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.
Oct 25, 2011

October, 2011 Update

Zimkids Caregivers tilling the garden
Zimkids Caregivers tilling the garden

TO our donors:  Your generosity and support have been remarkable and deeply appreciated.

  The Building Zimkids a Home; The Adrian Suskin Center for Zimkids project is moving along swiftly now.  All foundations are in; the sub floor (5” quarrystone/cement mixture) is in place for the Resource Center.  The remaining sub floors for the bathrooms, gazebo, Tech Center and Office cottage will be poured in the next two weeks. The walls, windows and doors of the resource center are up. Once the sub floors are all in the walls of the Tech center will go up followed by the Bathrooms. A pump and piping have been installed in the well.  The water tank stand is built. Following my return December 2 the roofs will be installed.  Once the roofs are up then the final floor finish is poured and the walls are skim-coated inside and out.  Our six Seniors (18,19 year old orphans) are working at the site and have learned how to plan, mix and build with cement. Two of them have become so proficient that they could easily be hired by construction companies now.  They in turn will be training our Elders (age 15-17).

  We have been chosen to be one of eight charities for the Barnert Temple Mitzvah Mall focusing on water projects.  Our plan is to install drip irrigation and to have caregivers and our children participate in the planning, implementation and care of the market garden.  Once the buildings are up we will enclose a space to raise broiler chickens and egg layers. Both the market Garden and Chicken project will both feed our kids and produce some income that will move us closer to self-sufficiency.

Our security walls are up and the children are working on developing their artistic skills under the Elders direction and a local outstanding artist, Shaka Ndlovu, who is volunteering his expertise.

Sithibisiwe, 18, is one of the seniors working at the site. She is the sole caretaker of her two younger brothers. She is installing a brick path up to the buildings so that our buildings are accessible to our children and caregivers who are wheelchair bound .

We have applied for a grant to purchase computers for our Tech Center which will be used to train our kids in the use of a computer and internet.  When the children are in school the tech center will become an internet café for the greater Pumula neighborhood. Again, moving us closer to self-sufficiency.

Thanks to you all of this is happening.  We are all very excited and are looking forward to the grand opening sometime in March, 2012.  

Resource Center under construction
Resource Center under construction
Sithibisiwe preparing path for brick. Her project.
Sithibisiwe preparing path for brick. Her project.
Foster, 18, laying block for the Resource Center
Foster, 18, laying block for the Resource Center

Links:

Oct 25, 2011

Update October 2011

Children designing murals for the inside walls
Children designing murals for the inside walls

 

TO our donors:  Your generosity and support have been remarkable and deeply appreciated. Thank you so so much.

  The children are involved with their usual activities including soccer, art, dance, song, chess,  and computer training. Every few weeks or so we take them to the site of our new center now under construction for cleanup day where teams win prizes for the most trash collected. They are also hard at work under the guidance of Shaka Ndlovu, an immensely talented local artist who donates his time to teach the children and is painting the front wall murals. He is working with our Elders (age 15-17) training them to develop and implement murals that they will paint on the interior of the security wall of our center that is under construction now.

The Zimkids building project is moving along swiftly now.  All foundations are in; the sub floor (5” quarrystone/cement mixture) is in place for the Resource Center.  The remaining sub floors for the bathrooms, gazebo, Tech Center and Office cottage will be poured in the next two weeks. The walls, windows and doors of the resource center are up. Once the sub floors are all in the walls of the Tech center will go up followed by the Bathrooms. A pump and piping have been installed in the well.  The water tank stand is built. Following my return December 2 the roofs will be installed.  Once the roofs are up then the final floor finish is poured and the walls are skim-coated inside and out.  Our six Seniors (18,19 year old orphans) are working at the site and have learned how to plan, mix and build with cement. Two of them have become so proficient that they could easily be hired by construction companies now.  They in turn will be training our Elders (age 15-17).

  We have been chosen to be one of eight charities for the Barnert Temple Mitzvah Mall focusing on water projects.  Our plan is to install drip irrigation and to have caregivers and our children participate in the planning, implementation and care of the market garden.  Once the buildings are up we will enclose a space to raise broiler chickens and egg layers. Both the market Garden and Chicken project will both feed our kids and produce some income that will move us closer to self-sufficiency.

We have applied for a grant to purchase computers for our Tech Center which will be used to train our kids in the use of a computer and internet.  When the children are in school the tech center will become an internet café for the greater Pumula neighborhood. Again, moving us closer to self-sufficiency.

Thanks to you all of this is happening.  We are all very excited and are looking forward to the grand opening sometime in March, 2012 to which you are all invited!  

One of the Murals by Shaka Ndlovu Front wall
One of the Murals by Shaka Ndlovu Front wall
Foster, 18, laying block for the Resource Center
Foster, 18, laying block for the Resource Center
Zimkids new Council of Elders ages 15-17
Zimkids new Council of Elders ages 15-17

Links:

Aug 8, 2011

August 1, 2011 Update

Zimkids working on designing wall murals.
Zimkids working on designing wall murals.

Dear friends of Building Zimkids a Home,

We at Zimkids want to extend our deepest gratitude for your support and kindness. We welcome our newest donors at Lilly who put so much faith in us.  Be assured your donations will be used wisely and directed entirely to benefit the children at Zimkids.

The first project report provides background on this project, so this one is the update as of August 1.

Construction continues apace.  The 370 meter wall surrounding the property is complete. The gate is installed. (In Zimbabwe security is a serious issue, walls being an essential part of providing a safe environment for the children as well a protection from theft). As is usual with Zimkids, we didn’t want the ordinary, so we designed our gate to reflect our surroundings and got our inspiration from the waving fields of tall thatch grass.  As a sculptural welder I worked with our team to construct the gate.  Signage will be installed after the final coat of paint. (See photo).

The foundations have been dug for the buildings and construction on those will begin the second week of August.  Our Seniors – the young people we’ve worked with who are now over the age of 18 -  are being trained in construction skills by a builder and are now able to work on their own. They’ve done an amazing job! Soon they will be involved in constructing the gumpole roof infrastructure followed by plumbing installation. A generous Zimbabwean donated the tile for the girls and boys bathrooms.

The children of Zimkids, under the supervision of our Council of Elders, are currently designing the interior murals that they will paint on the walls of our buildings. And in a few weeks, the children, Seniors, Elders and our Director Tinashe Basa will begin painting classic Ndebele designs on the front wall of the site. 

The children gather periodically to continue to clean the site and assist as needed and according to their age.

Once the first building is up, we will begin to furnish it.  A local clothing manufacturer recently went out of business and sold us chairs and tables at rock bottom prices. The Bulawayo public library has agreed to sell us children’s books for $6 per large box that we’ll add to our library. We have received two more donated laptops for the eventual tech center.  And we seem to be on the verge of free shipping for donations.

All in all, we’re feeling extremely proud of how far we have come – thanks to your kindness, assistance and good wishes.  We will continue to work hard to deserve it and use it in the most cost-effective, focused and positive way to assist our children.

Seniors installing the gate
Seniors installing the gate
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