Zimkids Orphan Trust

Zimkids Orphan Trust is a neighborhood-based safe haven for orphaned children in impossible circumstances. We are committed to ensuring that the children and their caregivers have access to food and medical care, as well as creative, recreational, vocational and educational opportunities and training in the tools essential for self-reliance so they can grow into productive, healthy adults who are literate, energized, assertive and ready to take initiative for themselves, their families and their community.
Aug 7, 2012

Final Update August 2012

View of center
View of center

Thanks to scores of extremely generous donors, the Adrian Suskin Center for Zimkids is up and running. More photos and the latest news can be found on our facebook page search Zimkids Orphan Trust or our website www.zimkids.com. Let's start, then, with a tour:

The site is 2.5 acres, located right next to the local high school donated to us by the City of Bulawayo. Because security is a major problem all across the city, we walled in the entire plot – and kept the part facing the street from looking dreary with a series of murals.

Now, come inside:

The first building to your left is the lime green cottage that is home to Washington, who provides our security and will run our Library, and an office. Follow the brick path and you reach the heart of the complex. To the left, is our Light Blue Resource Center, where we will house our library, our games, and serve as the heart of our activities. Two small rooms are walled off, one to serve as a kitchen and the other as our clinic. The top of the Resource Center will hold our solar panels, which just arrived and are about to be installed. Around back, on a small patio, we built a massive table so that dozens of children can work, play and eat together.

Across from the Resource Center, you come to our amazing orange Tech Center, which will house the 15 computers we purchased to train our children and their caregivers in modern technology and, eventually, to provide Internet access to the surrounding community. One corner of the building holds a safe room where the computers will be kept at night and where our inverters and solar batteries will be kept safe as well. Our purple lavatories are to the left of the tech center.

Now, outside: First, take a look at our wonderful swing set, seesaw and merry-go-round, gifts from a local drilling company. Beyond, you reach the gazebo where the children can perform for themselves and their families. Next, you come to our sports fields, which are graded and ready for goal posts for soccer and a net for netball. Swinging around the property, you reach our greenhouse and garden, which use drip irrigation. The vegetables will serve the needs of our children and their caregivers, with the surplus for sale. Finally, you come to the toilet block, with separate facilities for boys and girls.

As most of you know, we didn't just build a Center, we also trained a group of young people who joined Zimkids when they were still small. Now out of school, they dug and poured the foundations, laid the block, plastered, painted, installed windows, welded shields and railings, installed all the electric wiring and solar panels, landscaped and painted. This is their Center – built by Zimbabwean orphans, run by orphans FOR Zimbabwean orphans! Our Seniors, Foster, Sithabisiwe, Collen and Thandiwe received Certificates of Completion of our 18 month construction training program.  They now move on to training in all areas of management to run the center. 

We're not done, of course: We have plans to raise chickens both to feed our kids and to earn money. We're hoping to plant fruit trees for our own mini-orchard. We need more books for our library, a few more solar panels, and a bit more furniture – and we plan to use the extra money we raised to cover some of those costs.

But the bottom line is that WE HAVE A HOME – and we are immensely grateful to all of you for making it possible!

Interior of Tech Cntr, Zulu Shields & Tonga Stools
Interior of Tech Cntr, Zulu Shields & Tonga Stools
Zimkids playing on Merry-go-round
Zimkids playing on Merry-go-round
Interior Resource Cntr hanging world on a string
Interior Resource Cntr hanging world on a string
Performance Gazebo for acting, dancing and singing
Performance Gazebo for acting, dancing and singing
Celebrating the completion of our Center!
Celebrating the completion of our Center!

Links:

Jun 11, 2012

June 2012 Update

Our first batch of tomatoes!
Our first batch of tomatoes!

