where one comes from , like Pamela narrated her story with tears down her cheeks, a girl from Budiriro and the family struggles she has had and where she is now! The afternoon ended with chattering and laughter as all the girls sat down to share a meal together.

The Mentors also got to share some feedback forms with the girls to evaluate the programme. Most of the responses were quite positive with most of them noting that there is nothing they wanted to change and were happy with the programme. The most popular session was the one on sharing stories, highlighting hopes , fears, any hardships. With most of them noting that it helped them realise that they were not the only ones in the situation they were in. Another mentee noted that it changed her and she realised she could love and appreciate herself despite the circumstances. Maya Angelou's story was also notable to the girls, with them citing that it opened them up to great possibilities and that every job can be done by a women! On the changes they have experienced so far, confidence was the biggest highlight and that we couldn't agree with them more. With confidence came also courage, and some noted that they had been too reserved but now can interact with others and even speak in front of the class. Notable was the mentee who indicated that the sessions had given her greater perspective of life and can now aim higher , she had managed to overcome her fear and limitations she had put upon herself.

This term the girls look forward to their final sessions of the programme. They are still working on their crotcheting and will finally put together their blanket after a few more squares each , hoping to delve into more inspiring books. Sadly two of the Mentors, Belinda and Chenai have left for university in the States and they continue with Ruramai and Ropa. They are both excited and looking forward to reunting with the girls after weeks away on school holidays. This term they will covering Body Language, Public speaking and Goal setting among many others all which will help the Mentees grow in confidence.

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Jul 17, 2018

Second Term 2018 Report: What an eventful season!

Graduating students
Graduating students

Second term of the schools is always the longest and the busiest season of the school calendar and this year was no exception. It is always a delight to have the parents and students of the external students come around to the Resource Centre to collect their proof of payment for their school fees and examinations fees. We had a great chance to connect with them and get to know them a little better.

The Girl Mentorship Programme and The Mobile Lab kicked off in earnest. We have shared previously on the Girl Mentorship Programme as this has a specific campaing attached to it. We have watched our past students shoulder the responsibility of leading the programme and the transformation within themeselves has been ernomous. The 9 girls of Mufakose have experienced and learnt so much.  They have gained confidence and are starting to believe in themselves again. We just can't wait to see what the future holds for them!

The Science Mobile lab this term brings together 25 students from 8 different high density schools. The Science teachers are amazed week after week by the enthusiasm the students have towards the Biology experiments, which all helps to reinforce how practical lessons are an essential part of education and in shaping the pupils' world views.

The Upper Sixth external students had an incredible life changing out door camp in Nyanga, where they were taught on Leadership and Teamwork. It was an experience none of them had ever experienced before! We received some very positive reviews from the Camp leaders and we thank them so much for putting together a wonderful programme for our students. These students school are not able to offer them these opportunities and it is wonderful that Makomborero can!

Graduation

We continue to celebrate our full circle, since last year we saw our first group of pionneer students graduate and this year again the celebrations continue. We had our first female graduate. Lisa graduated from Wellesley College with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Biochemistry (Premedical Studies) We are so proud of Lisa for being a torch bearer for the other female students at Makomborero.Congratulations to Tinashe who graduated with a BSc in Computer Science from African University. He was 2nd best Undergrad student and Best Innovative graduating student! We are also so incredibly proud of Taringana who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Engineering Sciences from Dartmouth College! We can't wait to see what the future holds for these hardworking young leaders and there will be a few more graduations to come this year!

News from our students

We are proud of what our students have been up to and that they continue to be exemplary and show their leadership qualities every step of their educational journey. Prince had an opportunity for the 2nd time around to meet Her Royal Highness Princess Anne who is also the Chancellor of Edinburgh University. Prince together with four other students was part of and exclusive gathering with some of the top Funders of the University. He was also part of a nine member team that won the UK Enactus Championships and they will travel to California for the World Championships in October. We wish them all the best. For the first time we had 14 of our students qualify for the Science Olympiad. They had an opportunity to travel to South Africa for the Sasol Science Focus Week. 3 of them did very well with Shaun and Roy winning prizes in the top 10! At the same time in South Africa, our past students Tinashe and Rufaro where finalists at the V- Fest at the ALA Decennial celebrations.

