Thursday, May 31, 2018

Using Cross-Border Leadership and Networks to Influence National Policy and Implementation

Dear Friends,

Reproducing an article courtesy of the Association of Childhood Education International (ACEI)

Diplomatic Virtues to Build Consensus
“In shaping policies at various levels, there is a need for utilizing multi-sectoral synergies, collaborations and alliances in influencing policy changes and to be respected by government and partners.”

— Patrick Makokoro, Founder of the Nhaka Foundation

Education Diplomacy uses the skills of diplomacy to bridge divides between sectors, diverse actors, and borders to address education challenges and move transformative education agendas forward. The practice of Education Diplomacy includes interactions that cultivate partnerships, create shared value, and shape consensus about mutually beneficial solutions that position education as a force for positive change in the world. Patrick Makokoro, founder of the Nhaka Foundation in Zimbabwe, offers this sage advice for practicing Education Diplomacy to lead and cultivate the partnerships that can bring about transformative change: “Patience and perseverance are virtues; [we can build on] small gains to achieve bigger successes. Confrontation with governing systems results in polarization, and thus relations have to be cordial and professional.” In this way, interactions can create the shared value and consensus necessary for broad-based change.
Collaboration to shape ECD policy
“In shaping policies at various levels,”  Mr. Makokoro says, “there is a need for utilizing multi-sectoral synergies, collaborations and alliances in influencing policy changes and to be respected by government and partners.” 
To advance early childhood education in Zimbabwe, Mr. Makokoro did just that, using Education Diplomacy to build national, regional, and international networks and leverage them to advance national early childhood development (ECD) policy.
Mr. Makokoro founded the Nhaka Foundation in 2007. The Foundation works across all 10 provinces in Zimbabwe and “provides access to education, ECD basic health care, and daily sustenance for the orphaned and vulnerable children in the communities it serves. It provides support to ensure the creation of a physical environment conducive to learning, growth, and the optimal development of all children.” 
Developing Networks for Education Strategy Planning
After several years of direct service, Mr. Makokoro saw the need to coordinate and network with other child service providers. He, therefore, created the Zimbabwe Network of Early Childhood Development (ZINECDA), a national umbrella organization for ECD in 2012. In addition, the Nhaka Foundation is also a member of the Education Coalition of Zimbabwe (ECOZI). Through its leadership and engagement in these two important networks, the Nhaka Foundation was able to participate “fully in the shaping of the education planning through participating in the planning process of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE).” These two networks formed part of the civil society coalition informing Zimbabwe’s Education Sector Strategy Plan 2016-2020, developed with the Global Partnership for Education (
Stakeholder Engagement for Implementing Policy
In addition to influencing Zimbabwe’s national education strategy, the Nhaka Foundation also helps provide oversight for implementation of the strategic plan at various levels, which includes increasing direct access to education in over 30 schools in two provinces of Zimbabwe. In Mr. Makokoro’s words, “Issues of access and quality need to be addressed by harnessing all major stakeholders from the public and private sectors, civil society, academia, professional associations, foundations, donor agencies, and local communities.”
Harnessing stakeholders involves engagement in regional and international networks as well. Mr. Makokoro became a founding member of the African Early Childhood Network, and the Nhaka Foundation also actively participates in the Association for Childhood Education International’s meetings and activities. Mr. Makokoro stresses, “Nations need to begin looking at these cross-country peer collaborations and learning as the gateway to promoting diversity as well as learning from one another.” He sees technology as one of the tools that can facilitate these cross-border collaborations, even at the teacher and classroom level. 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Celebrating growth and transitions

Dear Friends,

New Year, new season here at Nhaka Foundation. This is a season of significant change at Nhaka Foundation, and we’re reminded of God’s awesomeness by Isaiah 43:19- “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”

Having founded and established an organization that is truly responsive to the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Zimbabwe and creating partnerships that have served over 20 000 children in the past 10 years, Patrick Makokoro announced his departure from the day to day role at Nhaka Foundation as of 31 December 2017. Prior to this departure, Patrick supported the mentorship and support of the incoming Director and remains available to support the growth of the organization as it positions itself for the next 10 years of service.

Patrick will continue to support the ongoing work of Nhaka Foundation and its team by joining the board of directors as Board President. Outside pursuing other career opportunities, Patrick will support Nhaka Foundation through partnership development and strategy. While we are saddened by the decision to transition from the day to day role, we are excited by the faithfulness of God throughout his 10 year journey at Nhaka Foundation and we are even more excited for his transition.

Along with the other members of the Nhaka Foundation Board of Directors, we are committed to the mission, vision and values that Patrick and Team Nhaka have created over thze years. To support this transition, Patrick has committed time to work with the new Director and staff to ensure that there is stability, growth and excellent delivery of service through out.

If you have questions about our transition process, please email us at On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff, we are truly grateful as you journey with us supporting the orphans and vulnerable children in Zimbabwe.


Ndaba Nkala

Nhaka Foundation, Deputy Board Chair