Give 200 orphans in Zimbabwe access to education

by Zimbabwe Educational Trust (ZET)
Ruth Mtimkulu and her daughter Simbanginkosi!
Ruth Mtimkulu and her daughter Simbanginkosi!

Greeting from ZET and Trinity Project!

This is just a quick update to let you know how your donations are continuing to support hundreds of children in Bulawayo to access the legal documents they need to enrol in school and sit public examinations!

Every child in Zimbabwe needs a birth certificate. Children without birth certificates are not only excluded from education, but later in life are excluded from formal employment (which requires a national identiry card, which cannot be obtained without a birth certificate). To raise awareness of the importance of birth registration and to support families with the process, we held 28 legal advice clinics in the first three months of 2016.

In these months, 83 children obtained birth certificates! In addition, families were helped to obtain the death certificates of deceased parents, allowing children to access their parent's pensions which enabled them to pay school fees.

We have continued to run weekly Kids Clubs, providing sport, drama, crafts, and other fun activities for children, as well as givign us a platform for them to learn about their human rights (including the right to a birth certificate!). In three months alone, we ran 70 Kids Clubs, reaching over 4,600 children!

Let’s give the children of Zimbabwe the chance of a better life. Please keep supporting Trinity Project.

Many thanks

Trinity Project & ZET

ZET Christmas Card - Front
ZET Christmas Card - Front

As we approach the end of 2015 Trinity Project is extremely grateful to you for your donations to help children in Bulawayo obtain birth documents.

In a recent paper, Mr Pumulani Mpofu, Director of Trinity Project, emphasises the vital nature of their advocacy work amongst all levels of Zimbabwean society: from local people to government officials and members of parliament …

“  ‘Acquisition of birth certificates is very difficult for vulnerable children.’

The root causes include broken families whereby a parent deserts the child. Several cases of problematic birth certificate acquisition involve mothers who have abandoned their children and gone to South Africa without registering them. Poverty which leads to broken families and forced migration is also a linked root cause of this problem. A prohibitive fee required by the Registrar General’s office for processing external birth certificates and fees paid for accessing information are also a hindrance. Stringent requirements at the Registrar General’s office lead to difficulties in acquisition of birth certificates.

There are several harsh effects of lack of birth certificates among children. Without birth certificates it is difficult for one to be enrolled into formal education. Most of these children without birth certificates end up attending non-formal schools which offer substandard services. If a child is enrolled without a birth certificate in a formal school s/he will face challenges in writing their grade seven exams and hence may fail to enrol for secondary education. Lack of birth certificates also means the child’s identity is unknown bringing with it a wide array of socio-economic challenges. A major challenge is discrimination in the community or at school when those who have birth certificates make fun out of those without. Many other services require a birth certificate including access to welfare services, inheritance and health care. So those without birth certificates are susceptible to many other challenges which harm their growth and development as children.

In Zimbabwe, acquisition of birth certificates is easier for children born in wedlock with parents who can produce a marriage certificate. However, most marriages (almost 85 %) in the country are not legalized as people marry customarily and end there. Many other children are born to unmarried women and teenage girls.  Technically the Registrar General’s office does not recognise unregistered customary marriages and its insistence on the presence of both parents despite the harsh economic realities and socio-cultural health sector conditions that lead to spousal separation is proving a strong hindrance to birth registration. One of the objectives of this strategy is to encourage the Registrar General to expand the categories of the child’s birth informants to include other relatives and community leaders.”

Please continue to support Trinity Project’s vital advocacy strategy into 2016. Thank You!

  • Awareness raising on birth registration issues
  • Legal advice and information dissemination
  • Referrals by word of mouth, official letters and phone calls to Registrar Generals’ Offices
  • Provision of financial aid for clients to pay processing, search, transport and application fees
  • Creating alliances with like-minded organizations to lobby for policy reform in the area of birth registration.

