Working with Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) Zimbabwe, Planet Aid currently supports Child Aid projects, vocational schools, Farmers' Clubs, and the Frontline Institute 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 has established two vocational schools to support vulnerable youth of Zimbabwe. 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 gain knowledge 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 Technical College has produced approximately 5,000 graduates since its opening.
Ponesai Vanhu Junior School was established in 1994 as a rehabilitation and reintegration center for street children from some of the large cities as well as children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The school is currently providing 60 of these vulnerable children with primary and secondary education as well as housing. To date, Ponesai Vanhu Junior School has enrolled more than 800 children from all ten provinces of Zimbabwe.
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 four districts: Bindura/Shamva, Rushinga, Mutasa/Nyanga, and Mwenezi. In 2015, the project reached more than 10,000 families through a multitude of initiatives, such as the establishment of 122 income-generating activities, the formation of 133 saving and lending clubs, the installation of 1,483 new tippy tap handwashing devices, and health and hygiene lessons that reached more than 22,000 primary and secondary school students.
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 being used to boost food security, including crop management education, garden farming demonstrations, and soil preparation and planting training.
Frontline Institute in Zimbabwe was established in 1993 in order to provide students with 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. To date, the Frontline Institute has graduated more than 5,000 students.
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.
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 modeled 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 was a community gathering place where many activities occurred.
The HOPE project in Zimbabwe focused 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 offered sessions to the community in which basic information was covered about HIV/AIDS, opportunistic infections, anti-retroviral therapy, prevention, and nutrition. In addition, peer educators and trained activists were involved in awareness campaigns in schools, at social gatherings, and at women’s clubs. 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 over 10,000 youth participated in HOPE clubs and activities.