Friday, October 18, 2013
I have had some awesome conversations in the past month as a result of this series. I am moved by what people have begun to do as a result of their seeking to fulfil the mandate they have here on earth. Being practical is the best and I encourage you to pay your rent on earth as it were!
I was battling on how to conclude this because as someone who realized his purpose and managed to start working at it at an early age, I always want to urge others to find fulfilment, joy and happiness in fulfilling their own purpose. Remember we all have different tasks that were set for us to accomplish. I will lean heavily on the Word of God in my conclusion. We were chosen by God before we were formed. The Lord made us and shaped us into the people we are. He knows our behaviour, our strengths, weaknesses, capabilities and our character. These unique personalities that we have should be used to achieve a specific purpose. God is going to use us for the fulfilment of His plan. Think for a moment when you try to be like someone . If you try to be someone else you then want to be a carbon copy of what is already in existence, in fact God doesn’t need you as someone else! You are trying to be a piece of the puzzle that God already has! So stop trying to be like someone, be you and fit into the puzzle the way God wants you to. You were made in a precise manner, for a specific purpose and only you will serve that purpose. When God made you, He wanted you, when He chose you, He wanted you!
So in conclusion, the understanding that I have no doubts about is that we all have been chosen as God’s treasure and for His purpose. Our destiny can be discovered and lived out as we walk in harmony with God our creator. Thus we can only know the true reason for our existence when we are close to Him and we allow Him to direct our path.
As the year comes to an end, I hope you have been on that path of living a life fulfilling your purpose? How have you been paying your rent of being on earth?
Until next time,
We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. -Winston Churchill
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
I hope this finds you all well. Well I was offline a bit pressure of work and other commitments related to my own life assignment! I am trusting that this second installment is finding you well on course to discover your purpose and reason for existence on this beautiful planet of ours. As they say, an apple does not fall far away from its tree and I would like to use that to make reference to the fact that your purpose lies inherently within you and it should be a struggle to find your passion and that will lead you to the reason for your very presence.
Friends, we are not passengers on a bus enjoying a free ride. To each one of us an account of how we spent our lives and time on earth will be demanded. How are you paying your rent? In other words how are you paying for your time on earth? My friends have always laughed when I ask them that question suffice to say that many of them have began to be engaged productively in giving back to communities in various ways. Some are donating books and library equipment to their former schools, some are paying school fees for the less privileged whilst some are putting aside time to mentor young men and women. What are you doing? I have grown to realize that the best gift to a person is not very expensive and does not need to be bought! Now that's really pushing it isn't it? Consider this, spending two hours mentoring a young person on life and different issues they will face as they grow older is a gift to that young person. Or spending one hour at your former school assessing the needs and finding gaps to assist is a gift to that school. Come on now, we all have a gift to give! We need to reach out to our communities with the little we have and make a difference through the same. What is your assignment?
Over the years I have been intrigued and fascinated by how my own world view has been shaped.Your don't need to have a million bucks to change some circumstances. Just your heart and mind being in the right place is the million bucks you need. There is so much suffering in the world that is not necessary. Localizing this, there is so much suffering in Zimbabwe that is unwarranted. People have grown to be selfish each day...instead of looking out for the welfare of our neighbor, relative or friend we have grown accustomed to just thinking and looking out for our needs more than anything else. Anything to bring in the next dollar is all that people have been concerned about particularly in thin country. The past two days I was reflecting on how our traditional safety nets for the care and protection of the weakest and most vulnerable amongst us have been destroyed. How it was so easy in decades gone by to have a communal land holding that would be farmed by everyone in that community and the harvest channeled to the vulnerable members of that community. What happened? Have we grown to be so sophisticated and complicated that we fail to respect and respond to the needs of others?
I am almost at a stage where I can pick up a second assignment....maybe I would work to revitalize these safety nets and bring back the glory of the lost decades where it would be impossible to find a poor person or even an "orphan" in a community. Hmmmm sounds like a big enough challenge!
Since the good people are doing nothing, the perpetuation of the poverty cycle in our country and beyond continues.
