Local churches supporting community needs
Zimbabwe Orphans Through Extended Hands (ZOE), one of Tearfund’s local partners, ran a programme to help Shupikai. It was originally set up in 2003 as a response to the number of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Today, ZOE continues to support local churches as they work to meet their communities’ needs.
Shupikai first came across ZOE in 2020. ‘When my husband passed away I faced some challenges because I did not have enough knowledge,’ she says. ‘Nowadays, I am able to afford whatever I need with my family.
Empowering widows and orphans
‘ZOE helps widows and orphans and they also assisted me with knowledge,’ she explains. ‘We were taught a lot of things – including poultry farming and goat rearing. We were also taught… about climate change, and what to look for when the weather is about to change. This allows me, as a farmer, to know which seeds to buy and I can plant according to seasons.’
Through setting up self-help groups – where members meet together regularly to pray, to support each other and to receive training and learn new skills to find ways to make a living – ZOE helps participants like Shupikai to save money together so that group members can access easy-to-repay loans.
‘We buy groceries and other necessities as a group,’ explains Shupikai. ‘I bought a four-plate stove using some of the money from the group. All this knowledge allows me to feed my family and clothe myself and children. All this motivates me to keep working.
‘Now I am able to worship and pray with others as well as teach women to be independent!’