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ZET Christmas Card - back
ZET Christmas Card - back
Some of Trinity Project
Some of Trinity Project's beneficiaries

Trinity Project is increasingly aware of the complex family situations facing children in obtaining a birth certificate which is essential to register for primary education. Reading Sandile’s story of how she sadly became a single mum demonstrates the vital support of Trinity Project to both Sandile and her son Sabelo.

Sandile is a 30 year old woman who is a single mother of Sabelo a 6 year old son. At a young age Sandile was diagnosed with epilepsy. Sandile was cohabitating Takudzwa in South Africa. They were blessed with a baby boy and unfortunately their relationship started to fall apart when Sabelo was just three months old. Takudzwa started beating up Sandile claiming that she was cheating on him. At first Sandile thought she could bear the beatings but with time she started fearing for her life and her son’s life.

At that time Sandile’s epileptic attacks also started to recur more frequently and she knew she could not live like that. She feared that someday she could be alone when the seizures started and she could not bear the thought of dying and leaving her son. She then decided to come back home to Zimbabwe to live with her father. She knew that her parents were going to be heart broken when they heard that their daughter had been cohabitating with a man and had a child out of wedlock, but she was willing to go back home and face her parents. It would have been far worse to live with the fear of not knowing when Takudzwa would beat her up or when she would be attacked by seizures while alone.

The problem she had when she came to Zimbabwe is that her son had no birth certificate and since she was not working, she could not afford to pay for the external birth registration and the admission of guilt as she had crossed the border with Sabelo who did not have a passport. When she came to Trinity Project, the organisation funded her case and Sabelo now has a birth certificate! Though she is still trying to get a job so that she can pay school fees for Sabelo, she has one problem off the list.

Though Sandile is struggling to make ends meet she has peace of mind that Sabelo has a birth certificate.

Please give today to help other single mothers and their children. Thank you.

The team who makes it all happen
The team who makes it all happen



During this quarter, door to door consultations or home visits have been carried out in Nkulumane District, Luveve District, Emakhandeni District and Magwegwe District. In these districts during this quarter, Trinity Project officers have managed to visit only 737 parents or carers (637 females and 100 males) were consulted on issues of birth certificates, parental death certificates, inheritance and property rights. As of these households 433 were from female-headed families and 304 were from male-headed families. 1254 cases were received from these households (670 girls and 584 boys).


Legal Advice consultations are conducted in place like Pelandaba Youth Arena, 4 legal advice clinics have been conducted during the first quarter. In these sessions that have been conducted only 22 Parents/ carers (21 females and 1 male) have been reached through Legal advice clinics. 16 of them were from female- headed families and 6 were from male-headed.33 cases were received (15 girls and 18 boys).


Consultations are done in the office, that’s were clients visit Trinity Project offices seeking advice on birth and death registration, matters to do with inheritance and property rights. During the course of the first quarter, 252 parents/carers (185 females and 67 males) have visited our offices.120 were from female-headed families and 132 were from male-headed families.

In these cases 43% were referred by the CPCs, 27% were referred by the teachers from various schools across the districts were Trinity Project is implementing its activities.30% of these cases were referred by other stakeholders and government departments like Government Social Services Department, Child Line, Contact Family Counselling Centre, DIWA to mention only a few.



103 (57 girls and 46 boys), cases have been received and documented as success cases of children who have obtained birth certificates. 77 success cases were sponsored and 26 were non-sponsored. 2 children have accessed their parental death certificates so that they can access funds for school fees and claim pension of the deceased parents.


Trinity Project is still partaking in Kids clubs that are held in the districts in which the Project manoeuvres.  Kids clubs give a platform that promotes child participation and that is where children are taught on the importance of early birth registration and on the importance of birth certificates.  Different activities are being done in those clubs such as football, volleyball, netball, drama though there are no adequate resources to source those clubs. Trinity Project aspire that these kids clubs should grow and operate so that we develop tomorrow’s community out of these children. 