I am thoroughly blessed by the feedback and responses I have received on issues raised in the blogs and I am encouraged by the fact that these are starting some small fires that hopefully will lead into bigger conversations and actions. Gone are the days of folding hands and not doing anything because you think you are not qualified enough or don't have the material or financial resources. Remember God does not call the qualified but He qualifies the called! Be a willing vessel and reach out.
Have a super week friends,
Until next time,
" A thousand years from today I don't want to be known for the cars, houses or the size of my bank accounts but I want to be known for the difference I would have made in my time"
Patrick Makokoro 2008
Thursday, September 19, 2013
The Assignment Series 1
I hope this finds you all well. The jacaranda trees are in full bloom once again as it is that time of the year. As an avid gardener I also love seeing the various flowers blooming and giving colour to gardens. This always points back to how great our Creator is and how everything responds in due season. I have been working through some very interesting life lessons that I will be sharing with you all.
Talking about seasons the journey continues. I continue to be amazed by the various things that happen in the day to day lives of us humans. Tragedies befall us, we lose houses, family members, jobs and other trappings of this world just with a blink of an eye. As we go through painful moments we should always be delighted in the Glory of God and also be able to know that we are here for a purpose. The past two months I have also bee doing a bit of introspection on my own assignment on earth and how I have been fulfilling it. Remember that each one of us is here for a purpose, to help somebody somewhere! You may actually be someone who brings healing to someone sick, be the lifejacket for someone who is drowning, lifting someone who has fallen and giving a solution to a problem. So we are all a solution to the equation.
How we play a part in that solution is in my view what matters. A beautiful question to always ask is “why was I born? It’s a lovely question whose answer exists and is very clear. You were created for an exclusive purpose and reason! In earlier posts I have always mentioned that we all need to align ourselves to that purpose and everything else then falls into place. Your very function in life should be different from others. When you look and compare a golf ball and a sandwich you see the hardness of one and the softness of the other. Functionality and purpose is different! Thus the purpose differs for each one of us. So step number 1 is you need to know what your assignment is. It is important that you align yourself to the reason for your existence.
Remember your function is different from that of others!
Look out for the Assignment series 2
Until next time,
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. -Desiderata
Thursday, August 15, 2013
I woke up in the wee hours of the morning thinking about how it can be so easy to be a blessing to the lives of people around us. I was thinking about he various situations that I have gone through in life and how at each of those opportunities it was going to be easy either to say the right thing that lifts someone up or say the opposite that leaves a person with a heavy heart and negativity.
We are all created uniquely and it is through this uniqueness that we should be able to complement each other across gender, race, colour or even ethnic divide. I always say that there is more that unites us as human beings than what divides us. The challenge is always then when one person sees himself or herself more highly than the other people or a case of the Animal Farm where some animals are more equal than others.
A few days ago whilst sharing with some colleagues at work, I mentioned that all it takes for the human race to advance in a manner of dignity and respecting other people’s rights is when we all decide to love the next person. There are various arguments that people put forward as to why inequality exists but outside these reasons we should all be able to assist the person next to us, be able to reach out to the poor people and be of good cheer.
I have come across people who find it very difficult to give something! Whether it is giving off of your time, paying for education, giving food, advice, mentorships etc. We all have something to give and through giving we will be unlocking great value not only in ourselves but in those people that we are reaching out to.
This morning I was also reflecting on what kind of trail I want to leave behind on the people that I meet on a daily basis…what sort of impression do you leave? Are they going to be happy or dejected? Whether you're on the phone or on the Internet with them, or you're in an appointment, or whether it's a casual contact, or it's with your mate, or your roommate, or your son or your daughter, or you parents, what kind of gift could you give them on this occasion? Too often we look at it the other way, "What gift can they give me?" We go looking to them for some attention, or information, or affection. What connection does this person have that I could use? What promotion could they give me? What money could they give me? Well, this doesn't talk about living for you to impart to me. It's about me imparting to you.
So friends, we are out there to impart something in the lives of others. Rekindle the dying flame. Many people are suffering, outwardly they may look fine and that all is hunky dory but deep down they are hurting etc…it thus is important for us to be able to speak into the lives of people and leave them better off than they were.
Friends, find an excuse to be a blessing in the lives of people around you!
Until next time,
Romans 1:11: Apostle Paul says to the Roman Christians, "I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong."
