Friends of Hlekweni is the UK-based charity whose purpose is to support education and peace-building work  in Zimbabwe, principally in the areas around Bulawayo and, more widely, in Matabeleland. Friends of Hlekweni also aims to help (in small ways) those suffering from hardship, especially young people.

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 the next five years (i.e. 2015 – 2020) our objectives will 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.