The End of a Busy Year
We have come to the end of our busiest term of the year and the end of 2023! Our boarding houses, our projects and partner schools have all been a hive of activity and left us with so much to be grateful for! We have had another term of crucial exams for our A-Level students and frequent exams for our local university students. Our projects continued to run smoothly as they came to a close for the year. As always at this time of year, as a team of staff and students, we either hosted or attended many celebratory events which helped us to pause and reflect on what a great year 2023 has been!
A-Level students – Residential and Non-Residential
Our Upper Sixth students wrote their final exams in the months of October and November. This is always a tough season and staff did a wonderful job of giving extra care and reassurance to students. In the midst of exam preparation we faced the challenge of having to replace the solar system at the boarding house and this took a huge part of our budget. Once exams were done, residential students had a busy term of attending prize giving ceremonies, proms, end of year lunches, class parties and other occasions. They had a lot of fun being celebrated and celebrating others. We are grateful to heads, teachers and staff for all their hard work.
Our non-residential students also had a busy term with different projects and end of year prize giving ceremonies. Many of them won prizes for academic and extra-curricular achievements. Mrs Chikowore was privileged to attend and celebrate some of our students at their schools. They have also done a great job of juggling their time as they studied for their ZIMSEC exams often under extended power cuts and scarce water supplies. Students were equipped with tablets earlier in their time at Makomborero. We are so grateful they have this resource loaded with past exam papers which is an amazing aide. Sadly, our non-residential students had a few of their exam dates changed last minute and this prolonged the period in which they were writing exams. Well done to them for dealing with this extra pressure so well!
We had a well-attended graduation ceremony to celebrate all our A-Level students. As always, the event gathered sponsors, donors, our students’ teachers, staff, volunteers and friends of Makomborero. Our A-Level students made us laugh as they presented their speeches and goodbyes; they also made us cry – we will truly miss them! The graduation was followed on closely by the annual Christmas party. While the students played games, the meat was sizzling on the braai stand. It was a fantastic event, despite a few showers. Each student walked away with a little gift, for many the only gift they get at Christmas.
University Students We had many of our past A-Level scholarship recipients begin university this term. A number of them have gone to universities outside of Zimbabwe. Fourteen have been accepted at local universities, five of them are now living at the University Residence. Those who are outside of the country continue to keep in touch via different platforms and we love watching them as they adapt to their new cultures and environments. We are grateful to be able to celebrate highs with them and ride through lows as much as distance allows. Our local students are never too far for an in person meeting and we are so grateful.
They had a wonderful meeting with Mrs Albertyn at the beginning of the semester. Their residence (with 18 students) continues to serve them well. A new chest freezer was added to the house thanks to a local Zimbabwean donor. Temperatures have been very high this semester and walking to university has taken some effort!
We have just come to the end of our second round of the Testing Process for our 2024 A-Level Scholarship. We had just under 500 students apply for the scholarship, 242 of them made it through to the first round of testing. 50 students were called back to the second round of testing and have just finished 3 days of interviews, tests and fun workshops. While the testing process is demamnding on the staff who are involved, it is also a wonderful opportunity to sow into the students who attend. Our aim is not only to offer scholarships but to instill hope and build into all who attend.
Ndeipi! – our entrepreneurial business training programme held one final meeting this year. Participants received certificates at our graduation ceremony and we are so proud of all they have achieved!
Mutsidzira – is finally off the ground. Two projects have made it through with one focusing on selling honey in order to buy uniforms and books for children in need and another starting a biogas project that will benefit the University Residence and cut gas costs.
Girl Child – Our Girl Child Mentorship scheme saw off 30 girls who we had spent a year with! The mentees were writing exams this term and facing some pressure due to that. All the same we had a successful final term. For the first time, we held a mini graduation ceremony for the mentees and they loved it! We will miss them dearly.
Mobile Science Lab – saw another successful term with 100% attendance from the chosen schools. We had more female students than male students and this brought about some fun and healthy competition. We are so pleased this project has continued to run well, benefiting both the Alumni who teach the students and the students themselves.
Alumni Initiatives – Our Alumni have put endless smiles on current students’ faces as they mentored them through their University Applications, and sent them treats here and there. We are so grateful that these relationships continue to be nurtured, the impact of this is invaluable on both sides.
We had quite an undertaking this year as we sought to put on paper the impact that Makomborero has had on students and their families and communities over the past 13 years. We are so grateful to our UK trustee Jacquelyn who headed up the project and put countless hours of work into bringing it to life. We tried to bring you statistics around the work that we do as well as some comments from those directly impacted by Makomborero. We have started the process of distributing hard copies of this report and we hope this will go some way into showing you our sponsors, donors and supporters the immeasuarable change you have effected on young Zimbabwean lives over the past 13 years. Without you, this work would not have been possible!
The end of 2023 has been full on, there is so much to do at the end of the year! We are indebted to and thankful for our partner schools Gateway High, Hellenic Academy and St Georges College who have journeyed with us for yet another year! Thank you to staff and teachers at these schools who nurture and teach Makomborero students with such amazing care and enthusiasm.
Thank you to all heads, teachers and staff at government schools for all your hard work under difficult conditions. Our non-residential, Mobile Lab and Girl Child students are a testament to your incredible work and care!
Thank you to trustees, staff and volunteers who keep the wheels of Makombomborero turning.
Lastly, thank you to our sponsors and donors. You have faithfully made it possible for our students to dream, to work towards those dreams and to live those dreams! Your generosity is invaluable.
Thank you all for a wonderful year and we look forward to journeying with you in 2024. Here’s to a Happy New Year to you ALL!!