Empower 100 women in Zimbabwe with Sewing Skills!

by Aid For Africa Down Under

The idea cropped up not long ago that the team at BSG could very much do with additional training since their full time mentor left the village. So, here is a short note from Margret updating on the recent attendee of the the 2 week training programs for 4 of the BSG team....also its was very touching that their thoughts are with our victims of the floods here in Australia. 

This is the letter from Margaret. 

We hope and pray that all people who were affected will get help. It is very disturbing to see people loosing what you have worked for because of floods. BSG is still staggering but we are trying. The girls enjoyed their course they will get certificates  I think in august. They have to go again in April. They are all fine with lots of confidence and motivation. Lots of love from the group. Margret

On another note, Margaret did announce that she is marrying her 'husband' Crispin in June. This is a significant step as although they have already declared that they are husband and wife and do have 2 children, weddings are reserved for when and only when the couple can afford it....hence some couples never officially get married. So it was thrilling to find out that Crispin & Margaret will marry in June this year. CONGRATULATIONS from all of us at AFADU. Margaret is such an integral part in moving BSG forward not to mention her key role as the supervisor (and super-woman!) of Lirhanzo Childrens Village in general. 

An exciting note from AFADU....we have resurrected our newsletter ' Come Alive'. So please enjoy our re-launch Summer Issue. 

Many thanks for your support.






The ladies of BSG, led by Margaret Mutero, have been powering along lately with the help of Julie Routledge, the founder of AFADU. She spent some quality time with the ladies back in June this year during the annual AFADU filed trip....proving yet again how valuable those tips are, she sat with the team at BSG and came up with some strategies to increase the businesses productivity and hence profit. As I reported last time, one idea was to hold a $2 sale to attract new customers an turn over a high volume of sales. It was a raging success and earnt the business well over $700USD in one day....which is more than they were making in a month at some times! What Julie also found was that since the departure of the teams mentor and tutor, Mrs Chamuka, productivity had dropped off due to the essential lack of inspiration and guidance that comes with someone that can be on hand to enhance and teach new skills. So, one fine day back in June, Margaret and Julie headed up to Masvingo...a lazy few hours drive away!....to do some investigation and finally find a solution to their current challenge. That came in the form of 2 week intensive training programs at the Masvingo Technical College where in December Joyce will learn the techniques of fabric dying, Tsungirirai will study the basics of computing and Clorence and Loveness will build on their dressmaking skills.The team are really excited about these up and coming programs and what they will do for their business and the future of BSG. Thanks again to the supporters BSG through Global Giving who can make this happen for them. On a sadder note, on behalf of myself and AFADU, I would like to extend our sincerest condolences to Clorence who in August gave birth to a baby boy but unfortunately passed away soon after. Our thoughts are with her. I also want to wish the team well as they head into the Christmas season. 

Thanks again for you support.



P.s. I have included a photo of Margaret (top middle), Julie (2nd from the right) and team holding up coffee bags that are donate by Toby's Estate Coffee in Sydney. BSG turn these bags in to floor mats and sell them in their store. Yet another example of their handy work!  So clever! 

BSG End of Year clearance sale!
BSG End of Year clearance sale!

Once a year in June a group from AFADU head to Zimbabwe for the annual field trip – which is wonderful because we can see firsthand how the girls at BSG are coming along. All reports say that times have been tough especially since their in house tutor, Mrs Chamuka, moved on to another town some months back. So a visit from the AFADU bunch was most welcomed. Julie, the founder of AFADU and woman of boundless energy, spent some quality time with the BSG crew and together they mapped out the next steps in BSG’s progress. One fantastic idea they came up with to generate income and clear some of the older stock was to have 30 June sale. Incredibly they had a HUGE day and made more money in the one day they do in a month! Following is an excerpt from a letter sent to us by the ever inspirational Margaret Mutero.

“Just to let you know, we had a $2 sale on the 30th of June as per our arrangement. The sale was really fantastic and we made a quiet a big difference. The sales for that day alone were $724, 50. From this cash, we paid our rentals for July to September, Vendors’ license up to September. We also have put money aside to by two new machines.”

Margaret is not only the supervisor of the orphans at Lihranzo Children’s Village she is also responsible for getting BSG off the ground with me back in 2005. I actually haven’t been back to Zimbabwe since that time so Margaret and I keep our bond strong through good old fashion snail mail. So, you can imagine my surprise though when at 6am last Saturday the phone rings. It was Margaret. She was on a day trip to Chridezi which is 3 hours drive from Chikombedzi. She tells me she had saved some money so she could make the call. To say I was blown away is an understatement really! We had a very quick chat and although there is so much to catch up on it was like being a rabbit in the head lights. I could barely think! One thing she did make very clear was how grateful she and her crew at BSG are for the love and support AFADU gives.

