Thursday, December 6, 2012

Looking back...

Dear Friends,

On the  6th of December 2011, I was sitting in a very quiet area in the garden near our house and my mind was deep in thought. I was thinking of the year ahead and how the organization was going to be implementing its strategy. Sitting in that corner, I had lots of memories going through my mind. The travel to different destinations around the world, being trained, conducting trainings, speaking on behalf of children in the areas we served and going out to establish friendships and partnerships all played out in front of me.

As 2011 drew to a close, one thing was very clear to me. I had to stand up, double my efforts in working with children, whether orphaned or not and working with communities to reposition them as the first line of defence on matters that concern children. That was clear in my mind that this mandate I felt was God given had not yet been removed from my heart and I had to work harder. The odds for this were against me in all spheres as I looked around, trying to extricate myself from historical issues that had put a setback on my life and the future of children that we had worked with for years. How do you get up, how do you move forward, where do you find resources and how do you ensure that you have run the race and completed it?

At that time I probably was facing the turning point of my life and it was not clear how all this would play out but surely in this season God has been at work and has revealed in hind site now how those questions had already been answered. One of the things that have kept me going has been my faith. Believing in the power and word of God has kept me focussed, grounded and above all having belief that the impossible can happen. The grace of God has been visible in all facets of my life. My family has grown stronger in the Lord, my wife has been a true pillar of support whilst our daughter has provided the humour when I have gotten home thinking that there is nothing to be cheerful about.

Exactly a year later on 6 December 2012, this year has been nothing short of miraculous. We have been introduced to new partnerships and friendships that have been so remarkable in my life. From people that have been sending me very encouraging emails, supporting us financially and linking us with other new friends and partners. Some people though I desire to mention them by name but cannot do so, have been so gracious to see us through some teething problems and challenges. Though at times it has been difficult to approach them at first but after doing so and providing the requisite information, they have come through for us in ways that makes my heart melt. Melting with a joy that cannot be expressed.

Nhaka Foundation is where it is today because of the strong belief we have in that the little orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children of Zimbabwe can be the future doctors, lawyers, presidents, pilots, teachers and professionals that they desire to be.  Because someone believed in the potential that lay within me so many years ago, I want us all to believe in these little kids. Lets strive to raise them up in a caring and nurturing environment.

I am grateful to all our friends that have worked with us this year and that have become an integral part of the family called Nhaka Foundation. Let us join hands again in 2013, raise the level of support a notch higher and take time to do those things in life that really do matter and that save lives. Lets leave a lasting legacy!

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.-Albert Schweitzer

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

One month later...

Dear friends,

In the past few days dark clouds have been hovering over the Goromonzi District as students, parents, farmers and the like keep their fingers crossed for a start to the rainy season. Though officially the rains are expected to start falling continuously on the 15th of November any rain drops right now will bring in some respite to the dry and parched lands.

Earlier this month the beautiful Jacaranda trees started blooming and with it the thought of writing exams struck the children. The children have been in the middle of writing their exams and we are hopeful that those that put in time to study will do well. As the year is slowly drawing to an end Team Nhaka has been working hard to ensure that the plans for the next year are firmly in place and that we are able to deliver service, support and work with the communities to create sustainable mechanisms for orphan care.

We visited one school that benefitted from the Preschool renovation program a month after the official opening of the two block classroom and we were excited by how the children and teachers have embraced their new class and are learning in a clean, spacious and health environment. The different creativity corners, science and discovery areas and the drawings by the children that have been put on the walls melted our hearts as children chanted different rhymes.

My heart aches when certain communities fail to embrace the issues of ownership and sustainability. When parents and caregivers feel that they will always be recipients of donor aid in the form of cash handouts, food packs and school fees assistance whilst they are not doing anything. Team Nhaka has for the past 4 months been working in one such community that has been slow to embrace the fact that they have to work hard in order to provide the best for their children and community. At times when the team reports back in meetings, the easiest option is to simply to write to donors for a particular project and tell them we are dropping the project. However because in Romans 5:5 we read that “because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” we then have a renewed conviction of working with everyone and leaving no child behind. Nhaka Foundation aims to “leave a lasting legacy” and the team has realized that this is not going to be easy and we need to continue moving forward and providing guidance and direction to the communities.

Love is the utmost virtue in life! “Love is patient, kind, not jealous, not proud, not rude, not selfish, not irritable, not unforgiving,not glad about injustices, but rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails”

As we move forward we thank God for the people and organizations who have blessed us in so many ways and opened up the way for the work we are doing. Without love and a gentle spirit, as human beings we end up not fulfilling the will of God for our lives. My challenge to you friends today is to ask you: what legacy are you going to leave behind?

Please “Like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter on@NhakaFoundation .

Until next time,


Love is the greatest power in life! 1 Cor. 13:13

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Dear Friends,

I pray this finds you well.  The past month and a half has really been hectic for the team and myself. On a daily basis we have been up and about involved in life changing work and sometimes being game changers in key policy meetings with different stakeholders. All this has come through our policy of influencing the conversations that happen in communities and at a national level. These conversations we believe, should have children at the centre and should be concerned about ensuring that the child who is not accessing early learning facilities is able to get such services.

