An update from Mark and Laura Albertyn – 3rd Term 2016

The 3rd term is always a little stressful for the students with their final examinations, but the students really pushed through! The Resource Centre is such an incredible place to study, de-stress and find peace. The ping-pong table was well used and so was the swimming pool. The pool felt like an unnecessary luxury but boy have they enjoyed it and it was wonderful watching some of them learn how to swim. Those who can are teach those who can’t. We got a beautiful black Labrador cross, who has slotted into the Makomborero family well. She has helped so many of the students overcome their terrible fear of dogs and she is also a good guard dog at night. She’s really made it feel more like a home.

We were able to do all the necessary improvements on the Resource Centre with the Global Giving money we raised in the 2nd term and these improvements have made such a difference to the life of our students. New mattresses, pillows, blankets, ping-pong table, conversion of the kitchen to a shower and toilet block for the boys, roll down blinds on the verandah (these are incredible and have made such a difference during the rainy season) and 3 new solar hot water heaters. We have also had to do some maintenance on the property but incredibly either been given the money specifically for that or donated what we need. This has been incredibly humbling.

The beginning of this term sees all our partner schools having their annual Prize Givings. These are such wonderful events – each very unique and special. Here are the prizes received by some of our students:

St George’s

  • Commendations for obtaining good points the mock exam at A’Level – Tatenda, Marcus, Prince
  • Commendations for good points in the mid-year exams – Gwinyai, Ryan and Tino received
  • Tatenda the following trophies:
    • Old Georgian Prize for U6 Science
    • Coppinger Prize for U6 Mathematics
    • David Bower Cup for U6 Chemistry
    • Vrachas Cup for best results in U6

Gateway High

  • Certificate and book prize for Maths, Computer Science and Design & Technology – Bruce Migeri
  • Subject Prize for Chemistry and Science Trophy – Sharon Kashiri

Hellenic Academy

  • Tanaka Khondowe won two special trophies one called the Boys Citizenship Trophy: for service and willingness to help within the school, and the other one is for showing Courage.
  • Belinda made Captain of Academics at Gateway High School. We’re incredibly proud of her. Well done Belinda! This is the equivalent of a Prefect at other schools. What an accomplishment for her – rising above so much change and having her leadership abilities recognised.
  • Tadiwa won a Consolation Prize from Monash University in Australia for his water purification invention and attend a wonderful prize giving ceremony at the Australian University.
  • Price Mugebe was invited to an awards dinner to celebrate his outstanding achievements in the Old Mutual Maths Olympiad in Harare.

We are proud of all their achievements.

General News
Our Annual Graduation is always a wonderful way to celebrate our students and this year was no disappointment! We had the privilege of having Dr Gadzikwa as our guest speaker. We also had a fun raffle on the day – which was wonderful to see the parents receive such great prizes. Thank you to Monomotapa Hotel for donating a meal for two – what a treat for the winning family! Highlights of this wonderful event can be seen here – an inspiring little video! Thank you to IH Solutions and Belina Payroll for sponsoring all the food for this event. It is such a great opportunity for us to showcase how Makomborero is changing lives and we thank many of our corporates for attending.

We also love our Annual Christmas party – such a great opportunity for all Makomborero Staff and current Internal students to come together and celebrate the year and have a little fun. Here is another great little video!

Our recruiting process started in September – visiting 70 high density schools and collecting nearly 500 application forms. Our testing process started at the beginning of December and like every year it is incredibly challenging and sad but also fills us with such pride for the remarkable families who do everything in their power to educate their children, even when they live in abject poverty. We heard such inspiring stories that filled our hearts with huge respect but also reduced us to tears often. After testing, interviews, subject workshops and home visits we made our final very difficult decision and it was a joy and honour to welcome 8 new students into the Makomborero family. They will start in their schools in January. We will finalise our new external students during February 2017 – not an easy process when we met such inspiring, intelligent, passionate students during our recruiting process.

Two more scholarships that came through during December – Takudzwa received a full scholarship to study Engineering at Lafayette College in USA and we are so proud of him. He has found a family in Makomborero and we are so glad he is part of us and we know he will fly. HUGE congratulations to Roy Mugobi, one of our external students, for being accepted into Harvard on a full scholarship. We are thrilled. Thank you to USAP (Education Matters) for helping him along the way this last year, to obtaining this scholarship! Roy you have lots to be proud of – you had many challenges to over come on your educational journey and you should be proud of the journey you have made so far! The future is bright for all our families and we watch with great expectation as their lives unfold after Makomborero! We sow seeds and then watch them grow over the years!

Our University Students completed their 1st Semester at the end of the year and start their 2nd Semester this year. They are all flourishing and we find it a privilege to watch them mature, grow up and become passionate young adults in the fields they are studying. This for us is one of the greatest joys to begin to see our students reach their potential. We have our first Graduates this year from Makomborero and there is much to celebrate. We also have enjoyed visits from many students from outside the country on full scholarships. We love having them in our lives for a few days while they reconnect with their families.

Fundraising and Sponsorship
We had an incredible fundraising opportunity this year in partnership with an outstanding company in Zimbabwe – Openair Cinema. It was a wonderful family event and will be something that we do again. It was a great evening enjoyed by all our students and all the paying patrons! Openair Cinema were so professional and an absolute pleasure to work with – thank you guys!

Our UK Trustees held an event in London showcasing Makomborero and the work that we do in Zimbabwe. It was such a privilege to have one of our past students there – Prince to speak and inspires all those who attended. He is on a full Mastercard Scholarship at Edinburgh University. Thank you to all our trustees and supporters who put on such a great event.

We would also like to welcome a new sponsor – Sandvik Mining – we are thrilled to partner with them as they contribute significantly to our University Grant Scheme – their support has literally saved our University Grant Scheme and we are humbled by their support and passion for the future leaders of Zimbabwe. Thank you!

Thank you again to all our personal sponsors, corporates, partner schools, Trustees, Staff and students – all who make the work of Makomborero possible. We are humbled and grateful!

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