ZET BLOG: Izzy’s Internship Experience

My Internship Experience, Summer 2019

In three words: Fun, flexible, rewarding!

I first started volunteering with Zimbabwe Educational Trust in my second year of uni. As an International Development student, the objectives of the organisation aligned perfectly with my interests, studies, and passion to make a positive difference. I began working on developing a database containing information of potential trusts that might fund ZET’s activities, and I also helped to write our quarterly reports for Global Giving, one of our main fundraising platforms. It was during this period that I began to learn more and more about ZET’s partner projects. I became inspired by both the work that takes place on the ground in Zimbabwe, and the dedication of ZET staff and volunteers here in Leeds to make the ground work possible. Not only this, but I saw the potential difference my contribution as a volunteer could have to the organisation and their beneficiaries. So, I chose to dedicate three weeks during Summer working full time for ZET as an intern…! Here’s what I got up to!

Tasks and Responsibilities:

  1. Research for and analysis of grant making trusts viable for ZET funding: Entered potential funders into a database to record essential criteria and contact information via MS excel.
  2. Development of grant proposals for funding applications: Drafted funding applications detailing partners’ ground work, case studies and budgetary information.
  3. Management of social media platforms: Provided up-to-date content and media on Facebook and Twitter. Worked to increase our base and expand our social media audience. Advertised volunteer opportunities via socials.
  4. Updating and expanding fundraising platforms: Completed Global Giving rewards exercises to improve our position in their rankings. Promoted our links to Give as You Live. Set up ZET on new fundraising platforms, e.g. Givey.
  5. Correspondence with third parties via email and telephone: Managed email account and made numerous fundraising enquiries over the telephone.
  6. ICT: Updated website content. Drafted new volunteer opportunities information. Advertised new volunteer opportunities by different means including various university portals, ZET website and volunteer matching sites.

Personal benefits & most enjoyable aspects

  1. Internship tailored to my interests: At ZET I was lucky enough to have a huge say in the work that I did. Before starting, my Operations Manager made sure he understood what I wanted to get out of the internship. he then translated this into tasks relevant and useful to both me and the organisation. This meant that I never found my work boring!
  2. Big responsibilities, big impact: Interning at ZET was a unique comprar cialis online experience because I was given the responsibility to work on tasks that had a considerable impact. Unlike working at a larger organisation, I was not limited to mundane administrative tasks. I got right to the heart of ZET. I was actively involved in numerous aspects of running a non-profit organisation. Thus, I knew my efforts were worthwhile and I was made to feel as though they were appreciated. Not only was I able to gain practical work experience that will be relevant to my future career, but I can be proud that my work has made a genuine difference to the organisation.
  3. Flexibility: As an intern at ZET, I was afforded a great deal of flexibility. I was given the choice to work in the office, university library, and even from home. In the end I chose to do a combination of the three. This degree of flexibility is rare, and one of the things that makes working for ZET special.
  4. Fantastic oversight by Operations Manager: One thing that made my internship particularly enjoyable was the amicable relationship that I developed with my Operations Manager. As well as engaging in structured discussions about what needed to be done and by when, we had conversations about Zimbabwe, current affairs, informal chats and some banter. On top of this, I was provided with 10/10 support; any questions or uncertainties I had were met with patience and a willingness to help. This created a positive environment and made it a pleasure to work alongside my Operations Manager.

Finally…I would recommend this experience to anybody!

Regardless of what you are studying I would recommend taking on an internship with ZET. I believe the skills and experience that I have taken away are invaluable for any young person and, importantly, transferable across disciplines. Moreover, because an internship with ZET is tailored to your interests, you will be able to choose tasks appropriate to your needs and develop the skills that you think will benefit you. An internship at ZET is suitable to anybody with the desire to make a positive change, and to those who are looking to gain professional experience in a fun, flexible and rewarding way!

Any questions? Email me!

If you have any questions about how to make this possible for you, or would like me to go into further detail about my experience as an intern, feel free to get in touch with me via email at: contact@zimbabweeducationaltrust.org.uk

Laws On Birth Registration In Zimbabwe

“For children to count, they have to be counted.” Harry Belafonte

This quote highlights the importance of birth registration particularly on the right to a sound education. Birth registration is the process by which a child’s birth is recorded in the civil register by the applicable government authority. It provides the first legal recognition of the child and is generally required for the child to obtain a birth certificate. Unfortunately, many African countries fail to adhere consistently this process.