As you may all now by now, yesterday, 25 September 2012 we were part of the huge crowd of up to 400 adults plus 1200 children who came to witness the official opening of a two classroom block preschool. This indeed was a momentous occasion not only for us as an organization but for the community as well. What struck me the most was the fact that speaker after speaker spoke about community involvement in all issues to do with children and how it is important to provide early access to education for the children whether orphaned or not, vulnerable or not.

Team Nhaka has been at the forefront of making sure that the communities are directed towards using their energy for the development of their schools and public facilities. This morning I was reflecting on the work we have carried out this year as an organization and looking at the impact made, number of children reached, the perceptions on early education that we have changed and the influence we have put in high level meetings on early childhood development. All the work has been amazing and I wondered how such a small, youthful and under resourced team would do all this. As I reflected on all these things my spirit was led to the Book of Nehemiah chapter 4, where Nehemiah writes about the dangerous work he is doing in Neh ch4:11, how extensive it is in Neh4:19 but however he expressed satisfaction because the work he was doing was GREAT! Neh 6:3. 

Friends, I think the work we are doing is great! The level of community involvement, the number of children who have been reached and supported make us very happy and willing to continue this work. Your involvement, support and prayers have pushed us forward with zeal and determination. God bless you!

Finally friends, in all our endeavours, in all our work and indeed in our lives, let us continue to reaching out to those less fortunate than us. This we should not do because we feel it is right but we should do it because it is demanded of us in James 1 vs 27: "Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” 

Until next time,


Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.
-Edmund Burke

Monday, September 17, 2012

One child at a time...

Dear friends,

Last week schools reopened for the last term of the year. The once quiet school classes and grounds are now filled up with children chasing each other up and down having fun and catching up with their friends.

Being back in school allows the children to learn and equip themselves as they grow in this increasingly challenging world. My memories of my school days as a youngster always bring tears to my eyes. Back then everything would function well, teachers would come to class on time, we had stationery bought through the fees that our parents paid and we even managed to go on organized tours to different parts of the country. I never went to a private school were in modern day reality the above experiences are part of the daily private school life. Government run schools back then used to be the pride and envy of communities surrounding them as everyone would rally behind their local school and contribute in different ways. I even remember too how the social protection system used to work. My gosh, the social welfare department would pay school fees for the under privileged children on time and no one would be thrown out of school for not paying school fees. In fact disbursements of these grants by the social welfare department happened almost predictably before the beginning of each term.

Seventeen plus years later, the government schools are no longer the envy of communities, the school fees assistance mechanisms for the vulnerable children are no longer reliable and parents are no longer as involved with these schools as before. Children are no longer benefitting from organized school trips, unless where they have to pay a huge fee to facilitate such. Indeed times have changed.

At Nhaka Foundation our main thrust is to ensure that all children grow up to become vibrant, contributing members of society and that resources to ensure their growth and development are availed to them. Our work with communities through appreciative inquiry meetings at schools and in community development meetings always inform us that communities, when given the direction, knowledge and a few resources are able to promote the well being and welfare of their children. We are delighted in bringing out the community strength and channeling it towards the protection of orphans and vulnerable children by the community. We absolutely do not believe in giving handouts and in fact in all our work we first ask the communities to provide matching contributions whether through the provision of labour, bricks, sand, water etc so that they realize that the bigger picture lies with them and not us or the supporters of the work we do.

With your continued support, we can do more to ensure that the children live a healthy life and that they are able to reach their full potential. As the old adage says “it takes a village to raise a child”, so it takes you and us to reach out to the children, one child at a time!

Until next time, God bless you!


The events of childhood do not pass, but repeat themselves like seasons of the year.
-Eleanor Farjeon

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Welcoming Team 2SOL to Zimbabwe

Dear Friends,

I pray this finds you all well. Just a quick update on our work. We are grateful that we recently signed a grant with the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa and will in the next few days beginning a preschool program at an identified school in Goromonzi. Nhaka Foundation is also hosting Team 2 Seconds or Less  (2SOL) from the US who began a month long tour of duty this past Monday and are busy at work, establishing community gardens, drilling wells for water at schools and working at one preschool. I am happy that all the plans we had set for the first half of the year were met and accomplished and as we go into the last half it is my hope that we will be able to fulfil the commitments we set out to accomplish this year.

The feeding program is going on very well with generous funding support from ZoomAID UK. On a daily basis a little over 500 children are receiving piping hot meals. As the children patiently stand in line for their turn to be served we really remain grateful of this feeding program. Many of the children are coming from very vulnerable families who are failing to provide consistent meals for their children and additionally a high percentage of the children are orphans.

As always I am always on the lookout for partnership opportunities and new funding partners to enhance the work we are doing and to reach out to new schools and communities. I have found that our appreciative inquiry work in the early learning centres with these communities always reveals hidden interesting initiatives and thoughts focused on improving the lives of the orphans and children under their care. This has always been exciting community meetings for me to participate in. The limiting factor however remains the issue of the funding we need to support their own initiatives. In most cases this does not run into mega amounts but just small enough to get them off an a path to sustainability.

