ADRA Zimbabwe: Serving the local population since 1980
Following the dire economic situation of the early 2000s, Zimbabwe has shown great improvement. To match this progress, ADRA Zimbabwe has shifted focus from immediate emergency relief to longer-term development, implementing programs that address nutrition and food security, WASH, and higher standards of health for infants, children, and mothers.Make a difference around the world
Did You Know?
To date, 71,598 people have benefited from our partnership with the UN food assistance relief program, which reduces the cost of cereals.
We facilitated more than 1,300 farmers in forming a network of community gardens to improve nutrition and income potential.
More than 200 families have sustainable access to food through livelihood activities rather than direct food aid.
We finished a farmer recovery program that contributed $1 million for crops and livestock to farmers around the country.
At least 1,455 students will benefit from our three-year classroom construction plan, which includes latrines and hand-washing stations.
Ten-year-old Plaxedes was so excited about her new school in Zimbabwe that she went to class early. About three months early. The foundation had only just been laid when she arrived at the site of her future school—one of 10 ADRA classroom blocks being built in the Gokwe North District—and offered to help.
Community members tasked with molding the bricks gratefully released their children into her care, and every day Plaxedes returned to the site to babysit.
Her hopes took shape with the building, and as the walls went up, Plaxedes dusted off a dream that she had long thought impossible: to become a nurse.
“Six months ago, I thought I could never be a nurse,” the second-grade student said. “But when I look at the school that ADRA is building, I am now positive that I can be.”
Before ADRA’s classrooms, Plaxedes was going to school in a dimly lit mud hut with only a log for furniture. The small and uncomfortable space made learning difficult; the rainy season made it virtually impossible. Plaxedes attended as often as possible, but she began to lose faith in her goals for the future. She knew this mud hut classroom could not give her what she needed.
These mud hut classes are common in Gokwe North, where the nearest proper school is often beyond walking distance. Because they cannot afford to send their children so far away, communities build these “satellite schools” of mud and sticks in the belief that a little education is better than none at all.
ADRA came to the area with a plan to build five schools in five local villages. Each school comprises two classroom blocks, two latrines, one hand-washing station, and a rainwater-harvesting tank. The combined enrollment of these schools is 1,455 students.
That means Plaxedes and 1,454 other children have the chance to develop their dreams and imagine a new future. And for many of these students, their dreams may now very well come true.
“I am thankful for this school,” said Plaxedes. “Education brings me hope.”
Having lost both her parents to AIDS, Mercy lives in an orphanage outside of Harare, Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, the orphanage lacks access to clean water, making Mercy one of the many children living in Zimbabwe at risk of diseases like cholera. Contaminated water and improper sanitation are the primary reasons for cholera outbreaks, and children are among the most vulnerable to its deadly impact.
ADRA’s well-drilling project provides safe and clean drinking water for children like Mercy.
Members of the community had attempted four times to drill wells for the orphanage, but due to poor infrastructure and lack of proper drilling tools, these attempts had failed. The orphanage was left unable to provide the children with safe drinking water and a sanitary environment.
ADRA decided to give it one more try, bringing new and advanced drilling technology to assist in the orphanage’s efforts. After hours of drilling, the team finally hit water and installed a water pump for the orphanage. The precious gift of water was not lost on Mercy, the children, and the community leaders, who celebrated and rejoiced at the sight of water flowing.
ADRA has installed 21 wells in severely affected rural areas of Zimbabwe. Donations from all around the world provide ADRA with the resources needed to give communities access to clean water, such as drilling trucks and pumps. Now children like Mercy don’t have to travel miles for water, can avoid deadly waterborne diseases, and have a chance at a brighter future.
Tsitsi, her husband, Isaac, and their five children had been receiving food aid for their family to survive. Where they live in Zimbabwe, it’s not uncommon to remain in a cycle of food aid for years because it’s difficult to start over when conditions haven’t changed.
Tsitsi and her family were ready to finally become self-reliant.
ADRA’s Beyond Food Aid program helps families become self-reliant and healthy through a system of agricultural and livelihood support.
As a coping mechanism after food aid support, Tsitsi joined one of ADRA’s Beyond Food Aid initiatives. The program seeks to provide a livelihood option for those who have been discharged from food aid support or are recovered enough to undertake livelihood activities.
“ADRA realized that I was now fit enough to be able to be discharged [from food aid] and work for my family. They paired me with a lead farmer in a Ruwa garden who would assist me to grow crops to feed my family, and they helped us start a chicken project in which we sell and eat some of the meat from the chickens. I was also able to attend different trainings in crop production, health and hygiene, and nutrition; these were very helpful, as I learned how to grow the food and also how to prepare it in a way that would help my family to be healthy. ADRA provided me with seeds, skills, and someone to assist me; I can now fend for myself and the family,” says Tsitsi.
ADRA Zimbabwe came up with this initiative after noting high levels of relapses and readmissions into the food aid program and decided to design a program that would be a sustainable source of nutritious food. Tsitsi is one of the 20 former food aid recipients who have joined one of ADRA’s nutrition garden programs, and there will be many more to come.
Capacity Statement OverviewADRA Zimbabwe has transitioned out of disaster relief into long-term development. Accordingly, we have facilitated the formation of more than 1,300 farmers into a community garden network. Occupying 50 hectares (124 acres) across nine different gardens, this extensive network of individuals allows for collaboration in all stages of the process, including contributing seeds, maintaining the garden, and reaping the produce for sale or consumption. Originally intended for subsistence, these gardens have started to supply reputable retailers in Harare, generating more income for more crops.
Our Capacity Statement further highlights the projects, programs, and people of ADRA Zimbabwe. Download the ADRA Zimbabwe Capacity Statement
Country OverviewZimbabwe has survived extremes of both poverty and violence, and only recently has begun to stabilize. Many educated Zimbabweans have emigrated, the political system is corrupt, and hunger is still rampant. Additionally, racial tensions run deep in Zimbabwe, creating conflict over land and business ownership.