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.
Jan 4, 2013

January 2013 Update

U.S. Ambassador Wharton visiting Zimkids
U.S. Ambassador Wharton visiting Zimkids

Happy New Year, friends of Zimkids! We’re gearing up for an amazing new year in Pumula, thanks to your continued support.

Several weeks ago, the new U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Bruce Wharton, made Zimkids his first stop outside the capital, Harare, following his appointment. Sithabisiwe and Thandi took him on a tour and described the impact that the Zimkids training program had both on them and on the building of the center. The younger children performed and even got him dancing. And the caretakers were extremely generous in their compliments. One grandfather pointed to a welding machine and said, “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life. Now, my granddaughter even knows how to use one!”

That night at dinner, Ambassador Wharton told friends that he thought Zimkids should be an international model. Needless to say, Tinashe and the team were extremely pleased!

At the moment, everyone is waiting anxiously for the arrival of the 65 boxes that we shipped thanks to the generosity of the US African Children’s Fellowship, which ships books and other supplies to rural schools. The books we sent – donated by schools in the Catskills and individuals from all over – will more than quintuple the size of our library. We’ll have new equipment for our sports programs. Scores of board games will keep the kids mesmerized when it rains since they’d never seen board games until we brought a few back last year. Scrabble has become the hot competitive “sport,” and fortunately, we’ve shipped plenty of dictionaries!

Three donated sewing machines courtesy of a donor in Texas will allow us to try our hand at a new income-producing projects. And we think that we can train both boys and girls to gain skills and income.

Finally, we’ll be able to ramp up our clinic with a scale, blood pressure cuffs, assorted equipment and a whole range of supplies. Sithabisiwe and Collen have gone through a 3-day First Aid training course, and we’re planning to give them more training so that they can serve as a first line of care in coordination with our private physician.  The drought in Bulawayo is so severe water is turned off for 4 days a week. It needs to be boiled and many of our families have no electricity and are forced to burn wood. As a result many of our kids are getting sick. Tinashe has spent the last couple of months ferrying children to our doctor for treatment and we are doing all we can to educate about water borne diseases.

Now that things are organized and running smoothly at the new Center, we’ve begun an intake of new children, concentrating on kids ages 4-10 years. We’ve arranged to purchase a high-nutrition porridge to feed them in the morning. We’re hoping that providing it to the younger children will help their development, both physical and mental.

We have not forgotten our Girl Effect plans, of course, and we plan to use the money we are receiving from the Nike/Globalgiving Challenge to continue training girls to weld and to create the first of what we hope will be the first of several spin-off businesses, ZimGirls Welding.

Many, many thanks to our board of advisors, Ric Keeley in San Francisco, Mzu Ngwenya (Team Siyakha) in London, Gloria Slagle in Fairbanks and Julie Tazzia in Michigan.  Their work on behalf of Zimkids has been amazing and wonderful.  Also thanks to the Ross School Friends Academy in New York, Andes and Roxbury Central Schools in the Catskills for their generous and welcoming support.  And of course, to the thousands of individual donors who through their contributions have made possible a rainbow of opportunities for our orphans.

Dennis is on his way back to Zimbabwe on January 15. Since things are running smoothly without him, he plans to exercise a light touch in the daily operations and concentrate on new initiatives, creating vocational training programs and business management programs.

For Zimkids, then – and we hope for all of you – 2013 promises to be an amazing and productive new year! Thanks to all of you!

Girls welding railing
Girls welding railing
Our greenhouse tomatoes are thriving!
Our greenhouse tomatoes are thriving!
Learning to type reports
Learning to type reports
Receiving donated clothing
Receiving donated clothing
Two of our kids acting in their own drama
Two of our kids acting in their own drama

Links:

Jan 4, 2013

January 2013 Update

Ambassador Wharton visiting Zimkids
Ambassador Wharton visiting Zimkids

Happy New Year, friends of Zimkids! We’re gearing up for an amazing new year in Pumula, thanks to your continued support.

 

Several weeks ago, the new U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Bruce Wharton, made Zimkids his first stop outside the capital, Harare, following his appointment. Sithabisiwe and Thandi took him on a tour and described the impact that the Zimkids training program had both on them and on the building of the center. The younger children performed and even got him dancing. And the caretakers were extremely generous in their compliments. One grandfather pointed to a welding machine and said, “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life. Now, my granddaughter even knows how to use one!”

 

That night at dinner, Ambassador Wharton told friends that he thought Zimkids should be an international model. Needless to say, Tinashe and the team were extremely pleased!

 

At the moment, everyone is waiting anxiously for the arrival of the 65 boxes that we shipped thanks to the generosity of the US African Children’s Fellowship, which ships books and other supplies to rural schools. The books we sent – donated by schools in the Catskills and individuals from all over – will more than quintuple the size of our library. We’ll have new equipment for our sports programs. Scores of board games will keep the kids mesmerized when it rains since they’d never seen board games until we brought a few back last year. Scrabble has become the hot competitive “sport,” and fortunately, we’ve shipped plenty of dictionaries!