Nhaka Foundation has really done well in being a lean mean machine, if I may call it that, with very low overheads and administrative costs that have to be met. The output of this small team of committed and dedicated individuals is always amazing to me and for that I am very grateful.

This July has been very cold indeed for us here and we are looking forward to some warmer weather in the coming months.

To God be the glory!



It isn't where you came from, it's where you're going that counts.
-Ella Fitzgerald

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Joining forces

Dear Friends,

I pray this finds you all well. It certainly has been a while since I managed to get time to sit down and blog. All as been going on well. Team Nhaka has been busy as always working with communities to bring about sustainable change and development in impoverished communities.

One of my close friends was asking me a few days ago when I was going to stop working like this. My simple reply to this question has always been, we will not stay any day longer after communities have harnessed their strengths, capabilities and are working well looking after their own orphaned, abandoned and neglected children. Not a day longer!

In the past few weeks I have come across some strong willed men and women who are determined to eliminate poverty and provide access to basic education to the children from poor families. This has truly been heart warming and I am very grateful that I have been granted access into the lives of these people and work with them to identify their own strengths that they can utilize to support the children in their care. This has never been easy but they are willing to trying out new approaches as long as they ensure that their children are fed and secure access to education.

As an organization, Nhaka Foundation partners with any organization that has children at heart and that wants to bring about sustainable change and development. All the programs we are managing are going on very well and the Team is very engaged in ensuring that we are not just fire fighting but w are working with the communities to ensure that they continue thriving and providing care to the children long after we have left their communities.

Im going to be writing in a little while about some exciting partnerships that we have been involved in recently. I thank God for the new people and organizations we meet on a daily basis that form interest in joining forces with us in the work being done. As long as it leaves communities with the capacity to revitalize the community safety net, we are up for it!

In the mean time God bless you and thanks for all the support.

Kind regards,


We do not quit playing because we grow old. We grow old because we quit playing.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Busy bumble bees

Dear friends, It has been nearly two weeks since my last post. The whole team has been very busy running with different programs. Where do I start today... Well we were so excited to be a part of the Harare International Festival of Arts, HIFA. 350 children had a fantastic time in shows, meeting artists and being part of the exuberant crowd. I was also excited to see the kids enjoying themselves and how some of them narrated that this brought some respite to them as opposed to being in the orphanages or group homes. We also had vulnerable children being part of the groups the entire week and these are children who were drawn from different communities. Some of the kids were looking after their chronically ill parents and or staying with very aged grandparents. The opportunity to spend one day being pampered was very welcoming to them and brought also relief as these kids are really young to be looking after sick and dying parents. Kudos to the whole team at HIFA for being hospitable and for tickets, food etc. The following week after HIFA schools reopened from the holiday break and Team Nhaka was caught up with the launch of the feeding program at one of the schools we are working with. In the run up to the opening of schools, the Team dealt with a variety of challenges associated with the feeding program. I thank God that everything has gone according to plan thus far and happy to report that Nhaka Foundation has been feeding over 500 children each day since the 11th of May. Our partners at Zoomaid have been very consistent with the funding support to enable this to happen. Happy with the work done so far they have requested Team Nhaka to identify 2 additional schools to add onto the feeding program and by the end of June we should be reaching out to 2000 children many of whom are orphaned or living in vulnerability. It is important to note dear friends, that for myself and the team at Nhaka Foundation it is not about numbers! We are really motivated by the desire to serve these children, give them some sense of food security, make sure that at least they have something in the tummy before they go home to do some work and additionally be able to minister to them. In case you thought it was about the numbers of children being fed, it really is not about that. As we move forward with the feeding I intend to work with the team in forming kids clubs. In these clubs our work will be centred around life skills coaching provision of psycho social support as well as getting the kids connected to the Word of God. I have also been busy working on securing long term sponsorship for our different program's particularly the school fees payments for orphans as well as the preschool or Early Childhood Development program. As I send proposals out and meet interesting people in and out of Zimbabwe I continue to get the sense that God is on top of the situation and that we will secure the funding needed to support the children and communities sustainably. I have received several not so good responses to our funding proposals but the few that have been positive have been very positive! So that spurs us on and our combined faith and hope in the promise from God motivates us to work harder each day. Looking ahead we have exciting stuff to look forward to. We have friends from ZoomAid UK visiting us in June and our family from spending an entire month with us from mid July to August amongst other things on our diaries. We thank God for the work He is doing in us and the relationships that are being created around the world. Amazing conversations are happening about our work and impact on communities as we aim to assist communities solve their own unique problems, feed their own children using community generated resources and send their kids to school. In order to get to that stage your help is needed. We need to reach out to them, teach them how to fish and walk alongside them as true friends showing them all the time how to go back to the traditional methods of community based child care. Well friends, this is just a tiny glimpse of what we have been up to the past few weeks. Thank you very much for your encouraging emails, love and prayers. Until next time, Patrick Makokoro

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Joyful noise...