In Zimbabwe achieving universal birth registration remains a difficult task. Progress towards universal birth registration in Zimbabwe is slow and the gap between promise and achievement remains wide. According to UNICEF (2015), only 31 per cent of children are registered before the 5th birthday. Nevertheless, the Zimbabwe Statistical Agency provides a less conservative estimate suggesting that 38 per cent of children are registered within the first 59 months after birth (ZimStats, 2015). Still, even after the 5th birthday, birth registration success remains undesirably low (Save the Children et al., 2011)
This may affect a child’s right to basic education, especially as birth certificate acknowledges the existence of a child and absence of this may slow down the school enrolment process. Without valid proof of age, children are unable to register for the exams that allow them to continue onto secondary education.

However, there are laws establishing these rights. For instance, Article 7 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) states that, ‘The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name and the right to acquire a nationality’. This convention imposes a duty on states parties to register the birth of every child.
In the same vein, Article 24 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which the General Assembly adopted in 1966, provides cialis that ‘every child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have a name’.

Despite the fact that there are laws (both international and national) in place to address this problem, achieving birth registration still remains a tall order in Zimbabwe. This is due, in part, to lack of awareness/education of the parents of the existing laws on birth registration. Especially as residents in rural areas have little or no information that there are sanctions in place for non-compliance with birth registration.

An empirical study was carried out in Zimbabwe to ascertain why this issue persist and it was realised that most participants were unaware that it is legally required to have a birth certificate or sanctions involved for non-compliance. Although participants were aware of the procedures to follow when applying for a birth certificate, they were not sufficiently apprised of the compulsory requirement of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 5:02 to give notice of a live birth of a child within the first 42 days.

Awareness of this legislation coupled with visible and clear sanctions may encourage increase in birth registration. This is because the law is seen as a viable tool to control human behaviour if properly enforced. Could this show a way forward?

Birth registration has been framed as child’s rights and a mechanism through which children access human rights. Therefore, laws on birth registration in Zimbabwe needs to be properly promoted and pressure exerted where none exist. Birth registration is very crucial in every facet of life, it establishes the identity of an individual. Without identity a person does not exist, at least on paper, and this is no small barrier. As the World Bank observes, the possession of a birth certificate represents a ‘permanent, legal and visible recognition by the state of a child’s existence as a member of society.

Guest Blogger: Ibukunoluwa Iyiola-Omisore

Hannah O’Riordan Site Visit 2019 Blog

I was lucky enough to visit Zimbabwe for the second time at the end of 2019, to visit our partners and see some of the amazing work they are doing to support young people in their communities.

After twenty-seven hours and several airport lounges, our leadership team touched down in Bulawayo and drove back through the beautiful surroundings to get started.

When I first visited Zimbabwe eighteen months before, the country had erupted with hope for the future and all our partners had big plans. It was fantastic to be back and see these plans in action and to get to meet some of the young women and men that ZET has been supporting, which kicked off with our visit to Trinity Project.

Trinity Project is a Bulawayo-based organisation which champions child rights and child protection, best known for its ground-breaking work on birth registration locally and nationally. Our trip began working on upcoming fundraising, project management and other administration. We were able to find out about their successes, such as lobbying the First Lady on birth registration and passing a parliamentary motion.

The Kids Club

After struggling through power cuts and lack of water and electricity for the first couple of days in the office, we spent the rest of our time in Bulawayo out in the field meeting local communities. We visited some girlchild empowerment organisations, called ‘kids clubs’, where we heard first-hand the impact Trinity had in teaching these young girls and women about their rights and transforming their circumstances.

No one exemplified this better than Brenda, a teenage girl who was kind enough to share her story. Brenda was born HIV+, due to her single mother’s positive status. She grew up very poor, unable to go to school or afford proper medication. She resented her mother for her situation and ran away from home when she was very young. Life on the streets was tough and left her vulnerable, so fearing for her safety she returned home. This is when she was introduced to the Trinity Project Kids Clubs. She began to attend these and was taught various sports, games and arts and crafts to participate in.

