of 188 countries in the 2016 Human Development Index (HDI)


years is the current life expectancy


of the population live below the national poverty line


of the population are living with HIV

About Zimbabwe

Since gaining independence in 1980, Zimbabwe has faced some serious challenges. HIV is a huge and persistent problem, particularly among the working age population, which affects productivity and livelihoods. HIV has left the nation with 1.6 million orphans – the highest rate anywhere in the world.

Years of erratic rainfall have lead to both droughts and flooding, hampering food production and damaging homes and property. Meanwhile, major economic problems, including hyper-inflation and, more recently, deflation, have discouraged investment in the country. Industry in Zimbabwe has crumbled – making the problem of poverty even worse.

Women and girls in Zimbabwe continue to be a vulnerable group, primarily due to a strongly patriarchal society where harmful cultural and religious practices are rampant. Nearly a third of females are married before they turn 18, although this has been recently outlawed. Domestic violence is rife, especially among poor and rural communities. 40 per cent of Zimbabwean men think it is acceptable to beat their wives. Nearly two thirds of women have also reported that they have experienced sexual violence at least once in their lifetime.

Other particularly vulnerable groups include the disabled, transgender people, people expressing lesbian, gay or bisexual sexuality, and ethnic minorities.

How we do it

Church & Community Transformation

Find out more


Find out more


Find out more

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Find out more

Our Work in Zimbabwe

Tearfund has worked in Zimbabwe for more than three decades. We operate through several partner organisations and local churches.

We are encouraging change across Zimbabwe through an approach known as church and community transformation (CCT). This mobilises the church to unlock people’s God-given potential, empowering them to change their own circumstances. Our vision is for a courageous and relevant church supporting whole communities to escape poverty and flourish.

Tearfund is working to ensure families have secure, regular access to food and the means to make a good living. It also supports people to withstand and recover from any natural disasters. One of our Zimbabwean partners is training farmers to make better use of their land and overcome problems caused by drought and infertile soil. It is also helping these farmers gain better access to markets and finance.

Tearfund’s partner ZOE helps orphans and vulnerable children through a network of local church volunteers. Churches care for deprived children, and communities are offered skills training so they can provide for them.

Local churches are also contributing towards the care of other vulnerable children, promoting a positive understanding of family, gender and power. Several partners are actively challenging negative beliefs about gender that persist in churches and which lead to women being marginalised and oppressed.

Through the CCT approach, the church (at national and local level) has been influencing government policy and practice to improve good governance and service. In particular it has encouraged decision makers to better address the needs of the marginalised.

OUR PARTNERS IN ZIMBABWE: Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ), River of Life (Discipling Nations), ZOE (Zimbabwe Orphans Extended Hands) & Anglican Relief and Development in Zimbabwe (ARDeZ)



orphans and vulnerable children have been cared for by churches.


people have been able to eat regularly, thanks to training in sustainable farming techniques.


people have been mobilised by their local churches to engage in community action.


people have benefited from HIV/gender work with local partner groups.

Pray for our work

  • Lift up our team in prayer as it helps to unlock potential for change in churches and communities. Pray for God’s wisdom and guidance.
  • Give thanks for our partners as they seek to strengthen the church and the role it plays in a challenging situation. Pray God will encourage them to support the needs of the most vulnerable.
  • Pray for the church leaders of Zimbabwe – that they would have courage and wisdom in their work.

Stories from Zimbabwe

Where we're working