Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe

by Makomborero
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Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Change Student Lives through Education in Zimbabwe
Students enjoying life at the Resource Centre
Students enjoying life at the Resource Centre

Starting Term 2

The start of the term at Makomborero brings with it lots of excitement and this term was no different. When we started the term with our enthusiastic staff, volunteers and students, we had no idea that we were about to face one of our hardest terms yet. Covid-19 hit closer to home than ever before. With the support of our board members, we were continuously challenged to come up with effective ways of keeping students and staff safe. As expected, this involved making some tough decisions. Emotionally and mentally, this term has taken a lot out of students and staff. We felt very blessed to have been able to draw on each other through the term. Parents and guardians were gracious and supportive as we navigated new territory. We are truly grateful for this. Staff played a huge part in making sure the day to day runnings of Makomborero remained as they should. This was most appreciated especially taking into consideration that for one reason or another, we have not been able to run on a full complement of staff at any point this term.

 

Online learning continues

There was general disappointment around schools not being able to remain open at the beginning of June and much hope that online learning would not last the full term. Students physically attended school for only five weeks before they had to go back online. At the time of writing this report, schools are still closed and all learning continues to be carried out online. We continue to support our external students with wifi bundles to assist them with online learning where online learning is possible/available. We are so pleased to let you know that the Makomborero learning app was finally launched at the start of May 2021. It has proved to be a necessity and has been very well received by our external students. Under the supervision of Mr Albertyn, our Gap Year students Yeukai and Milton designed and developed the app which is loaded with resources including notes, worksheets and past exam papers. These materials would normally be difficult to find and would generally come at a cost that our external students would not be able to meet. The app works completely offline making it greatly accessible to our students. Each student was given a tablet with the app pre-loaded and a 128Gb memory card to add any other study materials of their choice. We are very grateful for the donation of the tablets and the long hours Yeukai and Milton put into the app. When the students gathered to collect their tablets, they were also given some donated clothes and food parcels.

Our partner schools Hellenic, St George's and Gateway have continued to provide our internal students with excellent online lessons. Our Lower Sixth students, initially daunted by online lessons are now quite used to learning in this way. Well done to them and to our Upper Sixth students for doing their mock exams from the boarding house. We are aware that this is completely different from the norm and takes some mental strength and integrity. We are proud of you!

 

Examination Results

In our Term 1 newsletter we were not able to give you the Zimsec A-Level results as we normally would. We are pleased to let you know that despite the many difficult challenges that our external students faced, they did extremely well in their exams. In total, our students had 17As, 8Bs and 5Cs. We are very proud of them for these excellent results.

 

2020 Leavers

Our 2020 leavers did not get to experience the normal two years at Makomborero that other students would have. Activities such as the annual camp, community service and hiking in Domboshava, which are annual staples, all had to be cancelled due to Covid-19. A social had been planned for the 2020 leavers for the beginning of this year. We hoped it would be a time for them to have a reunion as well as say goodbye as they would all be going off to different universities.  Unfortunately this too had to be cancelled as the lockdown restrictions would not allow for gatherings. We are grateful for technology and social media which has availed platforms for the leavers to keep in touch with us and with each other. Here is a quick update of how our twenty 2020 Upper Sixth students are doing. 6 students were accepted at local universities. 9 students are taking a gap year, 4 students were accepted at USA universities and one student is waiting for a response from a local university. We are truly pleased to see them launch into ‘adult’ life and wish them well in their studies whether they are taking them on this year or next year.

 

University Life

Our local university students have also had a disrupted second semester. They had to have online lectures and many are finding this difficult to cope with. Some of the challenges include power cuts and internet provider network issues. Some exams had to be postponed and those who needed to carry out practical work did this under much pressure as they had limited time on campus due to the lockdown restrictions. On the bright side, some students are grateful they have longer to study for their exams. We have continued to support our university students with university fees, wifi bundles and stipends. This would not be possible without our sponsors and we are very grateful!

We are thankful for the opportunities we have to continue to keep in touch with our university students who are studying outside of Zimbabwe. It goes without saying that wherever our students are in the world, they are affected by Covid-19. It is particularly difficult for those who are not able to travel to see family because of the travel restrictions. Our students abroad often find themselves supporting family at home, we have observed that the need for such has been higher this year. The burden of not being able to meet family needs at home can have quite a negative impact and Makomborero has been involved in assisting such students and families where possible.