Brenda outside her home

This became her lifeline – she had other children to socialise with who understood, an incredible support-network of adults around her to counsel her, and new creative outlets. Brenda now writes beautiful and impactful poetry, which we were lucky enough to hear her perform. Brenda is an inspiring person, but she represents dozens of young people who Trinity has empowered in this way, and it was a privilege to meet buy generic cialis online these young girls and boys, learn from them, and continue to support them.

The next stop on our visit was Rafiki Girls Centre, an education and vocational training centre for vulnerable young women in Harare. This visit began with working through the project management and logistics of our ongoing project funded with UK aid from the British people, and it was wonderful to hear that this year’s programme was going well and the rapid expansion of students had been a success.

During our time at the centre, we met many students during various classes. The director, Hildah, has an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of her students past and present; their backgrounds, their work, and what they went on to do; so it has always been so inspiring to hear what a life-changing difference the centre makes in the lives of these women, and it was a blessing to get to see this first-hand.

We saw students working on their new UK Aid Direct funded laptops and sewing machines and were treated to a delicious three-course lunch from the hotel and catering students. I was gifted a gorgeous kitchen set from the design students, which now sits proudly next to the wall-hanging I was given at my last visit, back here in the UK.

We also travelled round Harare in torrential rain to see students at their vocational trainings, including tutorials at a hair salon and Nurse Aid students learning CPR at a Red Cross centre. The young women on this course are a testament to the project – Rafiki provides first-class training to its students and is vital in boosting their confidence, social skills and employability; forging a lifeline for marginalised young women in Zimbabwe.

I flew home alone as the rest of our team travelled onto our final wonderful partner, Foundations for farming, and was able to reflect on our visit. It feels like the start of an exciting new period for ZET and our partners, with a new leadership team in place at home, stronger than ever organisations in Zimbabwe, and fantastic plans for the next couple of years. All of our partners are doing incredible work supporting the most vulnerable in society and have a transformational effect on those they reach. We have strong projects in place to champion our existing work and are expanding into new areas – I really look forward to seeing what we can do next.

Hannah O’Riordan

ZET Trustee

Rafiki: Go-ahead from DFID and the Jo Cox Memorial Fund

Rafiki Girls have always been incredible at what they do and now this project will be funded with UK aid from the UK government. Utilising funds from the Jo Cox Memorial we’re delighted that between 2019-2022 we will be supporting 240 girls (including 40 single mums) to break the cycle of deprivation which has so negatively impacted their lives so far.

ZET staff meet the first intake of students

With their amazing programme of confidence building, life skills and personal independence the first three months will see the girls come together as a group and start to change the way they see themselves and their life opportunities.

In the months that follow the girls go on to specialise in areas tadalafil cost such as Pre-School, Nurse Aid, Hotel & Catering and more. This specialist training is combined with a work placement to ensure that by the time they are finished they’re ready to enter the workplace.

From here it’s just a short hop to understand how an empowered woman, with skills and earning potential can change her own life and contribute to the lives of those around her.

The proof is evidenced as 85% of graduates go on to employment or further training within 6 months of graduating. Way ahead of the national average.

The Event Decor class show their work

This inspiring work is the reason Rafiki and ZET have partnered for so many years.

Zet Blog: Rafiki Site Visit November 2019

If you are a girl born in Zimbabwe, the opportunities available to you in life can be very limited. Faced with a long history of gender inequality grounded in cultural and religious attitudes, boy children are given preferential treatment over girl children in terms of education. Girls comprise just 35% of the pupils in secondary education. This barrier to education, coupled with hostile economic conditions and a high unemployment rate results in girls often being ill-equipped to enter the workforce. Young girls in Zimbabwe are vulnerable to a host of challenges in securing themselves a bright and happy future. Our partners at the Rafiki Girls Centre aim to provide girls with a way out of poverty, empowering the most disadvantaged young women to take their futures into their own hands. 

Providing specialist training in a range of career paths, Rafiki opens up a world of opportunities to young girls. From interior design to pre-school teaching, girls who apply to Rafiki can explore their potential through a series of courses designed to equip and empower them with the skills they need to advance in life. During the site visit in November 2019, our Chairman/co-founder Derrick, Operations Manager?Andy?and?Trustee Hannah were able to see these buy cialis online safely courses in action, experiencing first-hand the ways in which Rafiki is improving the lives of young girls in Zimbabwe. 

