NEWS

SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH NETWORKS2008-02-05

In 2006, Pastor Sikiyani was running one pre-school for 20 children. He has now got three pre-schools with about 60 children in each. Whilst he is trying to cope with high demand for places we are helping him to establish adequate facilities and ways of generating sustainable income.

When we first met Pastor Sikiyani ALL of the resources required to care for hundreds of orphans came from donations. He had only one regular supporter (a church in Harare) but otherwise he spent most of his time walking around town asking new people to donate. By the grace of God he managed, but it was hand-to-mouth survival. Now we have helped him to develop the skills and means to build up relationships with longer-term committed supporters, and to generate some of the resources needed locally. This has enabled him to be much more independent, and to have time to develop services such as the pre-schools.

The increase in Pastor Sikiyani's projects has put a lot of pressure on his personal time. We are helping him to develop a leadership team to assist in running the projects and eventually take over if and when he retires. Currently everything rests on one man, and if something happened to him tomorrow there would be no-one to continue his work.

In a neighbouring village, Mwanza (also in Goromonzi district), we met Mai Rusere. She asked us to help her establish a vegetable garden and water supply to support the local orphans and widows. This will save them the seven mile walk to the nearest operational water source. A well, dug using traditional methods by local people, is nearly complete. We are bringing a builder in to teach the locals how to make the top of the well, to stop it caving. This way they will learn new skills and will be able to fix it or build another one themselves.

We are also helping Mai Rusere with the capital and guidance necessary to get the vegetables and herbs (for medicinal purposes) off to a good start. This includes the drip-irrigation system which has proved so successful in neighbouring Rusike village.

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