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Guest blog post by Fiona Thompson, Director of Ngoko Safaris

PVF holds a designated fund for the Lesedi Schools & Clinic. The project was the brainchild of a Zimbabwean safari guide, Benson Siyawareva, who has worked tirelessly on Lesedi since starting the project with a pre-school in 2014. He is supported from the UK by Fiona & Graeme Thompson, who run a child sponsorship program at the schools and handle fundraising and financing through a UK-registered charity, Ngoko Charitable Trust. Lesedi is totally reliant on private donations and the achievements to date have only been possible thanks to the unwavering generosity of our supporters, many of whom have visited Lesedi.

The following is an excerpt from their most recent report providing updates from the year.



One of our most exciting developments in 2023 has been in Agriculture, driven by our new teacher Mr. Romeo Nyereyemhuka. Thanks to his tireless efforts, plus funding from our fabulous supporters, the secondary school now has several ongoing projects:

  • Vegetable garden with drip irrigation and shade netting, providing regular crops.
  • Chicken project – our second batch of chickens;
  • Rosie’s piggery – is a clean, modern piggery unit. The waste from the pigs is discharged into a bio-gas plant that in turn powers the lighting and heating requirements.

The produce from these projects either supplements our school feeding requirements or is sold locally to generate income. It’s the ultimate win win – the school becomes more self-sustainable, the kids learn amazing hands-on skills and the community sees what is possible in a very barren agriculture area.

Thanks again to Mr. Nyere who has made this happen. A few days before we arrived there was no electricity, and the new batch of chicks were just one day old. Without heat they would all have died, so Mr. Nyere put a charcoal stove in the chicken coop and stayed there all night to ensure the grass bedding didn’t catch alight. That is dedication.


After much deliberation we are offering two streams for the learners depending on their strengths. This will include a more academic stream, with options to focus on sciences or commercial subjects, and a more vocational stream.

Every subject needs one teacher, so it has been a real balance in providing a sufficient breath of subjects / choice vs stretching ourselves financially with too many teachers to fund.

We have recruited four great new teachers and we look forward to welcoming them into the Lesedi family.


We are also now actively recruiting for a metal work teacher. There is a huge amount of work to be done and our plans will inevitably continue to evolve, but we are happy to be offering a range of subjects that should hopefully allow each child to learn, flourish and leave school well equipped for future life.



The clinic continues to grow and expand its outreach, providing essential medical and welfare support to all the Lesedi children and staff along with the wider community.

We support several children with long term health needs as well as the usual injuries rambunctious kids get (although you don’t get too many scorpion stings growing up in the UK!). Lifesaving polio and other immunisations are also provided throughout the clinic catchment area.

The clinic remains a key distribution hub for essential aid programmes such as the World Food Programme for expectant/new mums and their babies. 2023 has been an incredible year for Lesedi with all the construction, projects and secondary school finalisations.

Thank you to the teachers, nurses and support staff who work so hard. You put the heart and soul into Lesedi. Thank you to you our supporters for making this journey possible, for believing in us and for sharing in this dream.

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