 

Three donated sewing machines courtesy of a donor in Texas will allow us to try our hand at a new income-producing projects. And we think that we can train both boys and girls to gain skills and income.

 

Finally, we’ll be able to ramp up our clinic with a scale, blood pressure cuffs, assorted equipment and a whole range of supplies. Sithabisiwe and Collen have gone through a 3-day First Aid training course, and we’re planning to give them more training so that they can serve as a first line of care in coordination with our private physician.  The drought in Bulawayo is so severe water is turned off for 4 days a week. It needs to be boiled and many of our families have no electricity and are forced to burn wood. As a result many of our kids are getting sick. Tinashe has spent the last couple of months ferrying children to our doctor for treatment and we are doing all we can to educate about water borne diseases.

 

Now that things are organized and running smoothly at the new Center, we’ve begun an intake of new children, concentrating on kids ages 4-10 years. We’ve arranged to purchase a high-nutrition porridge to feed them in the morning. We’re hoping that providing it to the younger children will help their development, both physical and mental.

 

We have not forgotten our Girl Effect plans, of course, and we plan to use the money we are receiving from the Nike/Globalgiving Challenge to continue training girls to weld and to create the first of what we hope will be the first of several spin-off businesses, ZimGirls Welding.

 

Many, many thanks to our board of advisors, Ric Keeley in San Francisco, Mzu Ngwenya (Team Siyakha) in London, Gloria Slagle in Fairbanks and Julie Tazzia in Michigan.  Their work on behalf of Zimkids has been amazing and wonderful.  Also thanks to the Ross School Friends Academy in New York, Andes and Roxbury Central Schools in the Catskills for their generous and welcoming support.  And of course, to the thousands of individual donors who through their contributions have made possible a rainbow of opportunities for our orphans.

 

Dennis is on his way back to Zimbabwe on January 15. Since things are running smoothly without him, he plans to exercise a light touch in the daily operations and concentrate on new initiatives, creating vocational training programs and business management programs.

 

For Zimkids, then – and we hope for all of you – 2013 promises to be an amazing and productive new year! Thanks to all of you!

Girls welding railing
Girls welding railing
Keeping up repairs
Keeping up repairs
Learning to type reports
Learning to type reports

Links:

Nov 14, 2012

November 2012 Update

Collen working with kids on puzzles
Collen working with kids on puzzles

Hello!  If you don't have time to read at least check out the PHOTOS!!!

THANK YOU ONE AND ALL FOR YOU KINDNESS AND TRUST AND GENEROSITY!!!

Let me start this update with some general comments:

 Things have been very tough in Zimbabwe over the past several months. Last year’s drought pushed up the price of food yet again, and this year’s forecast is for more of the same. The World Food Program is warning of widespread hunger. The drought also left the city in a water crisis that led first to cut-offs of water every other day, then for 72 hours at a time and now for 96 hours off, 24 on. Unfortunately, our new well went dry, so we’ve been scrambling for both water and food.

 Nonetheless, we’re thriving. After almost two years of frantic activity to get our new Center built and the programs redesigned to our new realities, we’re finally settling in to a routine. With our own site, and since Pumula schools are on two shifts, we are able to meet with our young people daily. The trainees who built the new facility with Dennis and Tinashe are now managing the Center programs. They are running daily tutoring programs in our library, especially for the teenagers currently sitting their high school graduation examinations. Foster, who is running sports programs, has recruited the older kids to help him build an obstacle course. Tinashe is leading everyone through the complexities of computers, starting, literally from the inside (of the machine) out. And Sithabisiwe and Collin have just completed a First Aid training course and are getting our clinic up and running.

 We are about to bring in a group of younger orphans, preschoolers, because we are seeing too many young children wandering the neighborhood without supervision or stimulation – and with dangerously swollen bellies. We’ve recently dealt with a case of full-blown malnutrition with Fiona, a 13 year old who is HIV positive, so we’ve become even more sensitive to signs of serious hunger.

 Our big news is that for the month of November, we’ll be competing in the Girl Effect Challenge sponsored by Nike and Global Giving. It is going to be our toughest challenge since the winning charities will be those with the greatest number of individual donors, not the largest total amount of donations. We’re aiming for 1000, and if we prevail, we’ll be in good shape for funding a special training program for girls that will result in a series of microenterprises that we’ll eventually spin-off for the girls themselves to run and own.

 It is enormously important because once girls hit 16 or 17, their caregivers want to marry them off as soon as possible, usually to older men, those most likely to abuse them, to want polygamous marriages and to be HIV positive. So we’d be really grateful if you could throw a bit into the pot at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/building-girls-futures/

 A $10 donation counts as much as a $500 donation!

Girls learning about computer innards!
Girls learning about computer innards!
Welding training
Welding training
Agriculture class in our greenhouse
Agriculture class in our greenhouse
Seniors turned Construction workers NOW STAFF!!!
Seniors turned Construction workers NOW STAFF!!!
Tutoring class
Tutoring class

Links:

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