Vicki Sorg traveled to Zimbabwe to visit 500 of PM We Care’s sponsored children.
Drought poses challenges for people
The children live in the Tshitshi Madabe Area Program, located on the edge of the Kalahari desert in South West Zimbabwe, close to the Botswana border. It is a regional long-term development project by World Vision started in 2021 and supported by PM-International. As it’s one of the driest regions of Zimbabwe, the biggest challenges for the local children are access to clean water and hygiene, nutrition, and lack of child protection and rights. Many people live from agriculture and animal husbandry. Due to long periods of drought, the harvests fail, and the animals die of thirst. The few available water sources are often contaminated, and children and women often need to walk long distances for water several times a day. In addition, many children drop out of school without sufficient education.
World Vision aims to improve educational opportunities for children and supports parents in finding additional sources of income. The project measures are planned and realized in close collaboration with the local people, always with the goal of empowering them to help themselves.
Clean water for 123 households
Before, the daily walk to water for everyone in Kwite, Zimbabwe was 8 kilometers, often four times per day. Water sources were often not safe. Today, they have access to clean and safe water thanks to a new community water scheme.
With the solar-powered water scheme, 123 households and the local primary school now have access to safe and clean water through community tabs. Children have time to attend school, and gardeners can water their fields.” When visiting local nutrition garden farmers, Vicki Sorg witnessed the improvements the local farmers and World Vision achieved by using adaptation strategies for drought, enabling the farmers to set up small businesses and generate income.
For Vicki, it was an emotional visit: “Only one year after we started this project together, you already see big results. It was great to experience the strength and determination of the people I met in Tshitshi Madabe. Everyone is determined to create better opportunities, not only for the local children but for the region as a whole. Starting with the piped water scheme – it has changed life in the communities in so many ways. I am confident that all together and building up on the first improvements, we can make an even bigger difference!”
Access to water is the foundation for many more local initiatives
Vicki also visited a Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) project site. This technique aims to restore vegetation on deforested and degraded soils with the goal of improving agriculture, food production, and restoration. She also joined a meeting of a Savings Club formed by local women, empowering each other to run small businesses such as tuck shops, bakeries, or chicken rearing.
Juliana Goessmann, Senior Advisor Philanthropy at World Vision Deutschland e.V.: “This visit in Zimbabwe really shows once more that community development works best with a sustainable and holistic approach. By improving access to clean water together with the local communities and PM-International, we are also making progress in areas such as education, nutrition, health, and female empowerment. Providing water to schools makes them a safe environment for children.”