The Alumni programme which was started during the last year continues to play a great role in keeping past students in touch with each other and serving the A’Level students with the mentorship programme.

 

Other projects

We were able to hold a few Girl Child sessions from the beginning of April. Sessions had to stop in June as the lockdown restrictions did not allow for gatherings. We however managed to have the much loved Girl Child lunch on the last Saturday of May 2021. It was wonderful to see staff, mentors and mentees gather together. There were lots of laughs and a wonderful talk from Mrs Albertyn. Each mentor and mentee walked away with three sanitary pants and a menstrual cup as well as a food hamper. We know these goodies are life changing for the girls and we are extremely grateful to those who have made it possible. Our focus during the rest of the term has been making sure that all necessary craft and teaching materials are in place for whenever Girl Child sessions are able to resume.

Mobile Science Lab sessions took place from the last Saturday in March to the end of April. The students had a great time having fun practicals with ‘Mr T’. Our Science teachers and interns have taken advantage of the long break by doing inventories as well as cleaning apparatus. We are looking forward to a time when lessons can resume as we feel students benefit hugely from this project.

Ndeipi started off with some great sessions at the end of the first term. We have had some lovely donations of baby items which will be sold to Ndeipi participants at heavily discounted prices so they can sell them on for a profit. Participants have been keeping in touch with our administrator Mrs Chikowore via a Whatsapp group, they are all looking forward to seeing eachother in person again.

 

UZ Residence

Our UZ residence is still an ongoing project. We had hoped to have everything completed by the end of July. Unfortunately the progress has been slow as the building had to be used by A-Level students for six weeks during the months of June and July to help with social distancing and to fulfill Covid-19 requirements. Staff that were over-seeing the project have not always been available and contractors were often tied by the shorter working hours. Despite the delay, we feel we are getting back on track. We will not be able to take in students this year but there is hope that we will be able to do so in January 2022.

 

A final sign off

Term 2 2021 has been a challenging and humbling time at Makomborero Zimbabwe. Never have our family values been put to test as much as they have been in this term. At some point it felt as if students and staff continually dealt with sickness and loss. We are so grateful for the support that came from each other as well as parents/guardians and board members.  Mr and Mrs Albertyn were able to organise a therapy session for internal students and staff and this went a long way in helping to deal with the trauma that some had gone through.

It was not easy to keep things ‘normal’ at the boarding house. However, Life Skills sessions and newly introduced Book Study sessions continued in person when possible or via Zoom when this was not possible. Mr and Mrs Albertyn visited the boarding house and managed to spend some time with the students. The term has just ended with a fantastic week of activities put together and led by Yeukai and Milton. The internal students enjoyed painting, sport, walks and a braai.

A huge thank you to all our donors! We know we say this every term but we really could not have done this term without you. Your impact went far beyond what you could imagine. You helped to keep our students protected, fed, clothed, entertained and encouraged. We felt incredibly supported by all your donations, often humbled by your generosity which often seemed to come just when we needed it the most. We are privileged to have your support and look forward to the next part of the journey with you.

The Girls attending the GMP Lunch
The Girls attending the GMP Lunch
Fun in the grounds
Fun in the grounds
Our UZ accommodation
Our UZ accommodation

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The 2021 Makomborero Intake
The 2021 Makomborero Intake

Wow! Makomborero Zimbabwe has entered its second decade and we have extended a warm welcome to 27 new students (10 Lower Sixth internals, 16 Lower Sixth externals). For the first time ever, we were able to welcome into the Resource Centre one external student who was already in Upper Sixth (thanks to a very kind sponsor). We have taken on our highest number of students to date as we continue to bridge the gap in access to education for many, many students, even if in this small way.

We have also welcomed two 2020 gap year students, Milton and Yeukai, as our first ever Makomborero Zimbabwe interns. They are a natural addition to the staff compliment and we often wonder how we ever got by without them.

