ZDDT Appeal: Boosting community based orphan care in Zimbabwe

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe – Registered as an NGO in 1999, Hope For a Child in Christ (HOCIC) began serious charitable interventions with the implementation of the Strive Project Preteriny from 2004 to  2007.

The Organisation is a local Interdenominational association that networks with 50 Churches in the domain of child welfare and community based orphan care. Its operations are mainly based in Bulawayo, and the Provinces of Matebeleland North and South.

>> Read about one of the organisations success stories, Nhlonipho Ndlovu: A Burning Ambition

HOCIC has as its vision; sustainable faith-based, community centred, child focused programmes, and a mission that seeks to capacitate Christian organisations for retainable holistic programmes centred on disadvantaged and vulnerable children. Membership with the Organisation is open to all Christian Churches, denominations and entities. As values, the Institution lists: Love, Justice Humility, Peace-building, Transparency, Respect, Accountability and Voluntarism.

A feature that causes the Organisation to stand apart from others is its insistence on the establishment of community based orphan care. In such programmes suitable guardians are identified to provide the necessary care. HOCIC then provides these with essential support.

Some of its key objectives may be listed as follows:

  • To coordinate different approaches of members so as to maximise the use of limited resources.

  • To facilitate capacity building of member Churches for sustainable Organisations for Vulnerable Children (OVC) programmes.

  • To facilitate the registration and recognition of members with the Department of Social Welfare and other key stakeholders.

  • To set up a network for community based orphan care programmes, so as to mobilise and share common resources.

  • To advocate for and on all issues affecting the OVCs.

Key activities of Hope for a Child in Christ include among other things; direct assistance with the inclusion of blocks-grants in formal education, child participation and social services that incorporate psychological support and children’s clubs. Artistic expression and motivational interventions are also encouraged. Other activities entail; vocational skills and life skills training, agro projects such as support for nutritional gardens and income generating actions, child protection and birth registration.

To its credit, the Organisation, with assistance from Programmes of Support (POS) (UNICEF) successfully embarked upon a Programme Scale-up, from 2007 to 2010 that included:

  • An increase in OVCs reached, from 3000 to 10000.

  • Area coverage increased from 15 to 35 wards entailing direct implementation and over 200 wards with indirect implementation.

  • 500 out-of-school youths trained in vocational skills.

  • 6 Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) attained sub-grantee status.

  • 7 FBOs capacitated through training and equipment.

  • Over 150 recreational kits distributed.

  • Day-care centres with 15 under 5 year olds per year were supported.

  • Organisational implementation capacity was increased.

  • 400 girls supported with sanitary wear for 12 months.

Yet, these impressive statistics belie the precarious situation that Hope for a Child in Christ is currently forced to tackle in order to continue providing the essential services that the public has become accustomed to in recent years. Several factors that include, donor reviewing of priorities and decrease in resource availability, has seen drastic cuts in funding, while in some instances financial support was completely discontinued

The prevailing situation is cause for deep concern at the Organisation and among its members, who have warned that, if these conditions persist, there will be no other option but to cease all essential operations. They caution that those affected may well number in the thousands. But saddest of all is the fact that all those vulnerable children who are beneficiaries will suddenly find themselves without the vital support they had become accustomed to receiving.

Hope for a Child in Christ is desperately seeking willing partners or well-wishers who are prepared to come forward and assist the Organisation by providing the support needed to keep programmes running.

You can help by utilising the following contact details:

Hope for a Child in Christ. 24 Jason Moyo Street & 1st Avenue, Bulawayo. Zimbabwe.

Telephone: +263 9 885871. Tele-Fax: +263 9 885971. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Alternatively: editor.zddt.org

>> Read about one of the organisations success stories, Nhlonipho Ndlovu: A Burning Ambition
ZDDT 2016