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Fundraising

ZET Blog: The Power of Ingenuity

Rafiki Girls Centre: Patricia’s Story

It is very difficult to estimate the size of the informal sector in African economies as the topic easily becomes very political, but a new labour force survey suggests that the sector in Zimbabwe is huge, and growing very rapidly as retrenchments mount and formal employment slides. According to a report by the Zimbabwe National Statistical Office (Zimstat), 94.5% of the 6.3m people defined as employed in Zimbabwe are working in the informal sector. The largest number (4.16m) is made up of smallholder farmers in communal agriculture, followed by 615,000 in trade and commerce. Some 210,000 are said to have informal jobs in manufacturing, 70,000 in mining, 118,000 in education and 92,000 in transport (The Economist, 23 June 2015). To this end, Rafiki’s economic empowerment programs have made it possible for graduates to establish themselves in the informal sector and contribute meaningfully to the economy.

The story of Patricia Kabike is a beautiful and inspiring one. Patricia is a young woman who graduated from Rafiki in November 2010 with a certificate in Interior Designing. In the first three months of training, Patricia took all the twelve compulsory Rafiki Program Modules which included Basic Cookery, Basic Sewing, Machine Knitting, Cake Making and Flower Arrangement. In her own words, Patricia “took every module very seriously” and ensured that she perfected every skill, and to this day she is using all these skills to earn a living.

Soon after graduating, Patricia immediately started using her newly acquired skills to earn a living, including catering and decorating for parties and events. She also competed in a cooking competition, and used her prize money to purchase a sewing machine. She continued to use her skills and initiative to move from strength to strength, working from home with her sewing machine to make a living.

Patricia was one of the pioneers at the establishment of the Rafiki Sewing Centre in 2013, where she worked for four years until June 2017. The Sewing Centre was established as a way of fundraising for the sustainability of the Rafiki Project, but due to economic challenges the Centre was temporarily closed in June 2017. During her stint at the Sewing Centre, Patricia gained a lot of experience in designing and sewing different items which included kitchen sets (placemats, aprons), bags, clothing, curtains and bedding (duvet sets, comforter sets, pillow cases, runners and bedding hollow fibres). The closure of the Rafiki Sewing Centre did not pose a big challenge to Patricia, as she quickly returned to her survival skills – that of self-employment and working from home.

She continues working from home to this day, has managed to build a good clientele base and looks forward to growing bigger. All of her clients praise her creativity and ingenuity, both in her sewing designs and in her work ethic. She is well-known for taking risks and creating intricate designs just from one brief description or picture as inspiration. One of her clients was so pleased with her work that she presented her with a brand new industrial sewing machine to expand her work.

Patricia’s parents live in a rural area and every month she sends them money for food and their general upkeep. She was quick to mention that in the past, her family members never used to celebrate special occasions like birthdays and Christmas, but because of the skills she acquired from Rafiki she was able to encourage them to make such occasions special. She has been doing this by making cakes and preparing special food to celebrate such events in the company of her family and friends. People from her village now know about her skills and every time she visits home they come and place their orders for garments, curtains, bedding and other interior design products.

However, Patricia resides in a one room property which doubles as a workspace, which can make working on larger orders or multiple clients challenging. Renting an office is not an option for her as many landlords do not accommodate the needs of informal sector start-ups and would not permit clients to visit. The current economic situation in Zimbabwe has also impacted on her business negatively, in that for example fabric suppliers do not accept bank/money transfer payment methods but cash only, yet most of her clients pay using bank transfers. With the current cash shortages prevailing in the country it makes it difficult for her to re-stock in terms of fabric and other necessary supplies. Lastly, access to finance is a big challenge. Patricia believes that if she were to obtain capital or a cheap loan to finance her capital expenditure she would grow her business, register as a formal company, and even employ a few of Rafiki former girls who were trained in cutting and designing and interior designing to work with her.