Dear friends, Team Nhaka in the past week has been going round to schools within our operational area, looking at the infrastructure at schools e.g the state of the buildings, availability of desks, chairs and other learning materials and we saw a lot of differences between the six schools that we visited. Some schools have done well to mobilize local resources that they have then used to spruce up their schools whilst some have continued to fall into dilapidation because the surrounding communities are composed of poor people who even struggle to pay fees for the children. What was remarkable though in theses schools was the fact that the teaching staff are very excited about their work annd are keen to enrol more children in this new term, that has begun today, whilst providing the best service to the children. I am amazed by their professionalism, zeal and desire to continue teaching against the background of very low salaries and absence of appropriate teaching materials. I personally managed to visit two of the six schools and the reports I got from our team corroborate with what I also saw. This goes to demonstrate how Zimbabweans value education and how they continue believing in the educational institutions even though the past twelve or so years have wrecked havoc within that system. I believe working with the communities, we can restore some of the confidence in the education system that was lost during the political and economic turmoil of the past twelve years. With our partners we can harness the community energy towards creating vibrant and self sustaining program's that support the school system. This could be through community school feeding schemes that feed the poor hungry children, community gardening projects to boost vegetable availability and also infrastructural development projects that are aimed at rehabilitating the school classrooms and buildings so that the children are learning in a safe environment. My family lives close to a primary school and this morning at 6:15am the giggling,laughter and voices of excited young children heading to school filled our ears again. Coming back from school break, the kids are headed for another term, this time in winter, to learn, play sport and have fun with their peers. Hearing all this laughter and voices this morning felt like listening to a joyful noise being made as the kids celebrated the return to school. In weeks to come we will be noticing those kids who will be dropping out of class because of fees that will be demanded from them by the teachers. We pray that Nhaka Foundation will have resources to support the vulnerable children who will be affected by this exercise, many of whom are on our lists of children who need support. Until next time, thanks for reading. Patrick Makokoro " Be the change you wish to be"

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Seasons are changing...

Dear Friends,

Our Jan-April 2012 newsletter was sent out by the team last week and as always was very excited to see how God has brought us this far. If you have not received a copy in your email box please send me an email at and I will send it to you. Additionally please sign on the Periodic Updates box on the homepage of our website. Do not be left out on what God is doing in this season. 

Nhaka Foundation is proud to be working again with the Harare International Festival of Arts, HIFA to bring the shows, workshops and fun to the vulnerable children in Harare. During the weeklong HIFA, Nhaka Foundation will coordinate over 400 children being brought to attend shows and participate in workshops with artists. We hope this will stimulate the lives of the vulnerable children, bring about awareness and appreciation of the arts industry and also bring out the hidden artist that is in the children. Hopefully children who are artistically gifted will come out and we can link them to people who can groom them and work with them to develop their talents.

The Team has been busy working on the feeding program that is being launched next Thursday 10 May 2012 at Mapfeni Primary school in Goromonzi. The lists of the children selected to be part of this program are being carefully vetted by the Team as they seek to ensure that only the vulnerable children have been targetted. Support from the school has been overwhelming as they have been already bringing in firewood, bricks, sand and labour during the construction of the schools "culture hut" that is also going to be used as a kitchen to prepare the meals. I am happy to say we are about 85% ready to launch the feeding program.

This morning, one team member has started engaging other surrounding schools, carrying out a needs analysis to identify new schools that will benefit from an expanded feeding and preschool programs. The need is high for additional feeding as well as increasing access to early education. We are determined to provide the best service to the children and making sure that their beautiful voices are heard. Nhaka Foundation will continue making noise until the case for early education is appreciated and access levels have improved significantly.

Nhaka Foundation is the Focal Point for the Zimbabwe Network for Early Childhood Development Actors, ZINECDA, and through this network, we aim to advocate for increased investment by the government, parents and civil society actors. We need to stamp out donor dependency in Zimbabwe and by making such investments the future generations will have the requisite knowledge and training to do things for themselves. The case for investment in ECD is stronger than we may think. Nhaka Foundation is truly engaged in these efforts and initiatives through partnerships and working with like minded organizations and individuals.

Lastly, it is such a blessing to be working with people in Zimbabwe and from around the world who love God, have selfless love and a servant attitude. We are all called to make a mark in the world and to serve others in the ways best known to us.I believe that in serving and helping vulnerable communities find solutions to their problems, God will grow us and bless us. Again to whom much is given, much is expected. Find an excuse to be a blessing in someones life!

God bless you friends, thanks for reading!


Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.
-Marian Wright Edelman

Friday, April 13, 2012

its getting colder in Zim

Dear Friends,

This week has been very busy for Team Nhaka as we work to make sure that we are ready to roll out the feeding program at the schools once schools reopen next month. Construction of a kitchen has started at one of the schools and the progress is exciting. The Team has been putting in long hours developing systems to make sure the feeding goes well and that the beneficiaries are carefully selected. As I write this the Team is out in Goromonzi conducting a training with the School Development Committee.

As we go ahead with this work we are really excited by what God is doing in all our lives as Team Nhaka and how we are drawing a lot of inspiration from our Lord Jesus. Servant leadership being modeled throughout the organization and this makes me very happy and in awe of God.