36 Kids club sessions have been conducted with community Kids club groups, reaching out to 801 children (299 girls and 502 boys). In one of these sessions, Trinity Project has sponsored these Kids clubs with footballs and netballs that were donated by Highlanders Football club in the organisation’s “donate a ball to child” campaign. The organisation is looking forward to have more balls and other resources for these Kids clubs through such campaigns.


Training sessions have been conducted and 85 Child Protection Committee members have been trained on identifying children in need of legal documents. 42 sensitisation meetings have been conducted with community groups and 3752 people (2863 women and 889 men) have been sensitised on issues of inheritance and law, birth and death registration. . 18 health workers have been reached through workshops facilitated by the project.

Kids Club entertainment in action!
Kids Club entertainment in action!

Winter 2015 Global Giving Report

Happy New Year from us here at ZET! Thanks to your continued support - your funding is helping us to support our partners in the Trinity Project and they are making great progress. During this quarter, door-to-door consultations and home visits have been carried out in Nkulumane District, Luveve District, Emakhandeni District and Magwegwe District, and the Trinity Project Officers have managed to visit 235 parents or carers who were consulted about birth certificates. The Trinity Project’s Legal Advice Clinics are also up and running and helping people to gain invaluable support about the legal documents which can grant them an education – 3 legal advice clinics were held during the month of November, and although 39 parents or carers were reached, there is certainly more work to be done because of the prevalence of the birth certificate problem. Consultations about birth certificates are also sometimes done in the office and during this quarter, 108 partners or carers have visited the offices, which shows great progress in that our Trinity Project partners are able to make a different to some people’s lives in Zimbabwe.

The Trinity Project also is holding a new Kids Club Project thanks to your support with children between 5 and 18 – child participation is encouraged and children are taught on the importance of early birth registration and of birth certificates in order to help to stop this being a problem for the next generation – teaching children early why it is important for children to register with birth certificates is vital in helping the children themselves and their children. Currently, 456 attend the project which shows the way in which your donations are having a real impact on the ground, however the club requires more funding to be able to properly fund the club’s activities like football, volleyball, netball and drama. Our Trinity Project also teamed up with Vulindlela Orphanage Care Centre and held a Kids Christmas party that 300 children attended, as a consequence of your continued support – at the Children’s party, there was a poem citing competition, apple bobbing, musical chairs and quizzes – the children all had a great time! One of the most inspiring Poem’s written by the children is below, which really shows how the other work by the Trinity Project, such as the legal centre drops in, help to solve the issues concerning children:


By Rivaldo Siziba Vulindlela

Allow me to speak
Because I must speak
Until when   shall I be deprived?
Of my right to have
A birth certificate

Oh birth certificate!!!
Oh birth certificate!!!

I am a child; I have the right to identity
I am an orphan; I have the right to identity

What will become of me without a birth certificate?
Oh birth certificate!!!
Oh birth certificate!!!

It is not my fault that I lost my Parents
It is not my fault to be in this earth

Hence it is my right to live and have a birth certificate.

Oh birth certificate!!!
Oh birth certificate!!!


Finally, Trinity Project has also been holding training workshops about the need for birth certificates - 144 participants attended aross 4 workshops, and in addition to this there were also 15 sensitisation meetings that targeted just children and taught them the importance of holding birth ceriticates.

It is clear that your support is helping the Trinity Project to challenge the generational issue of a lack of birth certficate regisetration in Zimbabwe meaning children are unable to gain orphan status, and consequently denied access to education. Your support is helping the Trinity Project to succeed so thank you again, but as you can see there are still areas where we need more help to continue this great work.

Could you spare just £12 to help the Trinity Project provide 2 legal clinics?

Kids enjoying the Kids Club!
Kids enjoying the Kids Club!

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Organization Information

Zimbabwe Educational Trust (ZET)

Location: LEEDS, West Yorkshire - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Stuart Kempster
Leeds, West Yorkshire United Kingdom

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