Derrick, Andy and Hannah had the privilege of observing a whole range of classes, which gave them an insight into the quality and standards of teaching provided by the amazing staff at Rafiki. They got their hair done at a cosmetology class, brushed up on their anatomy in Nurses’ Aid training, and even enjoyed a hotel-standard meal prepared by the Hotel and Catering students in the centre.  

The purpose of the visit was to strengthen our relationship with our partners, as well as placing on-going scrutiny on their practices. By challenging existing safeguarding standards and monitoring everything from applications to teaching to book-keeping, ZET made sure that every part of Rafiki’s processes were up to scratch, in order to deliver the best experience possible to the girls. Perhaps the most important part of the visit was ensuring the sustainability of the project, through thorough analysis and evaluation of its effectiveness and impact. Finally, the site visit presented us with an opportunity to learn, enabling us to plan for the years ahead.


ZET Blog: Site Visit 2018

March was an exciting month for the Zimbabwe Educational Trust team, as two of our trustees and our Operations Manager flew out to Zimbabwe to visit each of our partner projects: so that we could learn more about their work, the communities they work in, and plan for the future at this exciting and dynamic time for Zimbabwe.


Our trip began in Bulawayo, where we met with Trinity Project and were able to see some of the exciting work they are doing on birth registration and child protection in the city and surrounding rural areas. This included visiting some of the families who Trinity have helped through complicated birth registration cases.

One such case was Kimberley, a young girl who had been abandoned by her parents due to her severe disabilities. This made it very difficult for her grandmother to get her registered, which prevented Kimberley from accessing the education and specialist healthcare that she so desperately needs. Trinity have supported the family with funds towards groceries and healthcare, a wheelchair which enables Kimberley to be more active and mobiles, and makes caring for her much easier for her grandmother, and support through every step of the registration process. At the time we visited, Kimberley had just got the final documents she needed, and should be registered within the next few weeks.

We also got the chance to visit some of the Kids Clubs Trinity run in several districts. These are clubs where children have the chance to play and have fun (something they may not always have the opportunity for in their daily lives), but also learn about their rights and entitlements, and be taught empowering syllabuses. For example, we visited one workshop on Gender Based Violence for teenage girls, and one on child abuse and the right to education for a mixed group of young children.

As well as visiting some of the birth registration and community interventions that ZET have been supporting Trinity with for the last five years, we also got an exciting look into Trinity’s plan for the next five – seeing first-hand the exciting ways this organisation is expanding and developing. The major change is that Trinity is adopting a wider approach towards the entirety of child protection.

Birth registration is like the first step on a ladder towards a child’s empowerment. You first need this, to be able to access all the other steps, like education, healthcare, social security and legal protections. However, although it’s an essential step, it is only the first one. Trinity wants to protect children right the way through, and this involves tackling other barriers to child empowerment. For this reason, Trinity is now launching interventions that look at child abuse, child marriage, and other child protection issues. The most pioneering of these is economic strengthening projects – because parents need enough money to put food on the table, and send their children to schools and hospitals, if they are going to effectively protect their children’s rights. As part of this expansion, we visited some of the authorities Trinity is working with, such as local councillors, village heads and the Department of Social Services, and also visited some of these projects, such as income-generating community gardens. It is clearly a very exciting time for Trinity Project, and ZET were thrilled to see the project developing and helping so many people.


The next week, we travelled up to Harare to visit our other partners. The first, Rafiki Girls Centre, were please to show us round the centre, which is currently teaching two cohorts of students – one in the first stage of the course and learning can i buy cialis online basic transferrable life skills, and the other in the second stage training in specific vocational courses such as catering or nursing. We were lucky enough to be served a delicious lunch by the catering class, many of whom have unsurprisingly already been snapped up for employment by the most exclusive hotels in Harare when they graduate! Rafiki also showed us some of the products crafted by the students on the Design course, featuring gorgeous Zimbabwean designs and patterns.


We then spent the afternoon talking to students and graduates about their experiences with the centre: what they had learned, what their lives were like before, and how they benefitted from the training. One word came up time and time again – hope. Every student resoundingly agreed that despite their personal circumstances, they felt dejected and out of luck before they came to Rafiki, and the education they received helped them to feel hopeful again. And rightly so, as almost 90% of graduates go onto receive further education or employment after the training. It was inspirational to hear all these personal testimonies.