We are in the process of finalizing my travel itinerary to the US and UK in late May and I am looking forward to connecting with our friends and supporters of the work we are doing in Zimbabwe.

If you need to get in touch with me about this trip please do email me at copying

Until next time!


There are forty kinds of lunacy, but only one kind of common sense.-West African proverb

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter bunnies, chocolates and more....

Dear Friends,

The past week has been filled with fun and lots of opportunities to learn new things. Team Nhaka was involved in community consultation meetings, visiting schools and meeting with different community structures before the school closed for the holiday break. A major highlight of the week was a meeting we had at one of the schools. During discussions, Team Nhaka was negotiating for favorable operational and implementation agreements and the team had put together a strategy that it was hoping to sell to the community leaders. As deliberations moved forward most of the strategy points noted by Team Nhaka became irrelevant as the communities were taking their leadership roles very seriously leaving Nhaka Foundation with little to say but follow the proceedings. Community leaders had frank discussions about the situation of children in their communities and how they as leaders should rise up and defend the defence less children. We were in awe of the fact that this community actually knew the problems and issues affecting the vulnerable children and our opening up to them made them realize that the solution lay within them as opposed to us coming in with the answers!

Towards the end of the meeting one elderly woman stood up and said, " we want to thank Nhaka Foundation for coming to open up this important discussion on the welfare of our children. as mothers we burn inside because traditionally we have not been allowed to speak, but today we found our voices and this community is never going to be the same again!" Very heart warming and exciting stuff to hear. A follow up meeting with this particular community is scheduled for the end of this month.

We are also very excited that Nhaka Foundation got featured on the Kabissa Network this week. View our profile on

It is that time of the year again when we celebrate Easter. As we reflect on how our Lord Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, I would urge us all to look at the less privileged members of our societies and think of how we can be of assistance and relief to them. I am proud to having been saved through the compassion and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Attend church this Sunday, partake of the Holy Communion and fellowship with other believers in joy and celebration of the fact that Jesus died for our sins and our ultimate redemption.

Friends, have a blessed holiday weekend and remember, Jesus died for you and me!



"When we put our problems in God’s hands, He puts His peace in our hearts."

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Why ECD in Zimbabwe?

Dear Friends,

We have received email enquiries in the past weeks concerning our decision as an organization to put emphasis and focus on Early Childhood Development in Zimbabwe. I promised to give exhaustive feedback and in this blog I am seeking to give a bit of background and a brief Zimbabwean country context on ECD as well as what drives our involvement in this work.

The recent history of ECD in Zimbabwe reveals that in 2004 the provision of two years of pre-primary education in Zimbabwe (named ECD A and B) was instituted as a policy directed at all primary schools in order to insert at least two ECD classes for children in the 3-5 years age group. The basis for the formulation of the 2004 policy was a recommendation of the Commission of Inquiry into Education undertaken in 1999. The Commission found that many children in rural and poor communities did not have access to Early Childhood services. The aim of the 2004 policy framework is to make official the ECD programme under the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture. MoESAC, increase equity and access to ECD provisions, and enhance quality education.

The National Early Childhood Development (NECD) programme was addressed primarily to pre-school children in rural areas who had never had access to these services. A community development approach underpinned the roll out of the ECD centres. With limited focus on minimum criteria and lack of capacity at community level to make significant contributions, the standard of facilities and activities varied substantially. In 2004, a national review of the education system recommended that ECD be integrated into education structures rather than running parallel to them.

Most schools have no classrooms for the ECD children. Moreover, the number of children in each class was too large failing to meet the required teacher-pupils ratio of 1:20.  Our experiences in some of the schools show that some of the teachers in ECD have as many as 40 children! In most provinces of the country a critical deficit of trained teachers with ECD qualifications has been discovered. Overall, the ECD A and B classes have been manned by untrained staff (para-professionals) and this practice militates against attainment of quality education. We are then involved together with the Ministry of education in the training of these para professionals so that they provide quality care and education to the children.

The analysis on health and nutrition revealed that many ECD centres in primary schools did not give food to children in school. In fact, children had to bring their own meal from home and in some cases the children had no food. Some of the children were infected from the ringworm/soil helminthiasis (STH) and bilharzia/ shistosomiasis (SCH), worm-parasites affecting their growth and development.

As Nhaka Foundation, we want to ensure that the children in the rural areas access these ECD centers. Our programs are not in competition with the government but are complimentary! We work only in schools that have demonstrated willingness to participate in the renovation, cleaning, upkeep and maintenance of the classrooms once refurbished. These are government schools some built as early as the 1930’s. We are there to make sure that the classes are of a modern standard, have safe equipment for children to use and that the children also get a meal each day.

Nhaka Foundation also then works with nurses from the local clinics who come in to check on the children’s health ensuring that the above mentioned worm parasites are contained and not spreading to other children. This work is not done overnight but is a continuous process of community engagement; activism and lobbying so that they learn the importance of early education, balanced diets and healthy children. That is why our programs are designed with a sustainability model so that these communities are able to move forward after we have moved on from their community to another.

