5 Charities Operating in Zimbabwe

Charities Operating in ZimbabweZimbabwe is a landlocked Southeast African country where poverty is prevalent. With 39.75% of the population living on less than $2.15 a day in 2019, Zimbabwe faces numerous challenges to overcoming poverty, including drought, famine, disease, corruption and civil conflict. A lack of investment in health care and education and a high dependency on low-yield agriculture that is susceptible to drought, pests and disease have exacerbated the situation. Extreme poverty also recently increased from 30% in 2017 to 42% in 2019, affecting over 6.6 million people. Fortunately, numerous charities operating in Zimbabwe are working to address these challenges and alleviate poverty.

5 Charities Operating in Zimbabwe

  1. The Beatrice Project: A U.K.-based charity established in 2015, the Beatrice Project aims “to provide sanitary protection and training to enable young girls to complete their schooling.” The project now provides 300 girls with vital sanitary protection, reducing gender-based inequality and improving access to education. Without projects like this in place, girls are forced to use unhygienic and uncomfortable materials, which can lead to absence from school and impact their future opportunities.
  2. Makomborero: Makomborero aims to improve lives in Zimbabwe through education, enabling people to change their futures by targeting one of the root causes of poverty. The charity takes a variety of approaches to achieve this aim. In addition to providing scholarships and other financial support to break barriers to education, it has built a mobile science laboratory that has been used by over 100 students, works to expand interest in education and increase standards of learning and provides small business training. Through these initiatives, Makomborero is creating opportunities in a country where unemployment was at 7.4% in 2019 while teaching people to generate and manage income using their available resources rather than relying on loans. Over the last 10 years, Makomborero has funded A-Level education for 195 students, supported 50 students through graduation from Zimbabwean universities and helped lift 67 families out of poverty with its entrepreneurial training.
  3. ActionAid: Since 1997, ActionAid has worked to reduce the impacts of poverty, drought and food shortages in Zimbabwe and provided emergency aid to over 44,000 people. After El Niño caused a devastating drought in 2016, Zimbabwe was rife with malnutrition and starvation: some four million people suffered from a lack of food and water. A persistent threat in Zimbabwe, droughts severely reduce crop production and livestock survival and contribute to food insecurity. Insufficient access to food and water leaves many children too weak to attend school, and women and girls must often wait hours to procure limited water resources. One way that ActionAid is helping is by establishing boreholes to provide communities with safe and long-term access to water. This is helping to reduce the spread of diseases like typhoid and cholera while ensuring that fewer children miss out on education due to lack of a basic resource. ActionAid also works to educate farmers on methods for increasing crop yields and provides loans to help families develop small businesses that will reduce their dependency on unreliable agriculture for income.
  4. Save the Children: Save the Children has provided humanitarian relief and sustainable solutions for combating poverty’s effects on children in Zimbabwe since 1983. Consistent with its larger global mission, the charity emphasizes improving Zimbabwean children’s health, safety and access to education to pave the way for a brighter future. In addition to long-term strategies like investing in education and health care, Save the Children provides emergency aid to help save lives and reduce the impact of disasters. For instance, the charity mitigated the 2018 cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe by instituting “a highly effective clean water, sanitation and hygiene program.”’ In 2022, Save the Children lifted 31,000 Zimbabwean children out of poverty, educated 82,000 and provided health care and nourishment for 54,000. Save the Children’s ongoing efforts are helping to ensure that children in Zimbabwe, and around the globe, have a fair chance at life.
  5. Love Zimbabwe: Love Zimbabwe operates in Zimbabwe and Wales, pairing the Wales community of Abergavenny with the Zimbabwe village of Chinamhora to provide targeted relief for those in need while promoting the benefits of fair trade. In addition to raising funds, working to improve education and providing aid for people in Chinamhora, the charity provides skills-based training aimed at equitable economic growth. It helps people in Chinamhora become more self-sufficient by encouraging them to make and sell arts and crafts, promoting their products, helping them start businesses and working to ensure that they receive fair prices. Love Zimbabwe is also working to improve hygiene and ensure reliable access to clean water in Chinamhora, and has established a community center that offers food, support, water and other vital necessities.

Looking Forward

Despite the numerous challenges that the country faces, these five charities operating in Zimbabwe are creating hope for a brighter future. Their work to reduce the impacts of poverty through both immediate aid and long-term initiatives are improving lives for current and future generations in Zimbabwe.

Isla Wright
Photo: Flickr