Due to economic isolation and internal political instability, 72% of the population live below the poverty line.
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.
The Houtberg Childcare Centre gives orphaned and abandoned children a new start in life, by caring for them and preparing them for an independent future. A secure children’s compound, on a farm at Chipinge, it includes pigsties, hens, ducks, and a vegetable garden.
It provides a place of shelter and schooling. School fees are a big burden for many families, so often children cannot attend. The children from the Houtberg Childcare Centre are able to attend school, with all their equipment and uniform provided, in order to access the skills they will need to care for themselves in later life.
The 19 children live as a family and learn agricultural skills, essential if they are to survive in this rural economy.
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. They have also begun a goat farming initiative.
In 2015 we were able to enclose and irrigate the vegetable garden, improving productivity, and in 2016 we have secured funding to enclose and irrigate a much larger plot of land, which will be farmed on a commercial basis to provide further income for the home, increasing the sustainability of the project.