I hope this gives more insight and understanding into how and why we are passionate about early childhood education and development.

Until next time,


When, indeed, shall we learn that we are all related one to the other, that we are all members of one body? Until the spirit of love for our fellow men, regardless of race, color, or creed, shall fill the world, making real in our lives and our deeds the actuality of human brotherhood ˜ until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each others' welfare, social justice can never be attained.
-Helen Keller

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dear Friends,

Just a few weeks ago the government of Zimbabwe, through the Ministry of Agriculture announced that the current farming season had not produced any crops that would be of sustenance to families and thus declared a drought. This means that the government and non-governmental organizations have to once again come in and provide some food aid, financing and other support to ensure that people and communities do not die of hunger.

For those closely following my blogs you will notice that last month I mentioned that the crop situation I saw when I was travelling around the country carrying out an assessment was pathetic. In the remote and most rural areas we drove past field and fields with stunted plants that barely resembled corn or maize. I also mentioned a couple weeks back that even though you could see foodstuffs in the stores, the people just do not have the money to buy the food on the shelves. Friends, families and children in this country are at the brink of starvation and we have to work together to see how we can mitigate the impact of this drought on families.

I am today particularly very thankful to God for the partners He has directed to us. In the next few weeks we will be rolling out programs that will see over 1000 children getting meals in schools. To some this will probably be the only meal of the day whilst to others this will be an add on to the already small measures they are given at home. Our friends at (2SOL) will in the coming months be renovating preschool buildings, starting low input nutrition gardens and feeding the littlest and most vulnerable kids. Through a new partnership with ZoomAID UK we will also be feeding over 500 boys and girls per day first at one school and as the program develops roll out to other schools. This is real time action and a direct response to the threat of drought that is in this country. I am truly grateful to these organizations for stepping up and helping to support the work we are doing in Zimbabwe but more importantly reaching out to the children who without this help will be coming to school and going back home on empty stomachs.

We all can do something to help and thank you to those that have been sending us emails and showing that they can help albeit in a small or big way. As I always say, all hands on deck, lets get muddy as we go all the way to support these children who otherwise have no one else to look up to. Be the change you wish to see in the world!

Until next time,


Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends, never lose a chance to make them.
-Francesco Guicciardini

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Getting the work done

Dear Friends,

I travelled around the South Eastern provinces of the country three weeks ago on a visit that brought me into contact with both small and large non governmental organizations doing work in Zimbabwe. The real purpose of this visit was to establish the actors involved in early childhood programming and to visit some of the projects they were implementing. Before leaving Harare, we made sure that we had contacts in each and every town we were visiting so that we would hit the ground running as we arrived in each place. This proved to be a good plan as we were able to visit a host of organizations doing great work in Zimbabwe.

There were tow striking observations that I made though that really got me thinking about the role small organizations are playing. The first observation was that a lot of small organizations and by small I mean those that had less then 10 employees with about 30% being volunteers, were the ones that were carrying out the work. It seems odd hey but my colleague and I were really shocked because this you would easily think that the big organizations with big staff complements would reach out to the vulnerable communities. Shocking as it were we enjoyed being in the company of the Directors of these organizations seeing their programs and talking to the beneficiaries of the programs, the grandmothers who are being part of a food security program, the youth being given income generating activity skills and the young girls living at risk of HIV infection being given training. Really I was impressed by what I saw as these small organizations were busy at work not worrying about the salaries they need to pay at the end of the month or the office rentals. One director said, Patrick, God knows what we are doing and He is in charge. 

In doing our rounds in the rural areas we saw several big 4x4 trucks emblazoned with logos of other "big" ngo's would zoom past us and at one point I wondered out aloud where these were headed and was told ahh these guys that is what they do here, just driving up and down. In fact I was challenged to phone one of the Program Directors of this big organization, but his phone was unavailable and when we got to Harare, I looked for him only to be told he was attending a conference in Switzerland.

We got back to the fun capital Harrrrare with a mission of visiting each of the "big" organizations to ask them whats going on? but we were overtaken by events as my colleague and I got busy with our own work and organizational activities. As I mentioned when I started blogging, we are going to have some gloves off conversations s I also seek to talk to some of our friends involved in these big organizations. They need to be accountable to donors and not hide behind their fingers and not do the work.

As you can see, my heart is with the smaller organizations as they reach the people at the bottom end of the food chain and can identify with their needs. This is what needs to be done, not to have high walls and large security teams that scare away people who have come to seek assistance, protection and direction.

Until next time, happy reading.