So, Thank you from Margaret!

Trish www.afau.com

Tsungi and Margaret
Tsungi and Margaret
Julie (Founder of AFADU), Pam & Ezelle
Julie (Founder of AFADU), Pam & Ezelle

Dear friends of BSG and AFADU,

A short update from me and BSG!

Good news is that we finally have a quote for the the entire project from a local supplier for the building of the factory. The foundations are laid now it’s time to get serious about the rest of the building. With the money so kindly donated to date, we are one 5th of the way there to fund the next phase....$40,000USD to go to and we’re set.


Secondly, and on a more personal note, I’m proud to announce the birth of the newest addition to AFADU and my first child, Jacob. He graced us with his presence on the 12th April. He is a pleasure and can’t wait to help out his mum with all things AFADU!

Finally, Pam Harrison, one of AFADU’s board members and coordinator of all things medical for AFADU, is known for her inspiring updates....so... i thought i’d share a snippet from her latest correspondence with the view to highlight just one of the forces that makes AFADU tick.....

“.........The first email stated that Ludwig Schimper confirmed me as a friend on Facebook. Ludwig, the almost 21 year old son of Ezelle Schimper, the driving force behind the Lirhanzo Children’s Village and the chairperson of the Chikimbedzi Hospital. He is a young man, who, by the way also makes a mean birthday cake and who I would be proud to call my own. On many occasions when I visited his home at Edenvale Ranch I have seen his courage and enormous strength of character as he has supported his parents goals to stay in their homeland and help the local community.

While looking at his profile I noticed one of his quotes “Today I dare to dream” a powerful quote for someone so young. I so wish that his future is everything he dares to dream for.

The second email came from Elliott Routledge the very talented artist son of Julie Routledge the founder of AFADU and Ian Routledge who effortlessly organises our containers to get from Australia to Zimbabwe. Elliott, who visited our projects in 2004 had written to say that he was painting for a charity exhibition in Byron Bay and had been given the opportunity to choose a charity to donate half of the selling price of his paintings to. Naturally, he said he was choosing AFADU............ Thanks as usual to all our remarkable supporters and the new ones we are slowly gathering. Many are young people who who wish to make a difference. Thanks again for their inspiration.”

Thank YOU from me and BSG for your continued support.



Sewing Factory - Bricks and Mortar
Sewing Factory - Bricks and Mortar

Hi everyone!

Just a short update from us!

Some very exciting developments for the team at BSG and Lirhanzo Children’s Village – which is BSG’s associated orphanage. After more than 10 years of paperwork and hoop- jumping, LCV us proud to announce that they are now officially registered. The lady who started it all, Ezelle Schimper, sums it all up below:

Hi All The miracle of miracles has happened!! Margaret and I was called to Harare on Wednesday last week to see the Social Welfare office where they handed us the registration certificate of Lirhanzo Children's Village!!! I had to pinch myself, after eleven years from the first letter we wrote to apply to Social Welfare for a children's home, after all the negative politics, financial struggles, red tape, blood and sweat, God finally made it happen. When I prayed to God for patience, I never knew exactly how much He would put my patience and commitment to the test. Halleluja!! We have made it! Attached is the piece of paper we have waited and fought so long for. With this registration now comes a whole lot of new responsibilities that brings with it also financial obligations like paying staff government set salaries, etc. Please help us in meeting these obligations in order to help the children for whom we did all of this. Also pray for us to have the wisdom in running it the way that will follow God's will and plan. Thank you all for your contribution in reaching this goal. Everyone played a vital part in making it happen, no matter how small you think it was. Without that last dustbin in the room or that one doorlock, we would not have been able to pass the final inspection. We are now registered for 21 children according to the size of the facility, but were told that as we increase our capacity to house more children, it is now easy to increase the number on our registration. There is a great need for homes in the country and area and ours are already full. So we would like to increase our capacity to 120 children with everybody's help. With God nothing is impossible, we must only believe and trust in Him. Love you all! Ezelle and team

The BATSIRANAI SEWING GROUP contributes to theses expenses Ezelle talks about above so, thanks to donors like yourselves, we can continue to commit to help them meet these obligations.

Finally, your feedback is most valuable so please contact me if you have any queries or even ideas on how we can attract wider support for BSG and LCV.

Thanks again for all of your support.

Trish www.afadu.com


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Organization Information

Aid For Africa Down Under

Location: Sydney, NSW - Australia
Website: http:/​/​www.afadu.com
Project Leader:
Patricia Pegorer
Board Member
London, United Kingdom

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