Why we work in Zimbabwe
The people of Zimbabwe face many challenges politically and economically. Unemployment and underemployment is the highest in the world, estimated in 2009 as approx 95%. 66% of the population rely on subsistence farming to survive but this has seen decline due to economic pressures and drought. Combined with the decline in mining which the economy depends on heavily, Zimbabwe and its people face many struggles.
The country’s economic development has been severely hindered by poor investment and a large public and external debt.
In common with so many countries Zimbabwe also faces the challenge of a huge age imbalance in its population.
0-14 years: 38.32%
15-24 years: 20.16%
25-54 years: 32.94%
55-64 years: 4.07%
65+ years: 4.52%
compared to the UK:
0-14 years: 17.63%
15-24 years: 11.49%
25-54 years: 39.67%
55-64 years: 12.73%
65+ years: 18.48%
Infant mortality is:
29.41/per 1000 of the population
4.38/per 1000 UK
Life expectancy is just 63 years compared to 81 in the UK.
Despite the bleak economic outlook, the people of Zimbabwe are striving to improve their communities and ecomony. Many charities and missions are working hard to change the future of Zimbabwe and Tools with a Mission is privileged to support this work and see lives transformed.
What we do
Tools with a Mission has a long term and significant commitment to Zimbabwe. We currently send between one and two containers a year packed with tools and equipment to our partners. We work with churches, schools and organisations committed to improving the lives of their own people. Our partner is the Jonpris Foundation based in Harare.
The difference we make
Tools with a Mission supports charities, set up by local people to work with local communities across Zimbabwe. We support projects working with orphans, teenagers needing a vocational training, schools without school books or computers, marginalised peoples, vulnerable women, impoverished communities and displaced peoples.
Below you can watch a video we produced for our 2021 online TWAM Day. It introduces our Zimbabwe partner Prisca and Jones in Harare. They are in conversation with Linda, our volunteer Country Coordinator. The video includes very moving footage of recipients collecting their tools from the newly arrived container. It lasts about 14 minutes.
Introducing Mkwabene High School
One of the organisations supported by TWAM is Mkwabene High School. The High School was seeking to expand their work in their community and reach more of the poorest children by opening a Vocational Training centre. They asked TWAM for:
Sewing machines and haberdashery to enable them to start garment construction courses
Computers and laptops to introduce children to e-learning and computer skills
Knitting machines and equipment to reach out to all learners
Builders’ kits to start building studies and brick and block laying courses
Garden tools to start teaching agriculture
Carpentry kits to start teaching woodworking
Books to help start a school library.
They even asked for plumbers’ kits to help install a piped water system in the school.
TWAM was pleased to provide all these goods to them. They have helped the school, community and children flourish. One of the students Precious, without any prompting wrote us a letter which will be very special to us for many years to come. Here’s an extract:
"As Mkwabene High School students we are over the moon because of the fabulous donations we received from Tools with a Mission. When burdens were heavy to carry you stretched out your hand and gave us numerous sources of education including computers, textbooks, sewing machines, musical instruments and many other useful materials. We really appreciate your aid which has transformed our studies.
Each day God sends his angels to assist us. We do not expect to see them with wings or with halo flying above their head. Instead, they come in disguise and we call them friends. Thank you Tools with a Mission for being an angel to us."
We could not have put it better. TWAM wants to come as a friend, assisting organisations across Zimbabwe to reach out to their communities and schools. Mr Zvokureva, the Assistant Head, says:
“Following the donation, teachers and students became motivated and our exam pass rate leapt up and we even received an award for producing the best O level results. Our enrolment went up as the precious donations drew students from other schools for the first time. The school used to be affected by high staff turnover, it is now enjoying a stabilised staff. A lot of teachers from other schools are applying to join our school.
May the Lord bless you abundantly. Since the establishment of our school, it was our first time to receive a donation that completely revolutionised our curriculum. With this precious gift, a new leaf has been opened for the development of our school. With such a donation, we will never be the same again.”
It is so encouraging that tools, books, sewing machines and haberdashery that get thrown away in our country can be so life changing and appreciated overseas. We could have hardly dare believe that our shipment to a small struggling school in Zimbabwe would inspire so many to achieve so much.