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Give education & training to Zimbabwean girls

by Zimbabwe Educational Trust (ZET)
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Give education & training to Zimbabwean girls
Give education & training to Zimbabwean girls
Give education & training to Zimbabwean girls
Give education & training to Zimbabwean girls
Give education & training to Zimbabwean girls
Give education & training to Zimbabwean girls
Give education & training to Zimbabwean girls
Give education & training to Zimbabwean girls
Give education & training to Zimbabwean girls
Give education & training to Zimbabwean girls
Give education & training to Zimbabwean girls
Kim (Jo Cox's Sister), Emily (DFID) & us at launch
Kim (Jo Cox's Sister), Emily (DFID) & us at launch

We're delighted to announce that UK Aid Direct has chosen to support this project with support from the Jo Cox Memorial Foundation. This is a real endorsement of our methods and with UK aid from the British people and with your support from around the world this is a most exciting moment for women's empowerment. 

Some notable successes this quarter:

  • Two of our students who did work placements at the Ambassador Hotel have now been made full-time staff - that's pretty life-changing.
  • In a little unexpected success, one of the girls from the pre-school class has managed to make a little enterprise on the side, making...kebabs! She learnt the skills while with us and she's now able to attend classes more consistently with the money she makes helping to fund her bus fare. Bus fare is still one of the most consistent barriers we face to good attendance.
  • The Braiding and Weaving class saw three of its students gain their certification allowing them to move on to diploma level. 

A new cohort of girls has started this quarter and as part of their orientation (and confidence building given their vulnerable status) the girls went to a nature park. They managed to see lions, crocodiles and zebras. The girls were happy to see the animals feeding and gained some valuable animal education thanks for the Aware Trust.

We were delighted to host a Careers Day where we invited different employers, trainers and former Rafiki students to help new girls get an understanding of the different courses. All the trainers from various institutions, gave an overview of their course content and explained what the girls should expect depending on what specialism they choose. 

As things move on at an ever more exciting pace we're already recruiting for the next intake, as well as aiming to increase our outputs in terms of sexual education and education on drug use. 

Careers Day in action
Careers Day in action


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Students during the open day
Students during the open day

In one of the most exciting quarters Rafiki has ever had we were able to use one-off grant money to purchase a range of equipment helping our future delivery. The purchases included laptops, sewing machines, a projector a camera and other items needed to assist core delivery. 

We have also been spreading the word in terms of making our programme more disability inclusive than ever before. Following recent training in disability support we're making sure the community knows that people with disabilities can, and should, apply to the programme. Uptake has been slow but we're also reaching out to local disability support organisation and we hope to get more referrals for future intakes of students. 

On the delivery side our latest intake had an open day affording an opportunity for parents/guardians to hear about the programme. This facilitates buy-in which is beneficial throughout. Here are some quotes from the day.

“Now I understand, Rafiki is a good school and commend the teachers for the job they are doing”.

“I have never heard of a school like Rafiki which is holistic in nature, girls are taught life skills, I like this school”.

“Thank you for inviting us, If I did not come I would not have appreciated the way I do today. Keep up the good job”

We’re as proud as ever of the work we do and appreciate any support.

Cookery class doing their thing
Cookery class doing their thing


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Something Different! 

This quarter saw the staff team have thier first ever off-site staff retreat. The theme was,”making a difference, making a lasting impression”. Training was delivered internally with addition needs being outsoruced to Zimbabwe Red Cross Society, People’s College and Executive Skills College and Leonard Chishire Disability Zimbabwe .Speakers were also present from Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. The retreat also adressed needs for programme improvements including better disablity awareness and enhanced safeguarding. 

One staff member commented " refreshes and motivates to do the work more effectively. I understand the Rafiki mission and vision better and I am committed to supporting it"

Continuing efforts to get stronger and do more Rafiki has recently done work on the below policies

  • Whistle blowing policy
  • Child safeguarding policy
  • Risk Management Policy
  • Financial policy and procedure manual
  • Anticorruption Policy
  • IT Policy
  • Gender Policy
  • Vehicle Policy
  • Declaration of conflict of interest Policy & form
  • Code of Conduct


Business As Usual!

In March of this quarter our January intake of 40 young ladies completed thier Internal Training (growing confidence and a broad range of skills) and began thier specialisms. We had 6 specialist in Nurse Aid training, 6 for Hotel and catering, 8 for Pre-School, 6 for Cosmetoilogy, 6 training in Intreior Design and 8 in Cutting and Design. 

The next intake began in May with 124 girls applying for the 40 avialbe places. Spaces were givne to 30 young ladies and 10 more who are single mothers. 