Monday, August 5, 2013
This post comes after our much awaited harmonized elections that saw the electorate voting for their ward councillors, members of parliament and president. The hotly contested election came after 4 years of a government of national unity in which the former opposition had joined forces with the long serving party in Zimbabwe. Though at times dysfunctional, this unity government managed to bring a lot of stability into the economy, health, education and other sectors. The general populace began to put some faith and trust into the systems of government and this led to peace prevailing in the country.
The elections have now come and gone, results favour one party whilst losing parties are crying foul of the results that obviously did not go the way they thought. I was terribly surprised at the results of this election, judging by the mood, hype and excitement that the electorate had, I was bracing for a radical change in governance and with keen interest awaited the future that lay ahead for the country. The doom and gloom that has characterized the country in the past few days post the elections is evidence of a people whose hopes have been dashed.
Those who have followed the Zimbabwean story, know that the past 13 or so years have been very tough for the ordinary Zimbabwean, particularly when we look at the macro economic environment prevailing at that time. Bread and butter issues have been on the mindsets of Zimbabweans on a daily basis and hope lay in the election of a fresh government, untainted by corruption scandals, patronage systems and abuse of institutions of government. Therein lay the hope of the masses, that a new government would restore their dignity, restore the country to be a breadbasket and that the former glory of the country would be revealed once again.
Well, that did not happen as envisaged and a dark cloud hovered over the country as election results were being announced. Was this the will of the people? Where is God in all this? How are we going to survive the next five years? These are questions I heard many a Zimbabwean postulate. I, too have had so many questions, many of which remain unanswered. Zimbabweans are a docile lot, why don’t they take to the streets to protest, why don’t they unseat the elected government? These are some suggestions that I have heard from various ones as they ponder over the Zim electoral crisis as it were.
I humbly submit here and now, that Zimbabweans are not a docile lot, Zimbabweans know too well that taking to the streets will lead to the governing party unleashing various arms of state security onto the people, killing, maiming and torturing them in the process. Zimbabweans know too well that the end is in sight, that whatever repression they face has an end date, that the answer to what is being called a crisis lies entirely in the hands of our Creator and all will be done to glorify Him. In God we trust!
Until next time,
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. -Anne Frank
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Another year has been added to my life today and I am so grateful. To those that have watched me grow and develop into the man I have become, they can attest to how this life has been a testimony of the grace, mercy and love of our Lord Jesus. Having been picked up from the miry clay as it were, my life has become a symbol of hope for many orphans, widows and families living in difficult circumstances. With this thought comes the heavy burden on my shoulders to carry on, diligently, passionately and with no excuse in serving those that need help and in creating relationships that foster the growth and development of the next person.
I am grateful too that more than a decade ago I managed to identify the will of God for my life and that in living and executing that purpose, I have traversed the world, been far and wide and have gone through a lot of experiences that at times make me feel older than my age. For that too I am grateful! When life gives us lemons, we should make the best lemonade there is on the land. Being a product of hardworking parents who instilled a lot of discipline, focus and love, I am glad and very honoured to be a father to my two children, who is also able with the help of God, instil the same values to my own children. Further more, being married to a true pillar of strength, a loving, compassionate and thoughtful wife who balances me out in every single way makes the journey more enjoyable.
At this point in my life, the journey continues with expectations of what lies ahead. Great expectations of what God has in store. I am delighted and very happy of the path I have been led too, mind you the path has been fraught with some experiences I would not have chosen for myself but through them, been able to appreciate what life really is about. Certainly not about fame, riches and luxuries but about living and executing the purpose that lies within us all. For we are each uniquely created, gifted and are duty bound to make this world a better place for future generations.
I am grateful for the supportive wife and family, friends, accountability partners, mentors, Pastors and support systems that keep me away from trouble! As we each trudge along on the journey of life, lets remember that all we do points towards the legacy we will leave after we pass on.
God bless you!
We were born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race. -Cicero
Monday, June 17, 2013
It has been a while since I wrote on this blog wall. The past two months have been hectic, having some bitter sweet moments whilst at the same time being heavily consumed with the work that I am so passionate about. Now where do I start...from the very beginning I suppose.
