I was fortunate to visit our delivery team, beneficiaries and partners in Zimbabwe last February. The warmth everywhere I went ensured a great time.
Witnessing the dedication of staff first hand was impressive; from liaising with office administrators, to shopping in Mbare with the Resource Centre ‘Mother’ (Mrs Banga), and being chauffeured round by Mike. Their passion for Makomborero is an obvious rub-off from Mark and Laura. It was also a privilege to sit in on the local Trustees Board meeting; hearing their challenges and sharing future plans.
Seeing the projects first hand, was inspiring. I took in sessions with the Mobile Laboratory and Girl mentorship scheme, and found their delivery formats and level of engagement effective. Eating with the Resource Centre students, hearing their dreams and sharing life was a personal highlight. I was also honoured to visit the home of one of the families in a township – their rich hospitality was a truly humbling experience.
The consistent support of partner schools – Gateway High School, Hellenic College and St George’s – even in these tough times, continues to underpin the delivery of our flagship A-Level programme. Meeting with them not only reiterated the importance of their support, but was pleasing to know they appreciated what our students brought to their schools.
I was also able to squeeze in trips to a local primary school in Domboshava where I saw the impact of community outreach by our students. We were also was able to tour the current and new university residences for ex-Makomborero students – both generous provisions from local supporters.
I remain blown away by the passion and drive that Mark and Laura (alongside their lovely kids) continue to demonstrate. Not only do they keep the vision of Makomborero alive, but continue to expand the reach and deepen its impact. Their exemplary dedication is infectious, and the legacy is one that continues to transform lives.
Being immersed in Makomborero on the ground revealed the difficult context it operates in. However the tenacity of Mark and Laura, plus unwavering local support, ensures it continues to thrive. The resulting testimonies allow many to aspire.
I remain inspired and proud to be part of the vision.
By Tunde Olorunfemi
Tunde Olorunfemi is the Chairman of Makomborero’s UK Board of Trustees.