It was also an exciting time for Rafiki, who have just recently expanded to double the centre’s capacity. They have accommodated the increased demands on teachers and resources incredibly, and it was a privilege to see so many more women – particularly young struggling single mothers, who have been the main social group the expansion was opened up to – benefitting from the transformational opportunity of Rafiki training.


Finally, we visited Foundations for Farming, and walked round their expansive grounds to see first-hand the incredible impact of their sustainable and efficient farming methods – including hectares of fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs, and maize plots up to seven foot tall! All this is grown without intensive gardening or machinery, without pesticides, sprays or enhancers, and without advanced water irrigation systems. The methods they use could be rolled out to any community or home-based farmer, for a low-cost low-effort approach with high yields so it was just unbelievable to see how effective it could be.

We also visited a school ZET has been funding since 2015, to see how their land plot and nutritional garden were coming along. It was great to see that St John’s Primary School were clearly still engaged with Foundations for Farming, were still implementing their methods – with good results! Not only had students had been able to practice the national agricultural curriculum in successful gardens, but the gardens had been so efficient that the school was able to introduce a food aid programme, ensuring that every child would have access to one school meal a day. This means they can be sure children are well-fed enough to concentrate and get the most out of their education, so it was very exciting to see the full benefits of the garden being enjoyed.


Overall, the site visit to our partners in Zimbabwe was very informative – helping us to learn more about our partners and they work they are doing, but also to get to meet with some of the individuals, schools and communities we have been working with for the last five years and see for ourselves the incredible impact ZET is having, working together for education and prosperity in Zimbabwe.

If you would like to find out more about the visit, please do get in touch with us on 0113 386 2257 or contact@zimbabweeducationaltrust.org.uk. If you would like to support our partners as they expand and continue to do fantastic work on the ground, you can do so at www.zimbabweeducationaltrust.org.uk/support-us.


All the best,

The ZET Team

ZET Blog: How to Apply for Funding from a Major Donor

The following article first appeared on Charity Choice’s blog, The Fundraiser, which you can visit here: http://www.charitychoice.co.uk/the-fundraiser/how-to-apply-for-funding-from-a-major-donor/719

Applying for large amounts of funding can be daunting. You can know your project inside out and have successful experience applying to plenty of other organisations, but struggle to translate this into applications for major donors.

Don’t worry – you’re not alone! Each donor has its own funding criteria and requirements, expecting you to be able to break your project into small chunks which fit neatly to their questions and priorities. If you work for a small organisation, or work with smaller partners, this can be a challenging and time-consuming process – and the pressure to get so much done in relatively little time can be off-putting.

ZET know this feeling well. ZET is a small NGO, based in Leeds, that works with partners in Zimbabwe to support communities into education and out of poverty. The organisation had always been relatively small scale, helping a few individual Zimbabweans and receiving no more than a few thousand pounds in funding each year.

This was until we partnered with Trinity Project in Zimbabwe and applied for a grant from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to fund a project to help children get birth certificates and enrol in school.
This marked a turning point for ZET: we secured £75k of funding from DFID for the next three years and were able to reach thousands of families and help hundreds of children to obtain birth certificates and enrol in school. So at this point, we would like to share our insights and experience for other organisations in the same boat.

What does the application usually ask for?

Each application is different, with different requirements and priorities – so the first tip should always be to read through all the eligibility criteria, application advice and FAQs.

That said, most major applications follow similar lines and will want to know:

• Who the organisation is: what are you about, what do you do, how do they contact you? (This will probably include them asking for your latest accounts and constitution or registration as a charity)
• What the project is: where did the idea come from, how do you know it is needed, who does it help, how does it work? (This will probably include them asking for a project budget.)

Most applications of this scale are very popular, so they progress in stages – with each stage requiring more detail. At first, usually all the funder will want is a concept note, which outlines the organisation and the project. If you are lucky enough to get through that stage, you will be asked to submit a full application, with other attachments and requirements – the road to full application can take more than one step though, with organisations being rejected at each stage.