Bearing and nurturing, Creating but not owning, Giving without demanding, This is harmony.
-Tao Te Ching

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pioneering mission

Dear friends, This week has been filled with some interesting insights of where the organization is heading. Part of our thrust and faith is that we should serve people. Thinking of this more made me realize that being a servant is not the easiest thing to do. You are called upon to make very very difficult choices and at most times you have to forgo certain pleasures as you serve other people. To me serving means giving of my time, my skills, knowledge, helping with physical work or sacrificing financial resources for causes that I believe I'm. I have found that in dong so I have learnt and grown a whole lot more as opposed to the days when I just used to expect things to happen for me. One of the things that I am so thrilled about is the ability to model our lives and be able to disciple people through the actions and not just the talk. Today I want to challenge you as you read this, working with us at Nhaka Foundation is not about giving funds towards the programs. You may be out there and saying well ai wish I could help in some way that is not financial. Indeed there is something you can do,like I always say we need all hands on deck. What are to good at doing? How much time do you have to do that which you are good at with a charitable objective in mind? Send me an email and we can discuss this. The reality of the matter is we each have a role to play in this work and it is not purely through giving of financial resources only. Let's join hands and make a difference in the lives of the orphaned children in Zimbabwe. Why pioneering mission? On Thursday morning I felt being called to embark on a pioneering mission to reach out to you all and be able to have face to face meetings, discussions, talks and the like. The form and nature of this is yet to be concretized but this is something that is now on my heart. If you have any ideas on how to further develop this please do send me an email through the various links we have on the Nhaka Foundation website or email above. Thank you very much to all the Nhaka Friends who have been sending us emails, prayers and thoughts. Thanks once again for visiting our Facebook page and for those who haven't please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Today we are launching the 100 likes campaign on Facebook. Go on tell someone about the work we are doing and invite them to like our Facebook page. Till next time, happy blogging. Patrick To change ones life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions. -William James

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Winter sets in

Dear Friends, I pray this finds you well. I woke up very early this morning and decided to go for a long walk. Just 1 kilometer into my walk I decided to turn back and head home because I could not stand the cold air brushing on my face. On my way back I met a number of kids already up and on their way to school, chatting noisily oblivious of the cold. I just laughed in my heart and I remembered the times that I too would not mind the cold as long as I was in great company with friends walking to school. The past few days have given me sometime to put certain things into perspective. We had friends visiting from the US for the first time to Africa and Zimbabwe and each moment I spent with them made me realize the importance of following our passions which ultimately make us realize and live the will of God for our lives. I was stunned by how we got to meet them and to hear the story that led them to come to Africa and to Zimbabwe. This is heart breaking stuff and to believers of the word of God out there, I would say you do not need to see angels in the sky for you to believe that God is there but you need to be aware of the faith enhancers that He sends our way. Through their visit I am excited that our volunteer program has kicked off and log onto our website to see how this is working. We are looking forward to be hosting people from diverse backgrounds and countries as they come to volunteer their time, skills and offer resources to help the children in need. Until next time, love and prayers from the fun capital, Harare! Patrick " One hundred years from today people should not care about what my bank account was, the car I drove, the house I lived in but the difference I would have made in the world" Patrick Makokoro

Friday, March 9, 2012


Dear Friends,

It has been a hectic week for us at Nhaka Foundation. Monday and Tuesday we spent in meetings along side colleagues from Child Protection Society, Child Resource Institute and JF Kapnek Trust. The meetings were to brainstorm and finalize data collection tools for a national survey on actors in Early Childhood development. On Tuesday afternoon the road trips began, with teams going to all four corners of the country to see what is going on. I travelled to East of Zimbabwe and was very shocked by what we saw there. I am not going to pre-empt the survey report, suffice to say that you are all going to have a look at it once we are done in two weeks time. That has consumed much of my time but we are really glad and fortunate enough to have the received funding from OSISA to do this work.

In the same vein we are equally happy to receive three American friends who are visiting from Pennsylvania, Maryland and California. We are excited to be hosting them as Nhaka Foundation and hope that their stay with us will be exciting and rewarding for them! Already we have been part of a hectic schedule with them but I believe this is what we were called to do by god. Being Christians themselves we are very excited that God is at work and rising up young men and women in the US who love God and want to be involved in the work we are carrying out in Zimbabwe. Their visit has brought a lot of confirmation to what I personally feel God has been saying to me about working with children in Zimbabwe. In addition the way we got connected with them is nothing short of a testimony in itself.

It looks like the rains are slowly leaving us, I am not happy with the crop situation that I saw when travelling and I pray that the many hands working to assist in Zimbabwe will be able to help coordinate some form of food relief. It is one thing when you are going around the country and you see that even though there now is food and products in the supermarkets and stores, affording such is the impossible for the majority of the population. With high unemployment in our country and with people unable to access the “Obamas” (the US dollars as they are known in Zim) it remains to be seen how best communities can be supported.

With prayers and love from the fun capital, Harare!


If you look for the good in people expecting to find it, you surely will.
 Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Dear friends,

Just getting back from Goromonzi today made me reflect on a few issues going on in this country. I visited a couple of schools this morning, to see how they are coping, the enrollment levels and the need out there. This helps to inform us of the immediate areas that need urgent action and keeps our fingers on the pulse so to speak. One of the schools I visited which is 45km east of Harare, our capital city which is roughly about a 30 minute ride, had the most depressing classroom site. This school is a high school with 233 children as of today. one class, had 89 children! yes 89 kids all in one class and the furniture for the children made my heart skip a beat. These kids are literally sitting on each other! the head teacher mentioned to me that the kids come as early as 6am to school so as to get the best sitting spot.