Patricia’s story shows how Rafiki Girls Centre is making impact and transforming girls as well as the community where the girls come from. It shows how, when given opportunities and support, young women can use their skills and enterprise to build a successful life for themselves and those around them. Patricia and Rafiki Girls Centre would like to thank all our donors who have made a difference and hope that many more will assist financially so that more girls can receive hope just like Patricia has.

Written by Hildah Mahachi, Director at Rafiki Girls Centre
Edited by Hannah O’Riordan, Operations Manager at Zimbabwe Educational Trust


ZET 30th Anniversary Event

Zimbabwe Educational Trust turned thirty this year!

We commemorated thirty years of advancing educational opportunities in Zimbabwe with an evening of celebration with our loyal friends and supporters from throughout the years. Many of the guests had known of Vuli and the Trust since its founding in 1987, but the evening was also an opportunity to welcome new friends and spread the word.

For those of you who came, thank you so much for your support! Together we raised an incredible £818!

For those of you who unfortunately weren’t able to make it this time, you missed a fantastic evening…

The night kicked off at St Chad’s with a performance by Harmony Choir, a wonderful community choir who aim to bring together people from all different cultures and walks of life, who regaled the audience with interactive songs and dances from Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

   

We also had engaging talks from esteemed colleagues, including author John Farndon who spoke on the education sector in Zimbabwe and teacher Philip Weiss who spoke on the importance of diaspora links.

Several members of the Zimbabwean diaspora rallied together to cook a gorgeous authentic Zimbabwean meal for the occasion, including stews, sadza and caterpillars – topped off with ZET-decorated cupcakes!

Our long-term goodwill ambassador, Dumi Senda, performed a collection of his wonderful poetry, including the ever popular ‘I am an African’, and sold copies of his book at the event to raise money for ZET.

Finally, the night finished off with traditional African dancers – who absolutely raised the roof! – and a world music disco. We do hope all our guests enjoyed the event as much as we did!

ZET would like to say a big thank you to all involved for making it such a fun and memorable evening, and thank you so much to those of who you attended or donated to support our vital work advancing education in marginalised Zimbabwean communities.

If you would like to give ZET a 30th birthday present, you can donate at http://www.zimbabweeducationaltrust.org.uk/support-us

Written by Hannah O’Riordan

8
Jul

ZET Coast to Coast Bike Ride Event

Dear friends and supporters of ZET,

Adam, our ZET Treasurer, and a friend are doing a Coast to Coast bike ride next weekend. They will be cycling a total of 180 miles over four days, along ‘The Way of the Roses’ – stretching from Morecambe, Lancashire to Bridlington, East Yorkshire.

This is set to be a difficult challenge, facing both the Pennines and the British weather! If you would like to support Adam and ZET, you can sponsor him here:

http://zimbabweeducationaltrust.us4.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=df0cb92f6e7c7070f219d90e8&id=c66208f221&e=adc8686779

All donations go towards funding our partner projects in Zimbabwe. Please give generously!

Good luck Adam!


Global Giving Week 7/3-14/3

Exciting news, during the 3rd-14th or March, Global Giving will be matching all donations to ZET. Just go to the following link to donate: https://www.globalgiving.co.uk/donate/9619/zimbabwe-educational-trust-zet/

Global Giving is a charity organisation which creates online profiles for each of the projects ZET fundraises for, Trinity, Rafiki and Foundations for Farming. As part of a Global Giving wide initiative to raise awareness and funds for women’s issues, gender equality and development, they/we will be promoting the Rafiki Girls Centre. This is a great way to extra awareness and revenue coming in to support the work of the centre, which provides vocational and life skills courses to vulnerable women in Harare to help them out of marginalisation and poverty and into work!

Thank you so much for any contributions you can make in helping further ZET’s outreach and mission!


Pub Quiz Success!

