As Zimbabwe marked the 30th anniversary of its independence on 18 April 2010, 50% of the population still has no reliable access to clean drinking water and millions depend on food aid to survive the ‘hungry season’.
For most Zimbabweans, this means that they will have more cause to mourn than to celebrate this anniversary.
Zimbabweans have lived through a decade of decline that has pushed many below the poverty line, leaving them without the means to buy food, access medical care or educate their children sufficiently.
With essential services and infrastructure in tatters, the people of Zimbabwe need support to ensure the government puts in place policies that respond to their urgent needs.
Making the impossible possible
Christian Aid partners such as Habakkuk Trust help the most vulnerable people to have a voice in the way they are governed and to improve their own situations in the meantime, however they can.
The results are clear in communities such as Plumtree, in drought-prone Matabeleland South, where Habakkuk Trust has been working.
The ‘Phakamani’ Action Team - the word ‘Phakamani’ means ‘rise up’ - is just one of the many local groups Habakkuk has set up to lead on local development projects.
Following Habakkuk Trust’s advice and training, the Phakamani team organised the rehabilitation of 12 boreholes. This achievement means hundreds of families in the area now have safe water to drink.
The group is also establishing a community-run vegetable garden to help feed Plumtree’s 200 orphaned children.
Habakkuk Trust carefully identifies, organises and works with community groups and trains them in their rights, responsibilities and duties.
The groups are also trained on how they can work better with their local leadership to bring solutions to the problems they face on a daily basis.
Groups are also taught skills of motivating and rallying the wider community to take collective action to bring transformation to their own communities using whatever resources they have available to them.
Christian Aid has worked in Zimbabwe since its independence in 1980 and has supported our partners through the worst of times.
This year Christian Aid provided £20,000 for Habakkuk Trust’s Local Level Advocacy work which has help reach some 15,000 people.
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