Important news: Plans for the closure of the charity please continue to donate in 2021

Since our formation, Friends of Hlekweni has been able to support schools, peace education partners and the Zimbabwe Secondary Bursary Scheme using donations from a dedicated group of donors in the UK and internationally. Our small volunteer team in the UK and partners in Zimbabwe have used this money to best effect by keeping expenses low and, with your co-operation, spending the money where it counts most.

Over the last few years we have been looking ahead at how we can continue this work effectively and reliably.  We now think that our small team will find our work untenable at some point in the near future. Rather than face the likelihood of the work coming under increasing risk and stress we have agreed to bring our activity to a managed closure.  We are proposing that 2021 should be our last full year of operation and that the charity should be formally closed down in 2022. This decision has not been taken lightly. All of us have been in contact with the realities of life in Zimbabwe for some years and know full well that needs of the people will be no less in the future.

We are committed to fulfilling our undertakings to support those learners currently in the Zimbabwe Secondary Bursary Scheme to complete their secondary education. To do this we will provide the Scheme with an endowment to pay all future fees. We will also provide grants to schools and peace partners to continue our support into 2022.

To have sufficient funds to provide final grants at the end of 2021 we warmly encourage our generous supporters to continue regular donations – or consider a final donation. We can get funds directly to support needs in Zimbabwe

Stakeholders and partners have been contacted directly. We are working together with our partners to the utmost for the remaining time and resources available to us.

We want to celebrate the achievements of FOH building, as it does, on that of Hlekweni itself in the years 1967 to 2014, of Friends and supporters in the UK and Zimbabwe working together as partners.

Over £750,000 has been raised during the life of FoH – to date! Please give generously in this final year.

Contact info@friendsofhlekweni.org.uk for any further information

(May 2021)


Our Origins

Friends of Hlekweni was originally set up to support the work of the Quaker-run Friends Rural Training Centre at Hlekweni, near Bulawayo which, from 1967-2014, provided post-school training in vital occupational skills such as agriculture, building, early years education, and sewing, underpinned by Quaker values of equality, sustainability and peace. Through the generosity of many people, hundreds of trainees were helped.

Friends of Hlekweni has supported Samathonga Primary School for many years, particularly through a feeding scheme (now including breakfast as well as lunch), books and equipment.

In 2015 our objectives expanded to include:

  • helping a wider range of schools improve the quality of the education they provide to all students through improved provision including better books, equipment and buildings;
  • supporting individual students who otherwise cannot afford to pay education fees, including many orphans and some able secondary students;
  • encouraging and training teachers to offer their pupils training in peace-building techniques and the non-violent resolution of conflict,
  • supporting school-based feeding schemes which are known to incentivise attendance and improve educational outcomes for their recipients,
  • the relief of hardship in selected cases.