Due to economic isolation and internal political instability, 72% of people in Zimbabwe live below the poverty line.
Four year-old *David was found by police officers after being abandoned by his relatives in a busy part of the district. They have been unable to trace his family, and social welfare officers brought him to the Houtberg Childcare Centre when lines of enquiry dried up.
Our partners say: “Time and again these children are found here and there. It has proved hard to end child abuse and neglect. It shows that institutions caring for children in this situation should always be there.” Thanks to the support of our donors, Houtberg Childcare Centre offers the stability and love these children need.
What are the challenges ?
Political coercion has become a feature of life in Zimbabwe, leading to the confiscation of land and the threat of violence. It is difficult to obtain food, fuel and other necessities and HIV/AIDS has had a significant impact.
How is Global Care helping children in poverty in Zimbabwe?
The Houtberg Childcare Centre gives orphaned, abandoned and abused children a place of safety. Referred to the centre in Chipinge by social workers or community leaders, children receive loving care, access to education and preparation for an independent future.
The centre provides a place of shelter and schooling. School fees are a big burden for many families, so often children do not receive an adequate education. The children from the Houtberg Childcare Centre are able to attend school, with all their equipment and uniform provided, in order to learn the skills they need to support themselves in later life.
The 19 children live as a family and learn agricultural skills at the centre, essential if they are to survive in this rural economy. Children stay at the centre as long as they need to – some stay only months, because when social workers identify a family connection able to care for them, they move on. Some children stay for years.
Global Care has tried to improve living conditions. In recent years we have secured funding to open a new borehole and to reconnect the electricity supply, as well as helping to restock the vegetable gardens – which shrivelled and died without a supply of water – and to help them farm the remaining land.
In 2015 we were able to enclose and irrigate the vegetable garden, improving productivity, and in 2016 we secured funding to enclose and irrigate a much larger plot of land, which is being farmed on a commercial basis to provide further income for the home, increasing the sustainability of the project. In spring 2019 Cyclone Idai destroyed crops and damaged buildings at the centre. Generous donors from Global Care raised over £11,000 at Harvest 2019, towards feeding costs for the current year while new crops were being planted, and the centre was blessed with a bumper harvest in 2020, bringing in over 4.5 tonnes of maize.
How can I help children in Zimbabwe?
You can sponsor at child at the Houtberg Centre, from £25 per month, or choose to partner with this project., from £18 per month. Regular monthly gifts create stability for the centre, enabling staff to plan ahead and develop the work further.