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An update from Mark and Laura Albertyn – 2nd Term 2015

MerciaThis middle winter term has been long and busy. As a Makomborero family we were very sad to receive the news that one of our students, Mercia, passed away on the 31st May. Mercia joined Makomborero as a pioneer student in January 2011. She was part of a dynamic group of 16 students who were taught at Gateway. She obtained Maths B, Biology A, Chemistry A for her A-levels and travelled to South Africa for gaining outstanding results in the Science Olympiad. Mercia worked hard and applied herself during her time with us. She had an infectious smile that always made everyone else around her smile. She had a great passion for life and so wanted to be able to provide for her family. She was the first member of her family to ever have completed her A-levels.

When she left Makomborero she started working for Silver Street Capital as an analyst, while studying for her professional examinations on the side. She was loving her job and degree. Mercia was a great mother to her little girl, Courtney, and often said Courtney had won her heart! Courtney will now be brought up by Mercia’s mother. It is so sad to say good bye to a life full of such potential but a life that had been so so hard in the last few months with her suffering from Colon cancer. Our hearts are sore and our thoughts are with her family and her little daughter.

General News
The students have had a busy, long winter term filled with exams, sports fixtures, club fixtures, etc. We were happy with their performance during their mid year mock examinations and we know they will continue to work hard for the fast approaching end of year examinations.

The Term started with a visit from Anna from Finland, who had been out previously with a team from her school. She ran some essay writing workshops for current Makomborero Students and past students. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves and she is so welcome back in Zimbabwe anytime!

Our students who made it to the top 100 in the Science Olympiad travelled to South Africa for an all expenses paid focus week, visiting different industries, mines, zoos, Universities etc. The students had an incredible time – experiencing their first time out of Zimbabwe and the luxury of hotels and good food! Prizes were awarded on the final night at an awards ceremony – Congratulations to Yeukai Songore and Michael Dzine for being among the Top 10 SADC winners in the Physical Science Paper. They each received an iPad and R200 gift cards. Every year this experience proves to be so beneficial for our students!

Our students who wrote the Physical Science paper in the Science Olympiad also qualified to write the South African Physics Olympiad paper on 3 August 2015. We wait to hear how they have done!

Charlegne, in Lower Sixth, won a laptop for best Zimsec O’Level results, at a function held at her former school. We are so proud of her and our continued relationship with Mufakose 2. They produce outstanding students year after year.

Congratulations to Prince Chakanyuka for being best speaker at a Debate held at Dominican Convent and Tanaka Khondowe for scoring a winning goal for Hellenic at a hockey match against St Johns. It is often such a huge adjustment for our students as they immerse themselves in the co-curricular side of their schools and we are so proud of them when they find something they really enjoy!! It is a great way for them to realise the world does not just revolve around academics!

Once a year we hold a birthday party for all our students. This year we had a fantastic afternoon with fun party games, past and present students all together. I felt so proud of all of them – watching them having fun and really looking more and more like a big family. We even had a few students who are on international scholarships attend.

All our Lower Sixth students have attended their various leadership camps from the three different schools they attend. This is always such a great opportunity for them to build deeper relationships with fellow students and they always come back feeling more part of the school they attend.

We ended the term with a wonderful visit from Sophie McCoy – her 3rd time back to Makomborero from the UK – she is a qualified Maths teacher and spent many fun evenings at the boarding house with the students as well as volunteering her Maths skills at various other projects during the day.

Past Students
We have a few students back in Zimbabwe during their summer vacations, or on holiday from local universities – it has been incredibly special and we have loved the visits to our home and to the boarding house! They inspire our current students.

Pamela Saidoni – leaver 2013 – gave a very inspirational talk at the boarding house to the current students about knowing who they are, holding onto their futures, not forgetting where they have come from and what is really important in life! Go Pam – it was incredible! She has just started on a full Mastercard
Scholarship through Akwanya at West Virginia University.


We attended the USAP Graduation for Clive Matsika, Ntombizodwa Makuyana (Leavers from 2013) and Clarety Kaseke (external student leaver 2013). Clive and Ntombi have both just started at Arizona State University on full scholarships. As these guys started abroad, our students also started University here in
Zimbabwe, through the Makomborero Zimbabwe University Grant Scheme. We have loved to hear their stories of getting lost on Campus, the hard work they are doing, where they are staying, the friends they are making. You can’t help but feel huge pride for them.

Mark had the great privilege of traveling to the States for the Akwanya Mastercard Scholarship Workshop in Rochester for all the new students, partner organisations and university reps. This was a great opportunity to share the Makomborero story, be envisioned by other partners and how they operate in Africa and meet with Universities.

Giving back
Ndeipi feedback session – Great testimonies from the parents who took part in the Ndeipi training. They came up with projects and managed to generate money from the $1 loan they were given last term. An example of one story: Three parents combined their money and started selling dried fish and generated $25 from that. They paid up their loan and are continuing with their business. Amazing!

This year we were able to hold two Revision Schools – one at Hellenic where we invited students from various different High Density (township schools) and one at Mufakose 2 where students from various schools came for lessons. We had about 50 attend at Hellenic and about 200 attend at Mufakose 2. What made this
week extra special was to have our Finance Board Member from the UK out with his wife and family. They ran team building workshops along side our revision lessons, which were incredible, exposing students to things that totally blew their minds. We also loved seeing our students confidently giving back and loving every minute of it!

We also welcomed some long term donors of Makomborero back – the Rayner family – x2 Dr Consultants from the UK, a computer programmer and a speech therapist. What a great team they were to have spend such good quality time with the students and we also took them black board painting to the rural areas. This family builds such deep relationships with the students when they come each time and their input is so invaluable with our past and current students – Ultimate Frisbee was a huge hit again. They were able to spend time with many of our University Grant recipients too.


Sheffield High did its 5th Peter’s Commute Fundraiser this year and raised a significant amount of money and awareness for Makomborero. We are so grateful for Stuart’s dedication and passion for Makomborero and the work that we do!

We also held two fantastic musical events this term as fundraisers for Makomborero – these were organised by a past student of Makomborero, Tinashe Rwodzi and
were of such a high quality. We thoroughly enjoy both events! Thank you Tinashe and his incredible team!


The London 10km was well supported again and thank you to all those who ran for Makomborero this year!

We have welcomed a new member onto our Zimbabwe team – Rumbi Mzenda – she is a volunteer fundraiser and it is great to have her expertise!!

We had to bid farewell to a passionate volunteer who has served us so wonderfully for the past 3 years. Charlotte has taught English lessons to our students, help with the recruitment process and volunteered at our community services initiatives. We will miss her greatly and she leaves a hole which we hope will be filled by someone else!

As you can see a wonderful term where we are continually reminded that we could never do what we do without the continued support of our sponsors. So thank you again for serving Makomborero Zimbabwe in this way.

Proudly Sponsored by


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