In my last blog, I mentioned that I have been on a journey too, trying to listen closely to the voice of God concerning a variety of issues. This journey has been fraught with many exciting and memorable moments that have trebled my faith, belief and trust in the power of the word of God. It is my reckoning that some situations are designed to test our faith, test our character and test the composition of that which makes us believe in the unseen. As I know that some of the things that God does in our lives are revealed in hindsight I continue to move forward pursuing knowledge of the word and the righteousness that comes through believing in Christ our Saviour.
The team has been busy making preparations to host two sets of groups in July and August. Team 2SOL will be visiting again for a month long volunteering visit, working with two primary schools to improve the health, nutrition and wellbeing of over one thousand children attending these schools. We are excited about this and if the preparations on the ground are anything to go by, it looks like we are going to be having a fun time come July.
This August we will also be welcoming to Zimbabwe for the first time our brothers and sisters in Christ from Doctors Act. This is a group of Christian medical students studying in Russia who through Doctors Act volunteer to work with community medical institutions such as clinics and health posts. Apart from assisting the nurses and doctors to do their work, this team will also be sharing the word of God with the communities and we are thrilled about this! This is the power of partnerships and we are looking forward to this in August.
In the first week of June, we hosted Ruffs Kitchen. They were out to see the various programs they are funding through us in Zimbabwe. The visit was in our view highly successfully and met the intended objectives. Nhaka Foundation is committed to working with various people and organizations that are willing to partner with us in ensuring that the littlest and most vulnerable children receive all the support they need in order to grow into responsible citizens of this country.
Lastly friends on the 23rd of May 2013 I lost one of my greatest heroes, my father. The lessons learnt through this humble yet larger than life character are numerous. Key among those lessons was the importance of education. My father was a champion of making sure that we were all educated and that our relatives, family friends and indeed our own personal friends always took time to develop themselves educationally. My single most important tribute to this great friend, advisor and grandfather will be to ensure that his legacy of love and selfless giving will continue through us.
Until next time,
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
I pray this finds you all well. I am very confident that God continues to give you the energy, zeal and passion to do the work you do. Team Nhaka is inspired by the feedback you send us through emails about our work, blogs and the goings on of the organization and how we are working to fulfil our mandate. On a cold, bleak morning, when all the chips are down and I am wondering what really is going on, the thought of that little child walking 3 kilometres to school or the child who doesn’t know what they are going to eat at home and the expectations laid on each of us to support the less privileged in our midst among other things spurs up renewed hope and confidence in me.
I realise that what I do ceased to be a job a long time ago. It is a passion, driven by the desire to ensure that every child lives a life full of possibilities and opportunities that they can take up to enhance their lives. It makes me realise that by the small difference made by an exchange student coming from abroad for a season, the $1 a day paid towards school fees for one child, the feeding program ensuring that a child has a guaranteed meal each school day and the love exuded by all the people involved in these efforts, changes the lives of thousands of children daily. What future do we want for these children? One with love towards one another? Tolerance? Respect? Recognition? Peace? If this is all in the affirmative what are we doing on a daily basis to ensure that these objectives are met? Are we praying and asking God for wisdom to deal with difficult situations? Are we spending time supporting others? Is our development more important than that of others or at their expense? Friends I feel we need to always look at these aspects and reflect a little bit more and let God speak to us and help us.
A few days ago during morning devotionals with two young men I am mentoring, we were discussing on how we hear God speaking to us… This subject brought a lot of intriguing responses but the bottom line was are we listening when God speaks to us or we are just too busy playing the pipe that we are not bothered at all.
I know for sure for our friends in Zimbabwe and true for other parts of the world, one wakes up and is on the go. The only time they settle down is when they sit to have their dinner and probably halfway through it sleep creeps in and before long it is morning again and the cycle begins. I encourage us all to take time out to meditate on the word of God, just have some quiet time reflecting, taking a long walk or finding something that brings a sense of peace and through all this be able to listen to the still small voice.
I am also on a journey. It took a severe headache and fever to put me in bed at 4pm on Monday 22 April. As I lay there shivering and trying to figure this fever out…the still small voice said listen……listening I am!
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
I hope this finds you well. In the course of the past two weeks I have learnt a lot on how to have patience, peace in the middle of a storm, perseverance, long suffering and extending grace to those people that do things not expected of them. Reflecting yesterday on the grace and mercy of God I could not help but really be inspired by the daily reading I went through.
