On January 8, FairFight is heading back to Marondera, Zimbabwe, to reunite with Sensei Gerald Muusha and the group of karateka-girls of Nagle House High School. We've got big plans for this year: pushing our existing group of girls to the next level, both in belt exam gradings and competition skills, bringing in a whole new group of girls into the karate-fold at Nagle House, re-tying with our friends at Monte Cassino Mission School and Peterhouse School, and bringing Martial Arts to a new school in Marondera: St Francis. Before we take off on the (very) long journey back to Zimbabwe, here is a retrospective of our preparations.
the eucsa ZIM 2016 group
You've already met our new Martial Arts recruits, Pearla, Mark and Floris, but we're also taking with us a group of 9 students from Erasmus University College Student Association who have assisted us since September in fundraising, managing equipment and will now we taking part in FairFight activities in Zimbabwe. There are some martial artists in the group, representing Wadoryu karate and Jiu Justu but for most of them this will be a whole new experience. We're proud to introduce to you:
Planning Zimbabwe 2016
Planning for Zimbabwe 2016 was easier than planning our first project on the one hand: since we already know the community, we knew what to expect. Sensei Gerald has been keeping in touch with us throughout the year, sending us photos of the girls as they progress in their karate skills. On the other hand, bolstered by last year's success, we were keen to offer more in 2016 than just a repeat of what we did the previous year. Planning this adventure was all the more challenging that one of our board members, Emma, was thousands of miles away in South Korea on student exchange, and two of our new members, Pearla and Mark, lived in different countries in Europe. Thanks to the power of Skype (and other useful apps), we were able to keep things rolling and come up with a plan that would expand our existing project, reinforce ties with our community partners, and extend it to new schools. There is always a danger of over-planning these things - probably a very Dutch habit! - we know from experience that in Zimbabwe things have a pace of their own. We expect that, like last year, our trip will require much making-it-up-on-the-spot. After a final board meeting on Tuesday, Simone left for Zimbabwe to join Alex in on-the-ground planning before we all join them on Saturday.
Final fundraising tally
As a final note before we take off, we'd like to thank you once again for your very generous support of FairFight across our numerous fundraising activities during this campaign: self-defence seminars, documentary screening, sponsorship and various other donations, but in particular, we'd like to thank once again the largest donors of the Zimbabwe 2016 campaign:
Thanks to these associations and all our other donors, we received around 4400 euros in fundraising, and over 30 gis and belts in donations.
If this picture is anything to go by, you will have some idea of the impact that your donations will have in Zimbabwe. Thank you all once again and see you in Zim!