On Wednesday 17th February ZET hosted a pub quiz fundraising event at O’Neills in Leeds.There was a great turnout and fun was had by all! There were some brilliant prizes to be won, including a bottle of prosecco, boxes of chocolates, and a meal at Nando’s. Overall we raised a giant £134.92 in support of the Rafiki Girls Centre in Harare!

Hakuna Quiztata’ won best team name, and the winners scored an impressive 32/40 answers right. With the quiz including a general knowledge, popular culture and flags round among others, the competition was high and the win was well deserved!

A Story from Rafiki Girls Centre:

Beatrice, also known to her friends as Beattah, has three sisters and one brother, growing up in a three-roomed house in Epworth, one of the poorest communities in Harare. In 2005 Beattah’s father sadly passed away leaving her mother to earn money for the family. Due to lack of funding for her school fees, Beattah could not continue with her education. She has always had a dream of becoming an air hostess.

In 2006 aged 18 Beattah was accepted to Rafiki Girls Centre for 6 months training, including a Beauty therapy course at People’s College, before going on to working as a receptionist in a clinic. Using subjects she had learned at Rafiki, like Computers and Business Communication, Beattah applied for a course in Business Administration with London Chamber of Commerce International Board. Beattah received a Diploma in Business Administration, and later advanced to complete a course in International Council Driver’s License. However, when looking for employment after education, Beattah unfortunately did not get a job.

In 2012 Beattah saw an advert in the newspaper which was inviting applications from those who wanted to work as airhostesses or ticketing. Beattah decided to pursue her dream and applied to train as an Air hostess with Central Air Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe. However, when Beattah was finally called for training in 2013 she had no money to pay fees. Rafiki launched a successful appeal to cover her $750 fees. Beattah completed her air hostess training, but did not get a job immediately.

After a time working as a housing estate agent, Beattah saw an advert online from South Africa to study as an air hostess. She saved up and went through more air hostess training to give her an advantage to find a job in South Africa. In June 2015 Beattah successfully completed her training and was given the license to work as an air hostess. Beattah has since been appointed to work with Ethiopian Airlines starting August 2015.
Beattah’s dream has finally come true at 27 years of age! Beattah’s perseverance and tenacity has certainly motivated other girls.

Thank you for your support to Rafiki – please continue to give generously to help other women like Beattah to realise their dreams.31f6a5a8-d0c4-4e1f-96a3-ce8808d5179a

12
Feb

Pub Quiz to Support Rafiki Girls’ Centre!

Support of Rafiki Girls”Centre Pub Quiz Wednesday 17 February 2015

Rafiki Girls’ Centre

ZET will be having a pub quiz to raise funds for Rafiki Girls’ Centre.

Date : Wednesday17 Feb 2016

Time : 8PM

Place:O’Neills Leeds

          26 Great George St 

          Leeds,LS1 3DL

Join us for some fun and drinks as we raise funds for Rafiki.

Based in Harare, the Rafiki Girls’ Centre provide vocational training to some of Harare’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable young women.In addition to academic training,they provide emotional,psychological and social support-empowering disadvantaged women and promoting gender equality.

Come and support Rafiki…


Please Consider Regular Giving

We are inviting 30 new monthly donors to give £10 per month (as a guide) to increase our support base. You can set up a regular monthly donation securely online via PayPal (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr) or by completing and signing a Standing Order form (available on the support page) and returning it the ZET office by email tocontact@zimbabweeducationaltrust.org.uk or by post to Zimbabwe Educational Trust, Ebor Court, Skinner Street, Westgate, Leeds, LS1 4ND.

Providing a regular monthly donation is the most effective way to support our work. Small amounts given regularly allow us to plan and budget our activities with greater certainty and employ a part-time Operations Manager. When you have set up your donation, please follow the link to ‘Return to Zimbabwe Educational Trust’. You will then be given the option to subscribe to our Donors Mailing List, and if you are a UK tax payer you will be able to opt into the Gift Aid scheme, which will increase the value of your donations by up to 25%!

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