Each one of us is on a mission to complete an assignment that was given to us by our Maker. We are created in the image of our Lord and Saviour and through Him we can do all things. What is the one reason why you exist on earth? Is it to minister to lost souls, provide a soup kitchen for the hungry, be a minister of the gospel, take care of widows and orphans in your midst or are you just a food being? The latter being people who just lazy around without any clear mission or purpose designed for them by our Creator, the best they can do is consume food. They may have good jobs, nice cars and the like but still not be able to impact meaningfully on the lives of people around them.
A week and half ago, my best friend over lunch asked me, “why do we as Christians make money”? “why do we run our businesses to make a profit”? for what purpose in the Kingdom? I was too hesitant to answer at first but as I thought more about it I managed to respond. As God prospers the works of our hands we too have a duty to ensure that the weakest link in the chain is made strong. By remaining tight fisted and not supporting the growth, development and success of other people we too become guilty of not moving the Kingdom agenda forward.
Ephesians 2:10, gives another very clear indication of what is expected of us. “ for we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared before hand, that we should walk in them”. Whose I am should reflect in my daily walk, the work I do and the value I add to the lives of people around me. The things that we go through are designed to be used as an experience either to help someone we connect with or to teach us valuable lessons about the things we ought to be doing or not doing. The different gift sets that we possess have been given to us to make a difference in “your” world. We each have an assignment given to us, pray about it, find it and begin implementing it.
As you wake up to a new day, realise that you have the necessary tools to tackle each and every challenge that comes your way. I always say find what ever excuse to be a blessing in someone’s life each day. As you go out today doing various chores, be sensitive to the Spirit of God, He is saying something and you can only be aware if your antenna is tuned in to the right frequency.
God is at this moment making various moves to ensure that your life connects with someone and that you make a difference OR that a difference is made in your life.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
As Christians from around the world this weekend remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, it is always good to reflect on how events leading to the death of Christ left an indelible mark in our lives. Please allow me to indulge a little bit… I am in awe of how during the time Jesus Christ walked on earth doing so many wonderful things to bring us as humans to the full knowledge of Our Father in Heaven. The various acts of kindness, the miracles, healings and the ultimate sacrifice at the cross of Calvary were all for us.
Many of you may have watched the movie the Passion of the Christ directed by Hollywood actor Mel Gibson and in it details of the death of Christ, the struggles and His constant prayers to God for mercy on His people showed a selfless love for us. I am eternally grateful to God for sending His only begotten Son so that through Him we would be cleansed of our sin and that we would one day be promoted to greater glory in heaven.
Now the choice is always up to us. How do we want to spend our days on earth? What impact do we want to make on the lives of fellow human beings? And what lasting legacy do we want to leave behind? Thousands of years later, here we are remembering the self less love that was shown to us. This really does not matter whether you are saved or not. The gospel of Christ came so that we would learn the truth and the truth would set us free.
Quoting from Our Daily Bread today “Those who witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus saw His hours of agony and heard Him cry out in a loud voice, “It is finished!” as He gave up His spirit (John 19:30). His final words from the cross were not a cry of painful defeat but a shout of triumph, because He had accomplished all that the Father sent Him to do.
When Jesus died, He shared in what all of us must experience. But far beyond that, He did what none of us can do. He paid the price for our sins that we might be forgiven and have eternal life through faith in Him.
“It is finished!” was the Lord’s shout of victory because now, through Him, we can escape the power of sin; we can live and be free.”
It is finished! —John 19:30
I for one do not want to be left out, through struggles, pain and sacrifices I want to make a difference n this world. Reach out to the orphans, to the vulnerable communities, widows and those that have no one to look up to and be there to support them. You too, in whatever way can be that difference in the life of someone today just as the life of one person who paid the ultimate sacrifice of death for all of us. Lord Jesus, thank you for leaving a truly lasting legacy!
It does not matter the kind of car I drive, the type of house I live in nor the size of my bank account, what is important to me is to ensure that I leave a lasting legacy for generations. Join me in this quest!
God gives us all we need, so we can give to others in their need!
God bless you!