Our resource centre is now at full capacity and has a buzzing atmosphere that all students seem to enjoy. The year 2021 started under Covid-19 restrictions. There was much uncertainty surrounding how the school calendar would be structured and this was not the easiest start to the year for our students. It brought much worry and meant that some external students had no access to studying materials. Communication with our students proved key in those times, students were in much need of both encouragement and practical solutions and the Makomborero team did their best to meet both. Our external students began their lessons in March after the Covid19 restrictions had been relaxed. We are proud of how they are adapting to new protocols and juggled lesson times as Heads of schools and their staff make massive efforts to curb the spread of the virus.

Makomborero continues to support external students with data bundles and food packs. We are acutely aware that families are still facing poverty worsened by the ongoing pandemic and we know the negative impact this has on both the mental health of students and inevitably their education. On the 20th of March, we were able to hold a workshop for both internal and external students. It was a full day of fitting in training that would have otherwise been spread out during the course of the term. As much as it was an educational experience, it was also an opportunity for students to relax, catch up, laugh and eat together.

External students were presented with backpacks, lunch boxes, water bottles, toiletries, stationery, hand sanitiser, masks, solar lamps and food packs. We had a generous donation of clothes on this occasion and these were distributed to both internals and externals. We won a grant that enabled us to purchase sustainable sanitary wear for 80 girls. We were pleased to have been able to distribute some of these on that day.

Our team is working on launching an online learning platform for our external students. It’s an amazing project that will be of huge benefit to the students once it is completed. We are hoping the project will be completed by the end of April and each external student will be issued with a tablet. Private schools opened in January online. We are incredibly grateful for the excellent education provided by our partner schools. For most of our Lower Sixth internals, online lessons were a completely new and daunting experience. We are proud of them for making the transition from their schools and the face to face learning they were so used to.

Thank you to Makomborero staff who made sure that the six students who required glasses were able to get them and to Spec Savers who were able to test the students at discounted fees. Some students’ eye sight were so bad they had been having to hold books to their faces or sit at the very front of the class just to see. It was humbling to see their first reactions to the world in their new glasses.

We would also like to say a huge thank you to students at our partner schools for how welcoming they have been to our Makomborero students. One of our internal students, Melisah, said she felt that her classmates had been waiting eagerly to meet her! Thank you to kind donors all internal students were also presented with backpacks, hand sanitiser, masks, toiletries, lunch boxes and water bottles. Both internal and external students have beaten the odds this first term and all students have worked very hard. We are proud of all of them!

Examination Results

A huge congratulations to our 2020 leavers for the incredible A-Level results and to our current A-Level students for their equally amazing AS results. We are excited to announce that our 9 A-Level Cambridge students’ results were as follows: 26A*, 3A and 2B. Our 9 AS-Level Cambridge students’ results were as follows: 27A, 5B, 1C. I know we are beginning to sound like a broken record but, there are no A* at AS-Level. Well done everyone!!

We were thrilled that, compared to many parts of the world, our students were able to actually sit and write their examinations and be properly assessed. We would like to give heartfelt thanks to teachers and staff at our partner schools. Such incredible results are out of reach without their hard work. We value greatly their partnership with us and their dedication to our students and their education. The delay to the start of the first term has also meant delays in marking and releasing Zimsec results. It meant a longer than usual wait for our external student. We look forward to getting these results soon.

 University Life

Our local university students are waiting eagerly to begin lectures. There has been a more than 100% increase in fees for most programmes. We are extremely grateful to a local company that paid all our university fees as well as stipends for our 25 students. Lots of incredible graduations were celebrated during last year’s tough Covid times and we are so proud of our students. We are grateful to have been able to keep in touch with our university students who are outside of Zimbabwe. More than ever, they have needed the support system that is their family, friends and each other as most have not been able to travel at all in the last year. In the last few months, past Makomborero Zimbabwe students have strived to make better connections with an exciting Alumni programme and they are giving back to current Makomborero Zimbabwe students through a newly formed mentorship programme. It has been a joy to watch the creativity and hard work that past students are putting into these programmes.

 Other projects

The Mobile Science Lab has recently re-launched. As always, it is a great benefit to students from schools where equipment for practical science lessons is scarce. To satisfy all Covid-19 protocols, the number of students per session has been halved. As much as we would like to impact more students with the excellent practical lessons on offer at the Science Lab, we have accepted that for now, this is not a possibility and are grateful for the few that will get this amazing experience.

