This year we are expanding into Zimbabwe. In the Epworth area of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, the numbers of orphans and streets kids are overwhelming. Due to the economic collapse in 2008, 90% unemployment in the country, over 1 million orphans, and poverty, these vulnerable children have no options or hope. 50% of the population is under the age of 25! Every week, 2-3 commit suicide by either eating rat poison or jumping into the flooded rock quarry to drown. Girls, as young as 9 years old, are often forced into prostitution (they earn between 10-25 cents per customer) just so they can have bread to eat at night.
We are partnering with Church of All Nations in Overspill, Epworth led by Pastor Chinyama. He has a huge heart for the orphans, and already he is doing something about it.
Step One ~ Pastor Chinyama has started a bridge school for these children, ages 7-15. This gives them the basics of their education (learning how to read and write) so they can later transition into a regular school. Without an education, they have no hope for a job as an adult. Building the school building and making it self-sustainable is our project for 2018! Our Serve Team will be going to Zimbabwe in March 2019 to complete the construction plus hold a medical clinic.
Step Two ~ Developing a vocational training for the older teens. For those who are not able to attend high school due to the high school fees (no free education here), they need to learn a vocational trade. This will provide them with skills and training on how to start their own micro-enterprise. Skills may include carpentry, auto mechanics, tailoring, welding, and painting. For those who have finished high school, many of them still need skills training due to the high unemployment in the formal sector. For these providing scholarships for IT training and other higher education is a great need. Project for 2019!
Step Three ~ Purchase property and build an orphan family home to house 10-12 orphans in a home with loving houseparents. Orphan family homes are for the most vulnerable of the orphans who have no extended family to live with or are in abusive situations. This is a several year project as it must also be developed to be locally self sustaining from the outset.
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