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Growing up in a Christian home, going to church, attending Sunday school and as I personally accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour I came across a lot of miracles and faith enhancers. Always being prayerful and wanting to always being connected to my Maker and align my life to God’s will and purpose for my existence on earth has been my one and single most important journey. As I reflect on various events in my life, I share today one of the most interesting events that created new relationships, partnerships and a deeper measure of faith and love for our Lord.
As the journey of my life continued in 2012, I was on a path of rediscovery after some of the most disturbing ordeals in my professional life had occurred in the 2 years prior to 2012. In From December 2011 to January 2012 I was vigilantly praying, seeking the face of God and praying for a more clearer picture of what He intended me to do since the events in the two years mentioned above had left me very confused. The Spirit of God continued to impress in my heart that I had to work with children, youth and communities that were vulnerable and to bring about peace, hope and encouragement through deeds and the word of God. That was easier said than done. As I worked with close friends and the Board of Trustees of Nhaka Foundation to model the organization and continue doing the work we had begun in 2008, it became clearer that we had to ensure that God was at the forefront of the work we did. Herein lay the problem. With over ten years experience working for both local and international non profit organizations, it was always difficult to secure funding for organizations deemed to be religiously based or put more clearly, organizations whose leadership and way of operation was aligned to a particular set of beliefs etc and in our case being Christian. The more we sought funding in 2011 as a Christian organization the more “your proposal is technically good, solid and a clear sustainable model to implement but unfortunately….” email rejections for funding we received. During this time I would continue praying to God seeking a clear answer and indication that this was the way to continue. I reached a point in December 2011 that I had had enough of these rejections, was in a terrible mental state and was as always trying to figure everything out, when I decided to set a challenge with my Maker to really be sure that this was what I was supposed to be doing. One morning I decided to ask God for a very simple thing “ if this is what you want me to do, can you please show me through some way that there are people out there, specifically Christians that you are raising up to support the work we are doing and also for Christians to rise up and take our role as Christians and support orphans, widows and those in distress.” This became the prayer on my heart for months to come.
On the 7th of March 2012, I was driving from Mutare, a city about 250 kilometres east of Harare where I had gone to do a bit of research on organizations working in the early childhood development sector. Just before I got to the junction that leads to our home, I got a call from my friend Karl and this call led to a chain of events that forever changed my life. He had just welcomed “a young bunch of Americans” and wanted me to meet with them because he thought I could be of some assistance to them. Driving to meet with them I was saying Lord I am tired I just need to rest, can I just phone them and turn back and meet them tomorrow? No, keep driving! As I drove I was thinking about all the things God had placed on my heart about the work we were to do as an organization and the promises that seemed far-fetched. Meeting with Kelsey Hare, Christie Heimbach and Daniel Vaichus was such a God planned, organized and executed appointment. As these 3 narrated their story and how God had told them to go to Zimbabwe because there was some work for them I just couldn’t stop the tears streaming down my cheeks…As Kelsey and Christie excitedly spoke about the events of the past two weeks prior to their departure for Zimbabwe, I felt God saying to me “you wanted a confirmation? Here is your confirmation!” The rest as they say is history.
I am writing this blog today just to help someone out there, God does hear our prayers and knows what we desire each and everyday. We need to be persistent in our prayers. Like Apostle Paul said “we should pray without ceasing”. That meeting led to us spending a busy few days, moving them out to our house for accommodation, setting up appointments and meetings with various non profits, showing them Harare and going to church together. All this did not make sense to me because they arrived on a Thursday afternoon towards end of day and on a Friday most organizations close off at 1pm so it didn’t make sense why they had chosen to arrive at that time and not have much time to see and talk to a lot of other people. They only had Monday as the full working day before leaving for the US on the Tuesday. I realised months later that because it was orchestrated and planned by God, it really did not have to make sense to my human mind. In hindsight everything started making sense and the will of God to this day continues to be revealed. This is really just an abridged version of this life changing experience.
Exactly a year later Nhaka Foundation and 2 Seconds or Less (2SOL) has a remarkable relationship based on trust, accountability, integrity and our faith in God. We are working in 2 schools now changing the lives of hundreds of children through our programming and belief in the Word and power of God. Though we are thousands of miles apart with our counterparts the divine connection and link makes this distance seemingly small. We are preparing for the third visit by Team 2SOL and proud of the partnership that is growing.