They both had an opportunity to reconnect with fellow Makomborero students from different year groups.

Shylline, a current upper sixth student is in America for a 2 week programme at Yale University, The Yale Global Scholars Programme. We thank our sponsors for making it possible for her to travel.

Five of our 2016 past students have started their month long orientation at Rochester University. We thank MasterCard – ALA for the scholarships and for looking after our students. They will be starting their journey in tertiary education some in Germany, Canada and American universities and we wish them all the best. We are also proud of the Internships that Ntombi, Prince and Phillip have been doing in their respective areas of study. We also got to learn of Ngoni’s successful entrepreneurship journey in his community of Chitungwiza. While on his Gap year he started a LP Gas business, through this time he has managed to repay the loan he borrowed to start the venture and now as he leaves for school his mother and young brother can rely on the business for their sustenance. Our past students have also been engaging in enriching community service project . Joseph has been involved in teaching at his former school, while Ngoni was also participating in mentorship classes at Seke 4 High School. Prince was also instrumental in the Kids in Tech programme at his former workplace, Netro Electronics.

Two Makomborero students, Taku and Roy were part of the theatrical presentation of the acclaimed Lion King. According to local reviews it has been the best so far. We thank the Harare Youth Choir for giving our students an opportunity to showcase their talent on live stage! Though very busy, they loved every minute of it and the whole Makomborero family enjoyed a night out to watch the boys perform.

We are delighted for Belinda who was awarded the Botstiber Scholarship Programme at Penn State and will be leaving in August. From the same year group is Takudzwa, who becomes our third student at Edinburgh University. He travels in September to start his degree in Engineering and we hope with his love for music, he will be able to further enhance his talent there.

Fundraising

We are thankful to Leonie and her 10yr old son Toby who climbed Yorkshire 3 peaks to raise money for Makomborero. We are grateful for every effort our sponsors put in to complement our work.

We also received a book donation through a company, which has helped enrich our Resource Centre library.

Michael, a 2016 past student also kindly donated a Physics kit for the Science Mobile Lab. This will enable us to conduct experiments on Electronics. We are forever grateful to him for using his hard earned money to give back to Makomborero in such a special way. We look forward to starting the Physics experiments in the coming terms. We are so thankful to all our donors and everyone who works so hard for Makomborero to be what it is today. All this work is made possible by the sacrifices that each one of you makes.

Sad News

The Makomborero family is still grappling with the sad loss of one of our 2015 past external student, Takudzwa. He was enrolled at the Charles Prince Airport for his Pilot licence. At the time of his death, Taku was doing his practical with the Air Force of Zimbabwe where he collapsed and died during training. Taku will be solely missed. What a young life and full of potential. Within the same week we received sad news once again. Our House Mother, Dinnis’ son passed on in Capetown. He was studying for a Masters in Molecular Biology. He succumbed to embolism in the heart. What an accomplished young man he was. We say may they both rest in peace and we continue to remember both families throughout this difficult time.

All this and more is shared in detail on our Facebook page. Kindly invite friends and family to like our page. As we conclude the Term we wish our students all the best in their mid-year exams and wish them a restful holidays ahead.  Thank you again for your continued support of all that we do!

External students Camp
External students Camp
2018 external students and parents
2018 external students and parents
Students at Rochester
Students at Rochester
Taku and Roy at Lion King
Taku and Roy at Lion King
Prince and Her Royal Highness Princess Anne
Prince and Her Royal Highness Princess Anne
Girl Mentorship Programme
Girl Mentorship Programme
MakZim Family
MakZim Family

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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

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