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An Update from Mark and Laura Albertyn – 1st Term 2019

This newsletter is to update you with the latest Makomborero news from the 1st term of 2019.

Term News

As always the first term brings with it the wonderful new external and internal students!  We are thrilled to welcome the internal students into the boarding house and see them settle in!  They have so courageously faced their new schools and we feel that they have weathered the storm of this first term of adjustment well!  We are so proud of them.  Our external students have also settled well into their new schools.  We have run quite a few Life Skills sessions on Saturdays where external and internal students are able to come together.  Some of these sessions were run by past students, which is such a wonderful way for us to see them give back.

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Due to the generous donations we received this term, each new student received a back pack and basic toiletries and our external students received a fabulous solar light to work by, in the evenings.

We have enjoyed seeing our students flourish in all aspects of school life and particularly enjoy seeing them embrace new clubs or sports that they were never exposed to at their previous schools.  We have loved watching them perform in Eistedfford Music performances, sports days, debates etc.  A richness of experiences that builds on who each of them is!

Our Life Skills programme has been full this term, with weekly sessions in the house with myself and then special weekend sessions on SAT prep, university applications, CV writing and market place preparedness, as well as Art Therapy and English lessons!  We are so incredibly grateful to a huge group of volunteers, who so willingly give us their time at the weekends to run these various life changing sessions!  Thank you!!!

It is always great to see our students’ academic achievements being recognised and Hellenic L6 students received school colours for their O level results: Milton, Shallom, Bradley full colours and Tadiwa half colours.  We love it when the schools recognise our student’s hard work and reward them for it!

Our A-level results came out in February this year and we were thrilled with them.  2017 Intake internal students 1 – A*; 17 – As; 7 – Bs and External students 20 – As ; 6 – Bs ; 2 – Cs.  Well done all of you and now we wait for final University places.

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A UK Board member, Nicky Baldwin, visited in February this year and it was a very fruitful visit.  We were given a very comprehensive 7 hour Safeguarding Audit – which we are thrilled to say we passed well, with a few areas of further implementation.  At Makomborero, Safeguarding has taken place for a few years now.  Our hearts are always to ensure that all students, staff, volunteers and trustees are safeguarded against any kind of abuse.

Nicky also spent some wonderful time with our students and climbing up Domboshava with us.  We really do so appreciate UK Board member’s visits. 

Community Projects

Girl Mentorship Programme – We launched two girl mentorship programmes this year – one in Mbvuku and and one in Mufakose – working with 20 girls.  This programme is bearing incredible fruit and we feel so privileged to work with the most vulnerable girls in each school, seeing their lives transform, seeing hope return.  We have our past Makomborero girls working as mentors, who over two terms train community mentors in each school for long term sustainability of the programme.  This means that next year we can increase to 40 girls and each year increase by 20 as more and more community mentors are trained and equipped.  What I love about this programme is that it is not just the girls on the programme who benefit but training local community mentors is giving young women the tools and opportunity to serve their community in a powerful, sustainable way.

The Mobile Science Lab – This launched again at the beginning of the year with 30 Form 3 students benefiting from the lab each Saturday, following a 10 week programme.  This programme covers all Biology experiments that they require in Form 3 and 4, as well as a small, fun Physics module.  We love seeing these students blossom under the guidance of our great teachers.

NDEIPI? – We were thrilled to launch, in Partnership with One Hope Initiatives, our NDEIPI? Small business training course.  This course is open to all families of current Makomborero Students, past students, Girl Mentors – basically anyone associated with Makomborero!  This course will run over 2 terms with practical elements to it and will end with the students graduating at our Graduation at the end of the year.  It is wonderful to give hope to families struggling but also to see their enthusiasm.  We know by the end of the year there will be great testimonies!!!

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Past Students

We are currently preparing 7 students to go off to the United States for a one month orientation on the ALA Mastercard Scholarship.  Their scholarships are all over the world and we are so thrilled for the opportunity this gives our students.  We are incredibly sad that this partnership comes to an end at the end of this next year, as they take their last intake next year but are grateful for the countless students who have benefited from this programme over the years!  We also have a few other students off on scholarships which we will profile over this next term!  Congratulations to all of you – we know you will fly.

We continue to love the contact we have with our students and hearing what they are up to!  We look forward to welcoming many back over our winter term as many return to visit families.

Our University students in Zimbabwe are all doing well and we love our sessions with them!  They make us so proud as they face the realities of Zimbabwean life and studying but are coming through stronger for it!

Current Situation in Zimbabwe

There is so much to celebrate this term with Makomborero but it would be amiss to not acknowledge the reality of how hard life in Zimbabwe is.  We have crippling inflation that has left so many of our Makomborero families fighting for survival.  We had some horrific political violence in January, that devastated some of our families and then were hit by an even more devastating cyclone in March.  This cyclone has left thousands of people homeless and struggling to survive, while thousands have passed away.  We have been so proud to see how Zimbabweans, in the face of our own hardships, have rallied around to bring support and help.  I have never been prouder to be a Zimbabwean.  Incredible stories of survival, bravery and coming together!  Zimbabwe you have some huge battle scars but one day you will rise above all this crazy mess.


We are so incredibly grateful to all our sponsors who continue to stand by us through some very trying times in Zimbabwe.  Thank you, thank you for your support and belief in what we do.  Thank you to all the individual sponsors too!  We honestly could not do this without you.  Thank you!

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