Plans are underway to begin the Ndeipi training sessions (our small business training). The attendees are often guardians/parents of students and this helps them to feel part of the Makomborero family too.

We were excited to begin Girl Mentorship sessions after a year of not being able to meet. Sessions started in April. Mentor training was done via audio clips. Our amazing mentors could not wait to get started and have done so with much enthusiasm. It’s shaping up to be a great year for Girl Mentorship programme. As we only had a few meetings with the 2020 mentees, we presented each of them with a food pack (beans, rice, soya chunks, porridge, pasta, sweets and biscuits) at the beginning of the year. They were pleasantly surprised and appreciated the goodies.

Our University of Zimbabwe residence in Harare is still an ongoing project but we have made some fantastic progress. Walls are painted, solar panels installed, beds and study tables made and the gazebo is up and ready. We are hoping to have the first residents in the house this August. Our staff have finally moved in to their new office! They are loving the space and putting their mark on the new space.

 A final sign off

Despite all that is going on or not going on, we have tried to keep things at Makomborero Zimbabwe as normal as possible. The Albertyns have continued to go to the boarding house to share meals and spend time with students. Life Skills sessions continue to be a much looked forward to part of the week by the internal students. We appreciate that we can use Life Skills to discuss topics that help us raise well-rounded young men and women. Some of our sessions have had to occur via Zoom and have been just as effective and a bit of a welcome change. Training of Girl child mentors and interns has happened successfully via audio recordings. As you can probably tell, this first term had the potential to be extremely hard but thanks to your ongoing support, we have managed to have lots of highs and we have continued to stand as a family and champion the education of young people despite all that is going on around us. We are extremely grateful to our sponsors. We are privileged to start our journey into this new decade with you!

The backpacks given out to all the scholars.
The backpacks given out to all the scholars.
Covid-19 quarantine  precautions for 2021 intake.
Covid-19 quarantine precautions for 2021 intake.
Relaunch of Mobile Science Lab sessions.
Relaunch of Mobile Science Lab sessions.
Some of the 2021 getting new glasses!
Some of the 2021 getting new glasses!

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Christmas 2020 at Makomborero
Christmas 2020 at Makomborero

We have come to the end of our 10th year of Makomborero Zimbabwe and what a year it has been! Our Internal students were able to return to their schools in September, which saw the end of online learning for them. This was a wonderful opportunity to return to some kind of normal education – amidst strict protocols. They only had a few weeks in the classroom before their AS and A level examinations started. It was a long, nearly two months of exams but we are confident that our students have done well, despite the interruptions to their education.

Our external students' experience could not, unfortunately, be more different. They were able to return to school in November but sadly due to the ongoing pay dispute between teachers and the government, our external students might have been physically in the classroom but sadly no teaching took place. It is a tragic situation we find ourselves in. Even though there was no online provision and very little classroom time for our external students at their respective government schools, their final A level examinations went ahead during the month of December. We are very proud of our students and how they have pursued their education, self-learning for the duration of this year.

Even with Covid-19 restrictions, many of our Internal students were able to enjoy a little bit of sport and co-curricular programmes. We also saw 2 of the schools have their Annual Prize Givings with only pupils attending and we were thrilled that many of our students received prizes for their academic achievements throughout the year. This was only possible due to the incredible online learning that the schools provided throughout the closure of the schools. We are grateful to all the teachers and staff who adapted to this way of learning and provided an excellent learning environment. Thank you!

Prizegiving Winners

St George’s

Shingirai, Simon and Ngonidzashe - Academic full colours.

Gateway

Winnie - Academic full colours, U6 Biology prize, U6 Maths prize

Yeukai - U6 Maths Cup, Subject prize U6 Chemistry, U6 merit award

Tanatswa  – L6 merit award, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths cup

Melanie  – L6 merit Award

Hellenic

Bradley - Academic full colours, Further Maths subject prize, Pure Maths subject prize, Resolve and determination trophy, Best Import Award

Milton - Academic full colours, Subject prize U6 Comp Science

Shalom - Full academic colours, Team awards for first aid

Our Lower Sixth Internal students were still able to participate in their various leadership camps – even if they looked different to what they normally look like. These are always wonderful times of building relationships.

