THE Zimbabwe Achievers Awards is set to honour Vuli Mkandla, the founder and director of Zimbabwe Educational Trust (ZET), at a gala dinner set for Leeds in the UK on Saturday.
The 79 year-old has spent his entire life championing education in Zimbabwe and the UK, and at his age is still working tirelessly to improve the lives of disadvantaged children.
The event will be hosted by Dumi Senda, an internationally acclaimed poet and author.
Born in Bulawayo, Mkandla, worked in Zimbabwe as a primary school head teacher and for the Ministry of Education, before travelling to the UK to study an Educational Administration course.
From 1975 to 1999 he worked for Leeds City Council as the area administrator for youth services.
In 1987, Mkandla established the Zimbabwean Educational Trust – which helped over 1,000 young Zimbabwean nationals to travel to the UK and access higher education over a seventeen year period.
In 2012, in recognition of this work, Mkandla was presented with the ‘Lifetime Contribution Award’ by the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards.
“Mkandla is a perfect example of a Community Champion,” said Conrad Mwanza CEO of Zimbabwe Achievers Awards.
“For years he has been pushing other people’s agendas, and even after retirement he continues to give back to the community.
“People like Mkandla are the inspiration behind Zimbabwe Achievers Awards, and he is a deserving recipient of the ‘Lifetime Contribution Award’.”
Not content with this success, Mkandla now has his sights set on improving access to primary education for vulnerable children within Zimbabwe.
The latest achievement in a remarkable life has seen him secure funding from the Department for International Development’s ‘Global Poverty Action Fund’ to support ZET’s project in Bulawayo which helps children access the legal documents they need to enrol in school.
Regarding this project, International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone said: “Making sure children have access to education is critical if they are to achieve their full potential.
“Too often boys and girls in the developing world are unable to go to school because they don’t have the right legal documents, so I am delighted that DFID funding means Zimbabwe Educational Trust can provide free legal services that will help children get the documents they need.Advertisement
“This will help 15,000 orphans and vulnerable children in Zimbabwe go to school, so they can get better jobs, support their families and lift themselves out of poverty for good.”