This Wednesday, June 13th,  beginning at 12:01 am EST GlobalGiving is having a bonus day.  Since we are a Global “Superstar” all of our donations up to $1000 will be matched 50% by Global until the funds run out.  Also there is an extra award for the most donors and the most funds raised. So every $10 donation is a gift to Zimkids that we will use wisely and with gratitude.  And with Global’s $5 bonus we can even do more.  Thank you in advance for your support.

We are heading toward the finish line with the completion of the Center.  Security is a big issue here in Zimbabwe especially with all that we plan on offering at the center so we are just now completing a small cottage that will house our caretaker/security guard and office.  He will also serve as our librarian.  Yes, we will be wearing multiple hats!

  We picked our first batch of tomatoes from our new greenhouse.  Dee-licious!

  Tinashe, our director, has begun designing and welding the tech center desks.  He has become a master welder!  Sithibisiwe is learning to cut and lay tile for the bathrooms.  Foster is installing the gum poles and roofing on the cottage.  Collen is completing his first set of steps and Thandiwe is painting.  This week the plumber begins to install pipes, fittings and hardware while teaching the Seniors. Next week the solar panels arrive and will begin to be installed.

The kids are doing great.  Our Elders are in training for all the tasks they will be handling once the center is open.  Phillip, our program director is organizing workshops on leadership, first aid, children’s rights etc.  Our Seniors will be tasked with supervising the Elders.

 We’ve had one case of tuberculosis this month. It’s common for HIV+ kids here to get TB.  He’s under treatment now and is doing well coping with the six month regimen as well as his anti-retrovirals.

And that’s the story for now.  We are ever grateful for your kindness and generosity and we strive to put it to the best possible use.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Tinashe welding the Tech Center reception desktop
Tinashe welding the Tech Center reception desktop
Foster & Tinashe installing roof on cottage
Foster & Tinashe installing roof on cottage
Sithibisiwe cutting tiles for bathrooms
Sithibisiwe cutting tiles for bathrooms

Links:

Jun 11, 2012

June 2012 Update

Our first batch of tomatoes!
Our first batch of tomatoes!

This Wednesday, June 13th,  beginning at 12:01 am EST GlobalGiving is having a bonus day.  Since we are a Global “Superstar” all of our donations up to $1000 will be matched 50% by Global until the funds run out.  Also there is an extra award for the most donors and the most funds raised. So every $10 donation is a gift to Zimkids that we will use wisely and with gratitude.  And with Global’s $5 bonus we can even do more.  Thank you in advance for your support.

 We are heading toward the finish line with the completion of the Center.  Security is a big issue here in Zimbabwe especially with all that we plan on offering at the center so we are just now completing the cottage that will house our caretaker/security guard and office.  He will also serve as our librarian.  Yes we all will be wearing multiple hats!

  We picked our first batch of tomatoes from our new greenhouse.  Dee-licious!

  Tinashe, our director, has begun designing and welding the tech center desks.  He has become a master welder!  Sithibisiwe is learning to cut and lay tile for the bathrooms.  Foster is installing the gum poles and roofing on the cottage.  Collen is completing his first set of steps and Thandiwe is painting.  This week the plumber begins to install pipes, fittings and hardware while teaching the Seniors. Next week the solar panels arrive and will begin to be installed.

 The kids are doing great.  Our Elders are in training for all the tasks they will be handling once the center is open.  Phillip, our program director is organizing workshops on leadership, first aid, children’s rights etc.  Our Seniors will be tasked with supervising the Elders.

 We’ve had one case of tuberculosis this month. It’s common for HIV+ kids here to get TB.  He’s under treatment now and is doing well coping with the six month regimen as well as his anti-retrovirals.

And that’s the story for now.  We are ever grateful for your kindness and generosity and we strive to put it to the best possible use.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Tinashe welding the Tech Center reception desktop
Tinashe welding the Tech Center reception desktop
Foster & Tinashe installing roof on cottage
Foster & Tinashe installing roof on cottage
Sithibisiwe cutting tiles for bathrooms
Sithibisiwe cutting tiles for bathrooms

Links:

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