Our main project took place at Nagle House, an all-girls catholic high school in the centre of Marondera. By the end of the group’s stay in Zimbabwe, we had a group of about 25 committed girls, all outfitted with the gis that we bought or that were donated to FairFight. Fortunately for the girls, Nagle House agreed with Sensei Gerald to let the girls train once per week, a schedule that Gerald and Senpai Wallen Mapondera managed to keep going throughout the year. As it always goes with karate, some girls left after a while, under pressure from school work or from their families, and new girls came to train instead. Despite great personal difficulties, Gerald managed to keep a group of 15 girls on track for their yellow belts, and we feel it important to remind ourselves that he did this unpaid, purely for the love of martial arts.
Although we tried our best, we were not able to resolve the logistical issues with Monte Cassino mission school, which we were only able to visit once in January. This school is so remote that Gerald could not make his way there once we were gone and there was no car at his disposal anymore. We will go back to give a self-defense workshop there next January, but we do recognize that logistics matters when it comes to the long-term commitment of our local martial arts teachers! Instead, we will be opening a new project at a second school much closer to Marondera, which Gerald will be able to support once we go.
With only four weeks to go until we return, we’d like to thank you once again for your support of the project!