Nathan has volunteered as Finance Trustee of Makomborero UK for the past 6 years and as a family we frequently talk about and pray for the work of Makomborero Zimbabwe. Despite living thousands of miles away we have captured the vision of what the charity aims to achieve in support of Zimbabwe’s young people.
I was initially daunted by the idea of travelling to Zimbabwe with our two young children but we felt it would be an unmissable opportunity for us to visit this beautiful country and meet the Makomborero team and beneficiary students for ourselves. We were also looking forward to volunteering at the revision school.
The journey went very smoothly and our first week spent visiting Zimbabwe’s beautiful sites did not disappoint! Having been captivated by the beauty of Victoria Falls, entertained by stunning wildlife, blessed with wonderful hospitality and inspired by spending time with friends we were excited to get involved with Makomborero Zimbabwe in the second week of our trip.
It was wonderful to enjoy time with Mark and Laura and to meet the whole team involved in the project whom we had heard so much about. We were so touched by the heart, passion and commitment of everyone involved.
Our visit coincided with Makomborero Zimbabwe’s O-Level revision school which is provided for students from the high density areas of Harare. The two-day programme was run consecutively in two separate venues to enable as many students from township schools to attend. We were delighted to be involved and ran a workshop on team building and communication skills to run alongside the maths and science revision sessions.
We had a busy, tiring and wonderful few days working with over 200 students. Although many of the concepts were new and unfamiliar, the students really engaged with the activities and many learnt things about themselves they had not expected. One of the team building tasks involved working as a team to recreate a small Lego structure. We were surprised that not one of the students had heard of Lego! They had lots of fun discovering the importance of clear instructions and good communication when working together.
We were humbled to hear of the daily challenges so many of the young people faced to access education. It was a privilege for us to listen to some of the current Makomborero students share their personal stories and goals with the group. Their inspirational messages of what can be achieved through hard work despite adversity encouraged the students and raised aspirations!
We provided the revision school students with the opportunity to practice their presentation skills by developing an idea and pitching it to the rest of the group. We were really impressed with the quality of the ideas and presentations with many students choosing to present ideas on how to advance the nation of Zimbabwe. What great potential these students offer Zimbabwe!
We were delighted to receive positive feedback from students who found the sessions beneficial. Comments included; “this has given me confidence”, “I have learnt about the impact of body language”, “…I understand the importance of communicating clearly”.
Spending time with the current Makomborero students during the revision school and on a memorable climb up Domboshava was really special – what a talented, engaging, enthusiastic group of individuals! The trip provided an opportunity for us to enjoy the beauty and vibrancy of Zimbabwe, witness the very real hardship and challenges of Zimbabwean life and be totally inspired by the calibre and hard work of the Makomborero students. It was a truly moving and unforgettable experience.
Written by: Sarah Whitaker