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.
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.
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.
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 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 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
External students group
Girl Mentorship Programme
Gates Scholarship Foundation
Milton home studying
Coronavirus face masks