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Monthly Archives

December 2015

Feeding Programme Update

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Earlier this year, we were thrilled to announce the launch of our much-needed feeding programme at the Chinhoyi Primary School from pre-school to Grade 2. Since then however, the food shortage many children were facing has worsened, as Zimbabwe has been hit with the worst drought in a decade.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has said that around 1.5 million Zimbabweans do not have enough food this year after a dramatic fall in maize production. As a result, our Chinhoyi primary school staff have been struggling. The Head Teacher recently appealed for help due to high absentee levels caused by shortages of food, stating “pupils are going two or three days without eating food.”

We have worked very hard to get attendance rates up and give these children the education opportunities they deserve.  We cannot accept that all our hard work is diminishing and children are absent due to hunger problems. In response to their appeal, we have successfully sourced funding to extend the feeding programme to more children. We will be offering the children Mahewu – a traditional Zimbabwean porridge-based-drink fermented with sorghum or finger millet malt, and fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, sourced from a local organisation.

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We cannot emphasis enough the desperate situation so many families are facing. It is going beyond hunger and bordering starvation. These children need your help, not only to remain in full time education but also to survive the hunger problems they are facing  – they have nowhere else to turn! We have been so successful in creating a school community full of hope and aspirations. Next year could see many more wonderful achievements for these children – if only we can get them through this extremely difficult time.

For £30 a year we are keeping each child in school and providing a feeding programme and conservation agriculture training for many families.  It will be the best £30 you spend this Christmas.

Thank you and Merry Christmas from all at Zimbabwe’s Children.

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Foundations for Farming Workshops

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This November, we collaborated with Foundations for Farming to deliver a three day agricultural training programme in the rural area of Chinhoyi.

Foundations for Farming is an incredible organisation working to help communities become self-sufficient by teaching them effective agricultural practices. Using Foundations for Farming methods, a family of six can feed itself for a whole year from a very small plot of land. That’s one bucket of maize per week, for every week of the year!

This means these families can use the land to turn a profit, so that they can eradicate hunger and have surplus yield to sell and pay their children’s school fees.


Training began early in the hot morning sun with an introduction on the importance of maintaining healthy soil. Participants were taught how to prepare and maintain good soil structure without ploughing. While this method might sound unusual, it actually makes the soil less sensitive to erosion, increases its water absorption capacity and actually increases yields, all at a much lower cost because the soil doesn’t need to be turned. The group also learnt about how to keep a mulch cover on the surface of the soil, a thick ‘blanket’ of fallen leaves and grass which helps reduce soil water losses, suppress weeds and protects against extreme temperature.

Then everyone got to work pegging their own plots, following precise specifications in order to achieve optimal plant populations and give their plants the best chance to thrive. Everyone practiced planting seeds and applying fertilisers, as well as learning about different seed varieties and home remedies for pest control.

Participants were also taught about keeping a farm calendar and how to budget with the help of record books. With the training’s focus on how to make a profit, they learnt how to farm for value. For example, if a certain crop like maize is not fetching good prices on the market, this can be used to keep pigs which can then be sold at a higher price.

It’s possible to reduce the need for or even eradicate the requirement for fertiliser through the use of compost. This results in even lower input costs and a higher standard of living for the family. Participants learnt how to make compost making and “chicken manure soup” for the supply of nitrogen in plants.
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Certificates of attendance were issued to the participants and this was the happiest moment of all since they also received 2 seed packs to set up their own “pfumvudza” plots at their homes. Each pack contains enough agricultural lime, specially formulated basal fertiliser, seed maize, and ammonium nitrate needed for an 8m x 39m area of land. Measuring cups and instructions on how to plant and manage the crop are also included.

Participants were so happy that they have all written letters of appreciation to the organisers of the programme.

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