A sad story has already affected this programme as one of the single mothers, already facing challenges at home, lost her mother after she was hit by a bus. With insuffucnet childcare she has sadly had to drop out of the course this time. We hope to be able to better support those with childcare needs in the futre. 


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Ropa Graduating
Ropa Graduating

Eveyone loves a sucess story, so this quarter we present you with one.

Seen in the photo Ropafadzo has had a rollercoaster time. Being one of the first ever young mum's that Rafiki has been able to accept into the programme (a success story all of its own!), Ropa is 20 years old and a single mum. Her little boy of 2 finds himself without a father, who having denied responsibliity for the baby, ran away to South Africa. Ropa, who lost her mother in 2013, was looking after her father who was sick and living with HIV. Living in poverty, finding life hard and crying on a daily basis, Ropa came to Rafiki in May 2018. 

Staying on the course with so many responsiblities proved a real struggle but Ropa made it and having specialised in Hotel & Catering she went on placement to the Ambasador Hotel where, after only two months - they gave her a job!

The change in skills, experience, income and more has ultimately led to a change in happines. She's now better placed than ever to provide for herself and her family and can do so with a smile on her face. 

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Rafiki Educational Trip
Rafiki Educational Trip

Rafiki Winter 2019 Update 

January 2018 Intake: 

All 40 girls have finished their training; many of whom are now gaining valuable experience in their field of study through a work placement. The girls will be graduating in February 2019 alongside those in the May 2018 intake. We are delighted to report that all of the cosmetology students are now employed. Additionally, two of our girls are employed in preschool. One of these girls is Nyaradzo who did not have an easy start. She was orphaned at a young age; both her parents died of HIV/AIDS, and she was born HIV Positive. After completing her studies with Rafiki, she is not only in full-time employment and able to support herself and her aunt, but she is now proud of the girl she has become. Rafiki is the inspiration behind her new positive outlook on life. 

May 2018 intake: 

For the first time ever, the May intake is comprised of 10 single mothers amongst 30 young girls. We are happy to report that the single mothers have integrated into our project very well. The organisation named “Vessels of Love” provide these mothers with emotional support and hampers. Their determination to start a new path in life is particularly noticeable by their cooperation and enthusiasm in the program. However, we do face a challenge. Sometimes, mothers miss school in order to take care of problems that arise with their children. Despite this, we are committed to their involvement in the program and encourage them to find trusted relatives to watch their children so that they can still attend school.  

May intake events: 

In July, we had an HIV/AIDS workshop in Dvivarasekwa and the girls’ enthusiasm to learn more about the issue is demonstrated by the high number (120) participants in this event. We also held an HIV/AIDS testing event for the girls. Other events included an open day, an educational trip and a career guidance event, helping to support the girls in taking the path they want. 


We are very sad to report a couple of drop-outs. Before taking part in the Rafiki program, one of the ladies was making a living as a sex worker.  She struggled to find stable accommodation, partly due to a lack of family support. She has been struggling to make ends meet and consequently dropped-out of Rafiki. We are trying to locate her, and we are hoping to welcome her back into Rafiki to continue her studies.  


August 2018 intake: 

This class again was comprised of 10 single mothers and 30 young girls.  Events included an open day, educational trip, careers day and HIV/AID workshops and testing. The educational trip was particularly popular amongst the girls. We had Aunty Beatrice from Sister to Sister organisation as our guest, who put on games that enabled the girls to address difficult issues, such as drug abuse and sex, in a relaxed, comfortable environment. Afterwards they even had a swim in the park. The girls reported that they very much enjoyed this trip; many of them said they don’t have anyone to laugh with at home, so it was fun and refreshing. They also said that they felt as if their lives had changed for the better! 


Particular challenges we have faced:  

The political and economic climate in Zimbabwe has brought its challenges to us. Particularly, bus fare rates are increasing making it more difficult for the girls to attend. Despite this, hardly any have missed lessons and either the school or others are assisting with fares.  

Zimbabwe is currently facing a difficult period of instability with recent rises in fuel prices of over 100%, increases in general commodity costs, a brief shutdown of the internet and significant civil unrest. ZET is monitoring the situation and wishes the best for a speedy and safe resolution. 


A message for supporters: 

We continue to thank all our supporters for their funding to train not only girls but single mothers who have found hope to change the lives of themselves and their families.  


Rafiki HIV Workshop
Rafiki HIV Workshop


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Organization Information

Zimbabwe Educational Trust (ZET)

Location: LEEDS, West Yorkshire - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @zet_uk
Project Leader:
Andrew Jackson
LEEDS, West Yorkshire United Kingdom

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