Working with Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) Zimbabwe, Planet Aid currently supports Child Aid projects, HOPE projects, vocational schools, Farmers' Clubs, and the Murgwi Community Center in Zimbabwe. DAPP-Zimbabwe has been in operation since 1980 and implements 17 development projects in six provinces benefiting nearly 350,000 people annually.
DAPP-Zimbabwe established two schools which educate nearly 800 students annually. The first, Ponesai Vanhu Technical College was established in 1981, after Zimbabwe gained its independence, and provides students with vocational skills, adult literacy lessons, and other tailored courses to accommodate the community and its employment needs. For a country like Zimbabwe, vocational training is an investment in increased production and economic growth. At the college, the students learn both theoretical and practical skills in a trade of their choice. The college offers specialization in fields like horticulture, business studies, and motor mechanics.
Another vital part of the program is the internship, where students work in different companies to practice their skills. The internship duration varies depending on the student’s chosen trade. Internships provide students with real-life training and experience, giving them the opportunity to see what they can expect if they join the workforce in that field. Students graduate with either national diplomas or recognized private diplomas at the end of their training. The influence the graduates have made on communities in Zimbabwe has been significant.
Ponesai Vanhu Junior School was established in 1990 as an addition to the Technical College that targets the street children from some of the large cities as well as children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The school is currently providing 43 of these vulnerable children with primary and secondary education as well as housing. To date, 755 children have attended the school. Read more about Vocational Schools.
The Child Aid project was established in Zimbabwe in 1993. It follows a community-centered approach and supports children in all areas of development, including education, hygiene, water and sanitation, nutrition and income generation, and HIV/AIDS prevention. The program has different focus areas that it pursues in order to help people create sustainable development and improve the lives of future generations.
Currently, Child Aid Zimbabwe operates in three districts: Bindura/Shamva, Rushinga, and Mwenezi. Working with the Ministry of Health and other organizations, the Child Aid projects have been able to reduce child mortality rates by improving access to clean water and proper sanitation. To date, the Child Aid project in Zimbabwe has reached more than 54,000 families with 10,000 families currently active in the project. Read more about Child Aid.
The HOPE project in Zimbabwe focuses on increasing people’s access to HIV/AIDS services by establishing community centers that offer HIV prevention, treatment, and care, while working in conjunction with local clinics and hospitals. HOPE Zimbabwe offers sessions to the community in which basic information is covered about HIV/AIDS, opportunistic infections, anti-retroviral therapy, prevention, and nutrition. In addition, peer educators and trained activists are involved in awareness campaigns in schools, at social gatherings, and at women’s clubs. Currently, the project operates in Bindura, Harare, Nyamapanda, and Guruve. In 2014, the HOPE project reached over 140,000 people with HIV/AIDS information and counseling. The program also tested 17,000 people for HIV and there are currently over 10,000 youth participating in HOPE clubs and activities. Read more about HOPE.
A Farmers' Club in Masvingo was started in January 2013 with the goal of reaching 637 small-scale farmers over the course of three years. A number of methods are used to boost food security, including crop management education, garden farming demonstrations, land preparation and planting training, and individual field visits. Read more about Farmers' Clubs.
Murgwi Community Center
The Murgwi Community Center was established in 1999 on the grounds of the Murgwi Estate, located in one of Zimbabwe’s largest commercial farming areas. The Center was started to improve and upgrade the living conditions of the 100 employees and their families who work and live at Murgwi. The community center models commercial farms by demonstrating how a rural enterprise can create a center for its employees. From having a cup of coffee and meeting with friends, playing games, watching satellite TV, making a telephone call to reading in the library, going to school to achieve a certificate, learning basic computer skills, and more, the Center is a community gathering place where many activities occur.
Frontline Institute in Zimbabwe was established in 1993 in order to provide studentswith the skills and understanding necessary to implement HPP development projects around the world. The institute is currently offering two six-month classes, one that teaches community development practices and the other that explores possibilities for fighting social injustice, disease, and the effects of climate change. A total of 88 students graduated from the Institute in 2014, prepared to work on the frontline of development and be driving forces of change. Read more about Frontline Institute.
Total Control of the Epidemic
In 2000, Total Control of the Epidemic (TCE) was established in Zimbabwe to work with the community to reach people with information on HIV prevention, education, treatment referrals, and follow-up. In addition, TCE helped HIV-positive pregnant women learn their status, counseled the on prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), and encouraged enrollment and adherence to PMTCT clinical services. TCE Zimbabwe reached more than 800,000 people, including more than 25,000 pregnant women.
Food for Better Living
DAPP, with support from Planet Aid, launched Food for Better Living, a food relief project that sought to address the nutritional needs of families and the most vulnerable members of their households for 6-month periods. The program targeted orphans in child-headed households, orphans and vulnerable children and their care-giving families, people living with HIV/AIDS receiving home-based care, and pregnant women in preventing mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT) programs and their families. The food was transported, delivered, and distributed to the Mudzi district in Mashonaland East and Manicaland Provinces. DAPP mainstreamed distribution through its existing Child Aid and HOPE projects. This strategy was employed to ensure effective delivery as well as to enhance the impact of DAPP's community-strengthening initiatives. The beneficiaries received three servings of lentil soups over a period of 182 days, with a total of 4,684,680 servings of soup.