So how can small organisations deal with these highly competitive grant application processes? Below are five top tips we’ve learned from our own experiences in successfully applying for major funding:

1. Choose an implementing partner who shares your vision

The foundation of your proposal will always be having the right partner – one with a clear vision of what they want to deliver and the changes they want to bring about. Together, you should establish some clear change objectives; referring to these throughout the proposal will help create a logical structure that is easy to follow.

2. Develop a theory of change

The fundraiser should act as an interlocutor, working with your partner to develop and refine your change objectives into a solid theory of change which can be communicated in a proposal. This will help donors to understand more clearly the context you work in, and the relevance and benefit of your project.

3. Demonstrate that you know your stuff

Most major donors will expect the projects they fund to achieve sustainable and transformational change; and ask for evidence for this in a proposal. A great way to prepare for these types of questions is to conduct and document a short political economy analysis, which demonstrates understanding of your context; its local political, social and economic realities and how change happens.

4. Show you’ve connected all the dots

The project activities included in the proposal should clearly emerge from the theory of change, so it is evident how each activity is expected to contribute to your change objectives. This should include strong mechanisms for Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning. These give you the information you need to evaluate and improve performance throughout and will demonstrate to donors that your project is well thought-out and managed.

5. Get your budget right

Finally, the budget should be realistic, emerging from the activities you’ve planned to facilitate change (rather than working backwards from an arbitrary total figure). If you apply for too little you will struggle to implement your project, but if you apply for too much it may weaken your application. Instead, demonstrate your project’s value for money by writing budget notes, explaining how figures were reached and why they are necessary.

While not every application will be successful, by following the above tips you can help ensure that your applications are well targeted and that they tick the right boxes for prospective funders. So our final piece of advice is: go for it!

Written by Stuart Kempster (ZET Trustee) and Hannah O’Riordan (ZET Operations Manager)
Edited by Jenny Daw (Editor, The Fundraiser)

ZET Blog: 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, we take a look back at what your support has enabled us and our partners to achieve this year!

It’s been a busy year for ZET, providing vital support for three grassroots partner organisations in Zimbabwe and expanding the work we do back here in the UK. Thanks to you, we and our partners stepped up to the challenge…

Trinity Project

Trinity faced a challenging start to the year, beginning the first year since 2012 where they would receive no UK government project funding and being impacted by devastating floods across southern Zimbabwe. As ever, they rose to the challenge and launched a ZET-supported emergency appeal to provide food, shelter and supplies to flood victims. Beyond this, Trinity provided longer term recovery efforts including nutritional gardens and village loan schemes to help communities back on their feet.

Incredibly, Trinity Project also managed to carry on their usual work on birth registration. This year, responding the needs of the communities they work in and to support more vulnerable groups, Trinity expanded to work on access to a range of socioeconomic rights, including registration, education, healthcare and social services. This was very successful, reaching hundreds of families to provide services and support. Trinity is finally reaping the benefits of years of advocacy work, having been asked this year to draft a parliamentary motion on birth registration, meeting with multiple elected officials and community leaders, and having continued exposure in local media and academic articles. ZET’s support this year has funded transport and vehicle costs, which is essential in keeping the project successful and enabling staff to visit beneficiaries, local communities and stakeholders to provide their services.

Rafiki Girls Centre

Rafiki continued to provide transformative opportunities for young women in Harare, supporting 60 women this year to obtain education and training. Each graduate completed three months of life skills training, aimed at building up their confidence and self-sufficiency, with courses including sewing, computing, cookery and offering optional HIV testing and counselling. Trainees finish their time at Rafiki with a six-month vocational course run by an externally-accredited organisation, to build up their qualifications and employability and providing them with a connection to an employer when they graduate. Courses running in 2017 included hospitality, design, teaching and nursing, amongst others. This vocational training and link to an external organisation offers women the best chance to build a career, and 85% graduates went onto obtain work. Rafiki also works to holistically develop its students, offering them opportunities to relax and have fun, a vital part of growing up which they often do not have at home, through a range of recreational activities. These included movie nights, dinners and away trips to a national park, as well as extra-curricular learning opportunities such as HIV workshops and Careers Days.
Rafiki also has exciting news! Thanks to increased support from one of their other partners in the UK, Rafiki have been given partial funding to DOUBLE their capacity. This step is essential, as Rafiki currently receives three applications for every place it can offer, and this time last year the Centre had dozens of girls actually turn up on their doorstep, desperate to be considered for a traineeship. As demand for Rafiki Girls Centre and its vital services is so high, this step is important. However, we are not there yet, and Rafiki needs more support and funding from other donors, such as ZET, to be able to deliver this new expanded capacity. We will desperately need your support to make this a reality in 2018.