God has been faithful all the way since then, 90% of our current funding is coming from Christian funders both individual and organizational. A sharp contrast to funding experiences I have had. God must really have a funny sense of humour!
Friends, be encouraged and may God meet you at your point of need. We pray not to obtain our will in heaven, but to effect God’s will on earth.
Friday, February 1, 2013
Along time ago, whilst I was still in primary school, our class teacher told us that in order to wish for success and good things for the new month, you had to say rabbit, rabbit, rabbit on the minute you woke up on the first day of the month. As I woke up this morning, I said this and then did my morning prayers. This teacher, who I have stayed in contact with since 1994 left an indelible mark in my heart and as a student in primary school i was always touched by the warmth, generosity and the extra mile that our educators took in teaching us and walking with us.
Nearly two decades later, I find myself in the position where I am required to show the warmth and kindness to the hundreds of children our programs are impacting. Going back to those many years I have very fond memories of our primary school, the study trips we took to the museum,heroes acre, nature game parks and many more. Our teacher would put in the effort to ensure that we have exposure and that we see the world. For some of us coming very poor backgrounds this was the only excursion that we could enjoy and thus we looked forward to these every single time.
I am grateful to my 4th grade teacher not only for opening up my world view but also for affording this poor child a chance to realize that dreams and aspirations can be met if only a person decides to work hard.
As a person who did not have the opportunity to go to an early education centre, I have grown to realize that there are many things that I missed out on. The learning through play, establishing friendships and developing various skills would have helped for sure. I am privileged and honored to do the work I do, touch the lives we do and ensure that every little kid has the opportunity to access early education as well as supplementary feeding so that they grow into responsible citizens not only of Zimbabwe but of the world.
To my 4th grade teacher, words are not enough to thank you for all you did for the whole class and for believing in us!
Thursday, January 10, 2013
I pray this finds you well 10 days into the new year! Team Nhaka is very excited about this year especially about ensuring that we move forward stronger as a team, our increased passion and desire to see all the children accessing equal opportunities for their growth and development.
As we begin this year I thought it would be interesting for me to share with you some of our resolutions for this year. We sat down as a team to discuss the different things that we wanted to accomplish in 2013 and how we could do these things effectively and in a manner that builds up accountability first to the donors and partners and secondly to the communities that are being served. We looked at how in 2013 we want to ensure that community participation becomes key in the transformation of the same communities from being receipients of aid to communities that have solutions and that are able to also be givers and "donors" in their own right. In this the team was cognisant of the fact that many organizations operating in Zimbabwe are offering and applying a bandaid to the problems that communities face and not an actual treatment and follow up mechanism.
We are determined in 2013 to make sure that we support the empowerment process of the grandmothers, uncles, aunts, grandfathers as caregivers of orphaned children as well as strengthening our parenting programs where we want to make sure that the caregivers have got the requisite knowledge, skill and resources to offer solutions to the challenges they face on a daily basis. In doing this we are ensuring that we are leaving a lasting legacy but more importantly the strength based approaches to development will leave the communities ready to take head on the burden brought about by caring for additional members of the family.
We also intend to ensure that Nhaka Foundation is well resourced to carry out its work and that we are able to ensure that no child or community is left out of the circle. It is important that we do not spend much time looking at the resource side of things but that we concentrate and put a lot of effort to ensure that the communities are able to stand up and walk without any outside assistance. In this regard I was asked to have more "fierce" conversations with our friends and partners as we ask you to join in this mission and ensure that we reach out to the children and communities.
Team Nhaka aims to ensure that the Preschool program is more robust and is able to provide quality early learning for the thousands of children in our operational areas. Riding on the back of our recent approval to work in all the schools in Mashonaland East Province, we want to ensure that each district has a preschool program being implemented and that access to early education and development remains at the centre of our work. All parents are interested in helping their infants and young children learn and grow. Through parenting meetings and activities, they learn more about their children’s development and how to stimulate more learning in their children. They learn the importance of play to their infants and young children’s development, and this knowledge and experience empowers them to be their children’s most important teacher.
Friends, brace up as 2013 is going to be exciting and we all need to get our hands dirty as we work to be the change we wish to see in the world!