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Zimbabwe, Africa

ZIM02 - Fountain of Hope - Peniel Children's Home

Partnership Ref.:



Gideon & Jennifer Chisamba



Funding Status:

Partially Funded

Partnership Type:

Orphans & Vulnerable Children

Funding Size:

$15,000 - $99,999

Annual Budget:

US$ 19,140

Connected To:

ZIM02a , ZIM02b , ZIM02c , ZIM02d , ZIM02f , ZIM02g , ZIM02h


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Funding Contact:

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Population: 12.5 million

Life Expectancy: 37 years

GDP: US$400 per capita

Unemployed: 97.0%

83.0% earn less than US$2/day

Current Partnership Impact

89 families are being assisted

64 children are being supported into schooling

3 people employed in partner businesses

22 people are in vocational or agricultural training

Partnership Overview

Given hopeFountain of Hope is a faith based organization whose main mission is to combat the spread and reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS on orphans and vulnerable children, women, and the community at large through the provision of orphan care services, HIV/AIDS workshops and community based development projects.

Fountain of Hope operates in a community called Mthombothemba (population 2,250) which lies in one of the regions that has a high HIV prevalence rate and which is a drought prone area receiving below normal rainfall every year. Due to the above problems the community is now full of orphans, some of whom are part of child-headed families, and has many widows who always find it difficult to make ends meet. The economic climate that Zimbabwe has gone through has also exacerbated the problem with most men leaving their homes and going to South Africa looking for greener pastures thereby making their families more vulnerable.

Gideon and Jennifer have been living in and working with this community since the early 2000's. In the process of doing so they have discovered many vulnerable children; orphans, abused and abandoned children, and children affected by the high levels of poverty in the community. They have brought a number of them into a secure home to better care for them.

Old farm housePeniel Home is on an old farm property. It is a two storey homestead with a large number of cottages. There are many outbuildings in which they have chickens, goats, cows and a large garden with an employee full time producing vegetables. It is an ideal place for the children to grow up. There are things to do and places to play.

In July 2013 there were 16 permanently in the home and more were about to arrive. Not all of them are permanent members of the family. Some come to give a period of respite to their families. But many have nowhere else to live as they either have no families, their families have abandoned them or are unsafe to live with. 

History of Partnership

In 2001 Rob Purdue, BHW Executive Chairman, travelled to this project as his nephew was living there. Rob was impressed by Gideon and Jennifer and they have continued to minister to this community since that time. 

Great place to liveBHW's Field Director continued to dialogue with them and in December 2012 we sent them US$300 to assist with training some of their people in Foundations for Farming. He then visited them in June 2013 and late in 2013 BHW commenced partnering with Gideon and Jennifer at a greater level, providing financial support for the children's home and community development and personal support for Gideon and Jennifer. 


The children who live in the home are the key beneficiaries here.  They will get good meals and will be able to go to school. 

What We Like About The Partnership

Gideon and Jennifer have been helping the community of Mthombothemba since July 2000 when God led them to this downtrodden community which was adversely affected by HIV/AIDS. They have seen God working miraculously in this community through the various programs they have started in consultation with the community members to tackle the high incidence of HIV/AIDS, hunger and malnutrition, and poverty. They have experienced a reduction of HIV/AIDS related deaths since 2009 to date, reduction of the increase of orphans, hope being provided to homeless orphans at Peniel Centre, and improved agricultural production through conservation farming and the ongoing livestock production training.

We are encouraged by the commitment of Gideon and Jennifer to this community - they have been involved here for a long time. They also have a holistic understanding of their work and understand development and not just aid. 


Key People

Gideon & Jennifer 

great coupleGideon was raised up in a very remote and poor community. His father died while he was still very young which eventually meant he had to stop going to school while doing Form 2. He hated God then for making his family poor, taking his father away when he was still young, and allowing the school authorities to chase him away from school when he really wanted to proceed with education. However his friends from school helped him to study from home by bringing their books to him and eventually, although he did not go to school formally like other children, he was able to write his ‘O’ Level exams and pass all the six subjects. 

He wanted to be a teacher but the colleges also would not take him because he had no money. So he again stayed home still with his hatred for God whom he blamed for causing all this. Gideon and his brothers went through very difficult times and one night, Gideon says, “He met me and told me that He died for me out of His Love for me.” That night he cried the whole night for it was the first time that he sensed that there was someone greater who loved him. The following day he went to see a Christian friend who helped him to accept Jesus as his personal Saviour. “That was the same day I realized that God had called me to communicate His love to orphans, vulnerable children and the poor.” 

He then later joined YWAM where he met Jennifer whom he later married and adopted her five children. They live in a rented house outside Bulawayo. 

Other People Involved

Justus is in his late 20's and his role is psycho–social support which means supporting the children, running outings and camps.

Helping the vulnerableKwaaele (Kaiyz) is the base manager and his wife Lydia is the cook. They have a young girl called Lindsey.

Xesha (Jennifer’s son) is the driver and IT person. 

Naomi is the girl's hostel manager.

Gladys is an older woman who works 3–4 days in the office.  


Vision And Annual Strategy

Their passion is to communicate the love of Christ to orphans and vulnerable children by meeting their physical, emotional, social and material needs.  They do all that they do to point these children to Christ, the true Fountain of Hope which never dries up. They are doing this by providing a safe home at Peniel Centre for physically, emotionally and sexually abused orphans and vulnerable children. 


Life changedPersonal Testimony

Real "Life Change" Stories

Peniel Centre was established to provide a home, family and psycho-social support intervention to homeless orphans and vulnerable children and we thank God that so many children are receiving healing at this wonderful centre. Recently Peniel Centre took in a young boy, Brendon, who is a very intelligent young man who has not had a fixed abode since the death of his father in 2007 (5 years ago). After the death of his father, his mother became mentally challenged together with the grandmother and that left this young boy with no one to give parental love and guardianship. He was referred to Peniel Centre by the authorities from the Ministry of Education who trust that they can do a better job in restoring hope to this young man.