Foundations for Farming

The year was kickstarted for Foundations for Farming, who secured their largest ZET funding since our partnership began. This enabled them to run a project working with two local schools, building up the capacity of staff and students on conservation agriculture, so they would be better equipped to manage the land and produce more food and potential income for their school and community.

The projects were relatively successful, led by passionate staff at Foundations for Farming who went above and beyond to support the needs of the two beneficiary schools, and working with two very engaged and willing local schools. There was a lot of evidence that staff and students had adopted the principles taught by Foundations for Farming and were keen to implement these methods. However, both schools faced challenges beyond their control. The first school was forced to shut down due to lack of funds, however the teacher we had been working with was so committed to the project that she continued teaching these farming methods in her own back garden, with great success. The second school struggled with producing crops due to water shortages in their village. The school relied on students to bring in water from home to supplement the school and the plot, which was unsustainable. Foundations for Farming were impressed by their knowledge of and commitment to the project, so continued to support the school by providing them with tools, crops and farming methods more suited to dry arid land. Next year, Foundations for Farming desperately needs support to be able to reach more schools with this provenly effective project which helps staff and children gain skills and put food on the table, but also so that the project team have the capacity to provide additional support and resources when it is needed, as it has been this year.

Schools Outreach

This year, ZET has launched an exciting new initiative, working with local schools to deliver global learning sessions, where children and young people can learn about life in Zimbabwe, building up empathy and community links. We have been kindly supported by local organisations and universities, who have made this work possible and we look forward to expanding this work in the new year.

So far, ZET has worked with Westerton Primary School and Lee Briggs Infant and Nursery School, running interactive assemblies and workshops which aim to inform the children about Zimbabwe and challenge some of the misconceptions they may hold about other cultures and communities.

We have worked with children ranging in age from 5 to 9 running sessions, activities and games which teach about life, school, homes, jobs and culture in Zimbabwe, the history of the country and the UK’s relationship with them, and the work of ZET. We have been continuously impressed by how empathetic and engaged the children have been and it was lovely to see them engage with Zimbabwe in a positive, constructive way. The classes showed real interest by asking challenging questions, retaining detailed information and putting themselves in the shoes of children in Zimbabwe – even discussing complex issues like climate change, political shifts in Zimbabwe, and the birth registration process!

We will continue to work with these schools and more in the future, so watch this space.

Fundraising Events

Thanks to a team of dedicated volunteers, ZET has regularly held fundraising events throughout the year, all of which have been a resounding success and raised over £1000 for the Trust between them. This includes student-run pub quizzes at a range of local pubs – so we continue to thank Leeds students and their locals for having us! On top of this, the parishioners at Headingley St Columba ran an appeal this Lent and raised £1310 for ZET, so thank you all for your very generous support.

Most importantly, ZET turned 30 this year!!! And we celebrated in style with a big event in October, with music, poetry, Zimbabwean food, dancing and speakers all coming together to celebrate Zimbabwean culture, diaspora and the incredible work of ZET over the past 30 years! Thank you so much to all of you who attended or supported us – here’s to another 30 years.

If you have an idea for an event or fundraiser, or would like to raise money for ZET, please do get in touch!

Looking forward to 2018…

ZET has big plans for next year, starting the year with a visit to each of our partners in Zimbabwe to plan for working together in the future and develop our strategy and goals for the next few years. ZET hopes to capitalise on the momentum being felt across Zimbabwe, to transform the opportunity of a new period in the country into opportunities and support for our beneficiaries. We will continue to fundraise and support each of our partners, and hope you will join us in this mission.

Thank you so much for all your support this year. Together, we have transformed the lives and opportunities of hundreds of disadvantaged young people in Zimbabwe.

If you would like to give the gift of education this Christmas you can donate here: www.zimbabweeducationaltrust.org.uk/support-us

Written by Hannah O’Riordan, ZET Operations Manager

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 generic cialis online pharmacy 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 cialis generic 2017 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 https://www.zimbabweeducationaltrust.org.uk/support-us

Written by Hannah O’Riordan