Taringana Guranungo (21) is on a break from Dartmouth College in the USA where he is currently studying engineering science with an emphasis on electrical engineering. He began studying in 2014 and will graduate in 2018 with a degree thanks to financial support by Makomborero Zimbabwe.
Makomborero Zimbabwe is a locally registered trust helping to alleviate poverty in Zimbabwe through education, with a particular emphasis on assisting orphans or children from disadvantaged backgrounds. It was founded in 2010 by Zimbabweans Mark and Laura Albertyn to assist A’level students to achieve the best possible results and to help them get scholarships or grants for further study.
Guranungo completed his Form 4 at Mufakose High, but his family struggled to pay for him to do his A-levels, let alone attend one of the most prestigious universities in the USA. With the assistance of Makomborero (a word which means ‘blessing’), Guranungo passed his A’levels at St. George’s College with flying colours. He went on to be accepted into the United States Student Achiever’s Programme (USAP) which helped him apply for a full scholarship for his university studies in the USA.
Each year Makomborero provides scholarships to eight promising students who have just completed their O’levels. Students are selected from high density schools in Harare based on both their academic prowess and their character and enrolled at one of three top private schools – St. George’s College, Gateway High School, or Hellenic Academy.
Makomborero scholarships are mainly awarded to students interested in studying science subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology and commercial subjects like accountancy, business management and economics. These areas of study are seen to be the most needed in Zimbabwe and with the highest potential to help alleviate and address issues of poverty. Makomborero students have gone on to study medicine, pharmacy, engineering and other subjects at the University of Zimbabwe and at universities abroad.
The students are expected to give back by helping out in the community and teaching other upcoming students. Right now Guranungo is helping to put together a mobile science laboratory which will allow students at government schools to conduct scientific experiments. He is also offering advice and motivation to other disadvantaged students wanting to go on to study at different universities.
Makomborero provides students with a secure and safe home to stay during the week while they study, and all the necessary resources to make their studying as easy as possible. This includes school uniforms, tuition fees, exam fees and accommodation. At present, there are 17 students in the programme – 6 girls and 11 boys – living in the new Makomborero Resource Centre in Marlborough under the watchful eye of house mother, Dinnis Banga.
Makomborero also helps support rural schools and high density senior schools by providing textbooks and other vital resources. They host revision classes during the August holidays each year and are also looking to assist infant and junior schools in Harare’s high density areas in the near future.
Although Makomborero has received generous support from a number of different corporates, they are always in need of funds for accommodation and tuition fees.
Image: Taringana Guranungo, currently studying in the USA thanks to Makomborero Zimbabwe.