Our graduation this year was an incredible celebration of our graduating 2020 class – both external and internal students! What a beautiful day celebrating achievements and personal growth. At times during the afternoon there was not a dry eye in the room! We love this opportunity to celebrate our students. We also ended the term with our Christmas party – where finally external and internal students were brought together again! What joy and laughter we had together!!

Our UZ students have also not been spared the stress of Covid-19 and having to learn remotely. Many of them returned to lectures during this 3rd Term and we had a handful graduate, as well as a few start their University careers. The fees have gone up significantly and we are incredibly grateful to Sandvik for their continued support towards Makomborero Zimbabwe. We have been proud to see how these students have continued to bravely embrace their education amidst economic hardships and Covid. A shout-out to our graduates – a medical doctor, a mathematician, 2 engineers and an accountant.

Recruiting for 2021

Our recruiting for 2021 is underway – it will be our 11th year and we are incredibly humbled that we get to do this again and again!  We continue to refine our testing process – though this year we have had to scale it down a little due to Covid. Our main focus still remains that of impacting lives for one day, even if it is their only day with Makomborero. This is our biggest goal, while also adequately assessing their academic prowess.  We sow seeds of hope during this process and see lights come on in eyes, even if only 25 of them gain a scholarship.  It is a wonderful time seeing our current and past students come together and give tirelessly of themselves to touch students’ lives over these weeks!  A beautiful culture of serving has developed among our students over these testing days and it fills our hearts. I wish you could have been a fly on the wall to observe them during round 1! Nothing is beneath all of us – we are a team! Sanitising desks and singing and dancing in the process, cleaning toilets willingly, setting up a rota for all the jobs that needed to be done. Thank you guys!

Our additional programmes 

The Ndeipi entrepreneurial training programme is a great partnership with One Hope Initiatives who run the course.  Our sessions were crammed together at the end of the year due to Covid but the impact was still wonderful. Sessions covered things like setting up small scale businesses with very little capital, budgeting, managing a business.  Many of our students and families will be graduating from this training programme today.  This course is so empowering, it not only gives practical skills, but it is filling hearts with hope again.  We are grateful for this partnership and the opportunity to run this course again next year!  

We ran our Girl Mentorship Programme last year at two schools and increased to three schools this year. We had a phenomenal start to the year but sadly due to Covid had to shut all the programmes down. This programme is having a deep impact on girls’ lives and Mercy, our Girl Mentorship programme co-ordinator put it so beautifully this year…. “As the months go by, spending time with the girls is like watching flowers blossom. I now understand that the educating process does not happen overnight & witness how much trust, vulnerability, patience & believing in each other, goes into the work the Girl Mentorship Programme does.” We can’t wait to get back into the schools next year under strict Covid protocols, adding a 4th school! We have an inspiring team of mentors!

Our Mobile Lab also only ran for the first term – again it is a privilege to see students access Science equipment in a working lab and have them experience a different way of learning – always with the aim of sowing seeds of hope in each of their hearts. Thank you to our great team of teachers!!!! We will be operating in the new year under strict Covid protocol and will only have 5 students attend a session at a time.

Our University Scholars

We bade farewell to a few international scholarship students again this year and they bravely left or embarked on their first semester in Zimbabwe online! Hasn’t education changed? I can’t help but think this might actually work in our favour and we see online facilities become available to Zimbabweans at cheaper, more affordable prices! We had students leave for Rochester University, Agnes Scott in the United States, University of Edinburgh and University of Cambridge – both in the United Kingdom, International University in Morocco, Jacobs in Germany, and the Botswana International University. We also welcomed 5 new students to local universities taking our total of local University students to 24. We are incredibly proud of all our students and their accomplishments. This year has seen many students take a gap year and we have enjoyed seeing them embrace this time even amidst the uncertainty and complications of Covid. We are thrilled to be offering two gap year posts with Makomborero next year. 

Makomborero in the UK

Our team in the UK has continued to work hard on behalf of Makomborero, despite all the Covid restrictions. Unfortunately many of this year's planned events were cancelled or severly curtailed but we are really pleased that our Annual Supporters' Evening was able to take place, despite having to be held online via Zoom. The silver lining was that we were able to open the event up to supporters all over the world and it was great to be able to participate live from Harare. A Youtube video of this event can be found in the links below.