Some years back whilst working for Mercy Corps, i was involved in the construction of this one school block that makes up the entire school and in my mind before the visit, I had conjured up an image of a well progressed school with furniture etc. This was not be as what I saw today was shocking. One would easily be forgiven for thinking that the schools closer to the fun capital Hararararrrrre would be better equipped and taken care of. That was not the case and as I left the school I only managed to say to the school authorities that I will be back! that situation is totally unacceptable and I felt God saying we need to act. I have started making some phone calls and I am getting interesting results from local people who want to be involved.

When, when and when? That is my question today. When are we going to be able to be able to support the struggling schools and give help to all these schools. each of them by the way has differing needs but when you look at them you say to yourself this does not take a lot. When are local companies going to rise and give back to the communities around the fun capital. Impact is not measured by what you have managed to do in Harare, in fact as a company your corporate social responsibility program goes further when providing support to outlaying areas such as the above mentioned peri urban schools.

Lastly I have been meeting various representatives/staff from the well to do companies in the fun capital with a view of roping them into the work we are doing. Honestly the economy has not taken off in a manner that gives these companies some funds to leverage but I am saying all it takes is making a commitment to act NOW!

Have a great week friends until next time...


If you can't get people to listen to you any other way, tell them it's confidential.
-Farmer's Digest

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

impacting communities

Dear friends,

I have been part of exciting meetings in Harare with organizations working in Early Childhood and Development as well as humanitarian aid organizations. Since last Thursday we have been trying to coordinate each other to see how we can best respond to the impending food crisis. Zimbabwe did not have a good farming season due to a variety of factors topmost being inadequate preparations and poor knowledge on the changing climate. I am pleased that though funding options for our work is limited, there is a lot of commitment by small organizations to help poor families who face starvation because of the crisis. We are planning as Nhaka Foundation to provide additional feeding to the under 5s through the preschool centers in our area of operation.

In the conversations I have been involved in I have been disheartened but not surprised that the bigger aid organizations operating in this country (sorry, no names to be mentioned) are not reaching out to the really vulnerable people on the ground because of their operational policies, staff compliments, how they get caught up in politics etc, among a host of other issues. These are things that I have always known especially since I used to work for a big aid agency myself. General consensus that has come out in my interactions with fellow colleagues in development buttresses my view that small organizations are in the lead and indeed are the champions in improving the welfare, livelihood and general living conditions of the poor and vulnerable in society. These small organizations are the ones knocking on doors in high density suburbs, in remote villages and tending to the daily issues affecting communities. A case in point, as I wondered aloud to my colleagues one afternoon is that I wonder, how many of these "big" aid organizations receive people from the villages on foot, with their children on their backs or in tow behind them, or receive daily calls on their mobile phones from headmasters in the villages talking about the list of children being sent home because of non payment of a $5 sports affiliation fee? how many of these organizations are welcoming enough and responding to these desperate situations?

Strange enough though, these organizations have funding to pay for high security walls and security guards to not only guard their premises and keep staff "safe" but literally the very same guards chase away the guardians and children who approach their offices for assistance! I am not in any measure trying to start a "war" here but maybe opening up room for discussion on how effectively a dollar is being used by these organizations. I know this does not make me friends in the big organizations operating in this country but let the truth be told. I rest my case.

I am excited to be part of a group of organizations here in Zimbabwe championing for the establishment of a network of small grassroots organizations working in early childhood development. Nhaka Foundation is the lead agency in this effort and we will be updating you, Friends of Nhaka on the progress the consortium makes.

Enjoy the reading and look forward to your feedback.

There is really nothing more to say except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how.
-Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

Patrick Makokoro 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hello and Welcome to  the Nhaka Foundation blog,

At long last, the website is launched! It has been interesting working on the website and putting into perspective the work we have been doing in Zimbabwe. I am very excited to be sharing the website to all of our friends and supporters here in Zimbabwe and abroad. Working with children in difficult circumstances is such a heart moving experience as on a daily basis you get to terms with how difficult life can be for the littlest and most vulnerable children. In days gone by I have been reflecting and engaging in conversations on the fragility of life and the difference we should all strive to make on the life of another human being. 

Someone shared with me recently that " a hundred years from now, it would not matter what her bank account balance was, the sort of house she lived in nor the car she drove but she would want to be counted on the number of lives she impacted and transformed" I think many a time we tend to focus on the earthly treasures and being selfish with the resources given to us and not reaching out to not only orphans and vulnerable children but also to the aged, widows, grandparent headed households, the poor and less fortunate members of our communities. These groups of people are not only found in Zimbabwe but all around the world sometimes being more apparent in the capitals of the "wealthy" nations of the world.

In this blog not only will we be giving you updates of our work, challenges we are facing, news on our programs and the children but we will also give some thought provokers that will get us out of our comfort zones so that we are spurred to give and help the less privileged members of society and most importantly be the difference we wish to see in the world!

"True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new."

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Happy surfing and let the conversations begin

Patrick Makokoro
Nhaka Foundation 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012