Reflecting on the last year 

I know many of our students feel robbed, particularly our Upper Sixth year. This was meant to be the year where they were comfortable and confident in their schools, able to embrace all that these schools offer. I know as a team we feel robbed of many of the activities and mentorship that normally happens in the year with all our A-level students and University students. We have spent much more money on mobile data as we endeavoured to give our students access to internet and online learning facilities.   I can’t wait to have all the University Students at our house for an evening. However, the adversity has given us an opportunity to refine systems across the Makomborero organisation.

We were donated a wonderful property on Kerry Road, Harare which we have earmarked for a University residence. We have won a Beit Trust Grant to renovate the house and work is under way. We are excited at what this holds for us. Our main office will also move to this property – the office team have worked in a very cramped environment at our house and this will make for a much better working environment!

Despite the hardships of this year, it has been a good year to look back on and we look to 2021 with hope that Makomborero will continue to change lives, no matter the circumstances or obstacles we face. Thank you to everyone who continues to stand with us and change students’ lives forever. We are grateful and privileged to partner with you.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

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Learning to do Covid Testing
Learning to do Covid Testing

What a weird term it has been!  Covid-19 has changed the world and changed everything at Makomborero.  We have had to pause many of our projects over the last few months.  However, it has given us lots of time to reflect, learn how to run the office remotely, access and make lots of changes.  As hard as this season has been, it has also been incredibly productive.  So much time to improve and implement – when do we get time like this!

Dealing with Covd 19

One of the biggest effects of Covid-19 and the lock down on our families has been the massive loss of income.  Most of our families are not employed and rely on the informal sector to make an income for their families, mostly through vending.  During the very strict lock down, it was an incredibly dire situation for them. Even as the lock down has continued, but to a lesser extent, many of the families are not earning anything and survival has become incredibly hard.  We have managed to feed all our external and internal students’ families with 3 food packs each.  We worked with an incredible organisation that makes products that just require water – bread mixes you can cook on the fire, healthy delicious porridge, etc. etc.!  We are so thankful to be able to offer healthy, nutritious food to our families.  These packs were literally life savers.

Our UZ students have also not been spared the stress of Covid-19 and having to learn remotely.  We have been able to provide them with mobile data to study, living allowances for food and encouragement through this hard, isolating season.  Their learning has been hindered but I have been so impressed to see them continue to push through!

Our internal students have had the wonderful opportunity to continue with online learning and incredible lessons through their school – St George’s, Hellenic and Gateway.  As much as they miss real school life, this has been a good substitute and they have been able to access all online learning!  They will write their end of year Cambridge examinations starting at the end of September.  So lots of preparation work is going into those finals.

Our team has been working staggered hours but have managed to keep the boarding house and Makom-borero going and we are so thankful for their hard work and dedication.  We have learnt how to administer our own rapid Covid-19 tests, we have learnt how to run a quarantine facility, keep our students and staff safe!  It has been a massive learning curve for all of us. 

We have loved hearing from all of our students – those at University, those at school etc about how even though this time has been hard, it has also been an incredible opportunity for them to learn new skills, spend quality time with their families – seek out the silver lining amidst the hard times!  We have been so proud of all of them!  For our students studying abroad – not being able to come home has been particularly hard too!

The team has been working on launching an online learning system for our external students so that they too can benefit from online learning and not just during Covid-19 – so watch this space.  All our students – internal, external and university students have been supplied with mobile data for access to internet to help with their learning during this season.

Great News from our University Students

This is also the time of year when we are able to celebrate our students who have successfully completed their tertiary studies. We have been receiving great, inspiring news throughout the term.

Phillip graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery from the Central South University in China. He is now working with the Xiangya Hospital doing research on the need for a Clinical Skills Training Center at Parirenyatwa and Harare Hospitals. Lazarus graduated online from Jacobs University in Germany where he gained a BSc in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Ruvimbo graduated from Agnes Scott University in the US - thanks to a Mastercard - ALA scholarship. She has now secured a job at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts as a research associate doing cancer research. We wish them the very best as they start a new chapter in their lives!

Building for the Future

Finally, we have embarked on an incredible project – we were given a property last year to open a residence for our University students.  It needs renovations and we applied for a grant to do this.  During lock down we decided this was the perfect opportunity to convert the garage at the University house into an incredible office for Makomborero.  Our admin office has always been at our house – in a tiny storeroom!  It was about time!  It has a wonderful storeroom, bathroom and kitchen area – with a big, open plan office space!  We are hoping to finish the conversion this month and move into our new office soon!  The other incredible news is that the Beit Trust has approved us for a grant to renovate the UZ Residence!  We hope to start the work in October!  It is incredibly exciting!!  Thank you Beit Trust for believing in our vision!

So as you can see Covid has limited the activities we can report on but know that we are incredibly grateful for your continued support of us and Makomborero during this hard year we find ourselves in. 

Stay Safe!

Building the new office
Building the new office
Phillip graduating in China
Phillip graduating in China
Lazarus who graduated from Germany
Lazarus who graduated from Germany
Ruvimbo graduating in the USA
Ruvimbo graduating in the USA

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An Update from Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe's shutdown has been extended for a further two weeks, with the lifting of a few restrictions.  Our internal students are all in the very fortunate position to be able to continue with their studies online.  Sadly our external students do not know when schools will open and when they might be able to start studying again, as well as our University Students. We continue to stay in touch with all our students and support them and their families as best we can at this time. Meanwhile it has been heart warming to receive some good news. Congratulations to Ntombizodwa on winning the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship to study for her PhD at the Cambridge University in England. Her research will explore immune processes and their functions.

 

Covid-19

All of our programmes have been put on hold due to Covid-19. With Covid-19 in the background the whole of this year and seeing the devastating impact of the virus on many parts of the world we knew that it was inevitable that it would end up here at some stage. All schools were closed. We were able to send our students home with emergency food packs to hopefully help their families during the 21 day lock down we are now in and with literature on how to keep safe. Obviously due to lack of testing and funding it is very hard to tell the devastating effects of Covid-19 in Zimbabwe but we do know it is here and that we were grossly unprepared for it as a nation. We hope that this shut down will mitigate the spread but the next few months will tell.

As an office staff we have been able to work remotely. It has been a wonderful opportunity to update systems and look at how we run programmes, where we can improve and change etc. So the lock down has its advantages! It is unclear as to when we will be able to start running our programmes but we stay in constant contact with our students, supporting them and our families during this difficult time. For many of our families vending vegetables is their main source of income and this has obviously been affected by the lockdown.

We are very grateful to Mr Brands who we purchased food packs from and delivered to 44 of our Makomborero families with instant porridge, mahewu, chimodo bread mix, soya chunks, salt and 10kg mealie meal! What an incredible package of food!  Our students were sending in messages saying how wonderful the chimodo bread was in particular! Thank you to our individual donors who make this possible. We have had some sad messages of some of our families running out of food in their areas - so this arrived just in time! These parcels have been delivered to our internal and external families.  We will look to distribute one more food pack during lockdown.  Our university students have also had financial assistance for obtaining food during this period. Many of our families are not employed and their income was from selling vegetables on the side of the road, this is prohibited at the moment.

 

General Update

We celebrated 9 students coming into the boarding house this term. 5 girls and 4 boys – the first year the girls have out numbered the boys!! St Georges are now taking girls into Sixth Form and we are so grateful that they have agreed to take 4 students this year – 2 boys and 2 girls. Our partnership with Hellenic, Gateway and St Georges is crucial to the success of our internal scholarship programme. We would not be able to run this programme without them! Thank you! The adjustment to a very different culture is incredibly hard for our new students and there are often tears, cultural misunderstandings, etc and we are so proud of our students for pushing through these tough early weeks! They bravely step into sports and clubs they have never been exposed to before, mixing with super wealthy students who often take their education for granted and we see them slowly find their place at these school. With lots of encouragement from our Upper Sixth students, teachers and our staff. Welcome to the family Marshal, Trust, Tanatswa, Donell, Dadiso, Priscilla, Nicole, Ropa and Melanie.

 

Results

We are thrilled to release our results for 2019!  As always we are so proud of our students – we never say we take the cleverest students, but we take students are academically sound and who will give of their best – often seeing incredible value added.Our A-level results for our internal students writing Cambridge examinations was as follows 5A*, 12A, 3B and 1C.  Many of these results were just 1% or 2% below a higher grade!  Well done guys – you have done us proud.Our AS-level results for our internal students writing Cambridge examinations was as follows 25A, 6B, and 2C.  We are thrilled with these results and are so proud of these students and the adjustment they have made in just one year!  N.B.  there are no A* at AS-level.Our A-level results for our external students writing Zimsec examinations was as follows 18A, 8B and 3C.  You should all be so proud of yourselves as you study in schools that have struggled to function well due to the harsh economic climate. Thank you to all the teachers and schools for the incredible time investment into each one of our students!  We could not do this without you.

 

We continue to run a comprehensive life skills programme at the boarding house during the week and a few Sunday sessions a term. These sessions really help us build deeper relationships with our students and help lay a foundation for their future lives. The Albertyn family have monthly dinners at the house as a family and these evenings have turned into wonderful craft evenings where our students have been learning knotting and friendship bracelet making. This is something new to all of them and was such an incredible donation from a supporter overseas!

 

Our 14 External students have all started their sixth form studies at their high density schools and have all settled well. Welcome to the family Hendis, Tadiwanashe, Tapiwa, Spaasta, Tinotenda, Christopher, Claudette, Gerald, Lissa, Basil, Tadiwanashe, Moses, Prestige and Rejoice.We took extra external students this year. This was because we were faced with the reality of how desperate the economic situation our country is in during our testing process in December. We could see that hundreds of students were not going to go onto Sixth Form, due to finances and we wanted to play a slightly bigger role in enabling a few more to be able to go. They have all slotted into Makomborero life well and we have so enjoyed our Sunday afternoon life skills sessions with them this term. What an honour to be able to stand in the gap so to speak. With the help of local sponsors we were able to give each of our new students (internal and external) a back pack, stationary and a few other bits to help them start school.

 

Girl Mentorship Programme 

All our programmes for the year were launched with lots of training and mentorship of our leaders before hand. Thank you to our team who gave so tirelessly of themselves to get everything running so well. We launched 3 girl mentorship programmes in 3 schools – 30 Form 2 girls in total attending mentorship meetings every Saturday. What an incredible programme this is. The mentors are phenomenal as they give so tirelessly to these young ladies and we quite literally see these girls transform before our eyes! What a journey this year will be!

 

Mobile Science Lab

Our Mobile Science Lab launched again with 1 session being run every Saturday and a wonderful group of Form 3 students doing various Biology and Physics practicals – we can’t wait to welcome the next lot of students in Term 2. This is such an incredible time for these students to receive hands on experience in their subjects and also for them to be immersed in a positive, life giving learning environment. Thank you to our wonderful team of teachers for making this lab run so well!

 

NDEIPI? Training

Ndeipi programme was also launched again for this year – with 18 participants to attend a 6 session, spread throughout the year, entrepreneurial training programme in small businesses. This programme gives such hope to many of our families who are unemployed and it is a joy to see them learn and their lives change through this.

 

UK Chairman Visit

We had the privilege of having our UK Chairman come out for a week. He immersed himself fully in the life of Makomborero and we were able to share all our programmes with him. He even got to have dinner at a students house. He cheered us on, was a great sounding board and friend and we are incredibly grateful to him for coming out!

 

Congratulations

Congratulations to Ntombizodwa on winning the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship to study for her PhD at the Cambridge University in England. Her research will explore immune processes and their functions.

" Immune responses are the core to any development of drug therapies, vaccines or healing of diseases." This couldn't have come any better time than now when the world is battling with the global pandemic like COVID-19. Ntombi hopes her research will one day work to the betterment of the healthcare standards of Zimbabwe. 
Well done Ntombi , we are so proud of you!
#Makomborero #ChangeMakers #TheFutureisFemale #changinglives#MakZimFamily #smallcharities #support

Mobile Science Lab
Mobile Science Lab
External students group
External students group
Girl Mentorship Programme
Girl Mentorship Programme
Gates Scholarship Foundation
Gates Scholarship Foundation
Milton home studying
Milton home studying
Coronavirus face masks
Coronavirus face masks

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Organization Information

Makomborero

Location: Sidcup, Kent - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @MakomboreroUK
Project Leader:
Rumbie Mzenda
Harare, Harare Zimbabwe
$121,452 raised of $150,000 goal
 
431 donations
$28,548 to go
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