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ZIM02 - Fountain of Hope - Peniel Children's Home: Partnership Reports

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Report Date: February 18, 2021

Fountain of Hope Project Report 

great crop2020 has been a very challenging year for all the people in the world and members of Fountain of Hope Foundation, together with the communities that we work with, have also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We started the year with great anticipation and excitement to bring transformation to the people of the communities that we work in. Our work really revolves around working directly and physically with people from poor communities of Zimbabwe.

In March 2020, Zimbabwe lost the first person to COVID-19 and this prompted the government to impose a national lockdown to curb the spread of the virus. Unfortunately the lockdowns in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana led to many people losing their employment and their sources of income since some people earned a living through buying and selling. We therefore witnessed an influx of people leaving town, and neighbouring countries, and going back to their rural areas. The communities that we work with are close to both South Africa and Botswana hence our communities had to welcome lots and lots of people who had lost employment and their source of income. Most of them came back empty handed to families that looked to them for financial support. One young lady from Makamure came back from South Africa pregnant and was so stressed out that she died on the day that she delivered twins. Fountain of Hope Foundation, through the transformation centre program in Makamure community, had to jump in, rescue the two wonderful children and start feeding them on daily basis. We did not only feed these two young children but also the grandfather and grandmother together with other children at the homestead.

The coming in of COVID-19 had to make us focus on providing food relief to some families that had lost their sources of income. We are currently working on finding better ways for these people to earn a decent living in their communities. We provided food to blind people, disabled people, displaced people, orphans and vulnerable children, thanks to Bright Hope World. 

Apart from COVID-19, Zimbabwe already has been going through a myriad of challenges which include the following; the collapse of the economy, high unemployment rate of over 90%, drought, political instability, collapse of the health system, teachers going on strike for days on end, children dropping out of school, increase of teenage pregnancies, increase of child headed families etc. Fountain of Hope Foundation is slowly working with communities one village at a time to improve the quality of life in the remote areas of communities in region 5 of Zimbabwe. This is the driest, the poorest, the uneducated, drought prone region of Zimbabwe. All our programs and projects are designed to take the people of this region out of the doldrums of poverty and all things that undermine hope. 

We have seen the hand of God in all our endeavours to break hopelessness in the lives of the people that we work with. As 2020 comes to an end we owe a deep gratitude to Bright Hope World without whom the success of projects and programs could not have been a reality. We are also very grateful to all our dedicated and committed staff members who have worked tirelessly throughout the year sometimes endangering their own lives working at night or with people infected with COVID-19. 

We are also indebted to one of our staff members, Tamara Dube, who is finishing this year sick after testing positive with COVID-19. Our team continue to pray for her speedy recovery from this disease. She has been a voice to the voiceless orphans and vulnerable children. 

Please find herein below the brief summary report of each and every program that our team is involved in:


Foundations for Farming

transforming farmingThis program is also known as Farming God’s Way and is one of the programs that is going a long way in breaking the chains of poverty and hunger in the communities that we work with. Our Agriculture Officer together with our team members in conjunction with the government’s Department of Agriculture trained 250 farmers from four communities (Makamure, Nemauzhe, Mtshazo and Mthombothemba) in this farming season. New crops were introduced to maize which is our staple food, and all these communities enthusiastically accepted the new crops to be grown in their fields.

The ongoing training for the new season started in June 2020 and will continue to go up until harvest time between March and May 2021. We envision communities that are food secure and who are able to sell the surplus to get money to send their children to school. We pray for enough rain to come this season so that the people of these communities harvest from their fields to feed their families. The community is so much appreciative of this effort and training that they are receiving to improve food security in the community, please find below the speech by one of the community leaders from Makamure community: 

very gratefulOn behalf of the community I am so much grateful to Fountain of Hope Foundation for the love they are showing to us here in this community of Makamure. Many organisations completely don’t care about us mainly because some of our people live deep in the bush where one cannot drive to reach out to them but thank God for these people, they walk through the bushes in order to get to where our people are at. Thank you so much for training us, we believe if God gives us enough rain our families and community will not remain the same. We would like to ask you to consider helping all the villages of this ward 19 of Chivi district. Thank you again for coming over here to help us to fight out hunger from this community.  


Boreholes and Gardens

clean waterThe aim of this project is to increase access to clean and safe water for drinking as well as for productive purposes. The gardens are established where boreholes are drilled mainly to improve local food security and livelihood opportunities for poor people from these communities. This year a borehole was drilled in Gudo village of Chief Nemauzhe community to provide clean water to the people of this village. The whole of 2020 was very dry and most boreholes in Zimbabwe, especially those in region 5, dried up leaving people struggling to get water for daily household consumption as well as for irrigating their gardens.

We are so very grateful to God that the people from the communities that we work with prayed and their boreholes did not dry up except one. The people of Makamure, Mthombothemba and Mandiva villages produced vegetables in a way that they never have before during this difficult year of 2020. This definitely prompted many people from different villages to approach Fountain of Hope for assistance in the establishment of gardens. All the effort of these people began to be noticed, even by the government, such that Chivi district council offered these farmers a place to sell their products for free. We have seen the people who are involved in these gardens turning up to become local donors, supporting the returning residents of Zimbabwe with food since most of them came back empty handed. The community of Mthombothemba has been doing a wonderful work of supporting their own struggling people to have food for their families. These gardens are definitely going to give birth to so many gardens in the communities. 

The gardens are not only places where people have their vegetables but are now centres of education for the community. Fountain of Hope provides health education, livestock management training, community mobilisation process training etc. in these gardens. We have seen women starting self-help groups (SHG) from these gardens. They learn how to save their money and how to invest in small scale community based businesses. Some of these people have even started building better houses out of what they are getting from the gardens. Please see herein story below: 

changed lifeMrs Kuda’s husband was never employed in Zimbabwe since the rate of unemployment has been rising since 1997. This family was planted by God in the dry region 5 of Zimbabwe, where the soils are poor, the rainfall pattern is so poor that people always receive little or nothing from their fields. This family was blessed by God with two wonderful children but the problem they have been facing was how to send their children to school as well as buying school uniforms since both the father and mother were completely unemployed. The family was overjoyed when they were included in the garden project at Mandiva village in Chivi district. The woman has been a very committed farmer such that she is able sell her veggies to get money to pay school fees for her children. Apart from paying school fees, they used only to have one hut where they were sharing altogether as a family but thank God that through the garden she was able to build an iron roofed two roomed house for her family.   


Transformation Centres

getting supportThese are centres that were introduced and established by Fountain of Hope Foundation in poor rural communities aimed at providing ongoing support to orphans and vulnerable children. We have also added young adults to the group of people who are being assisted at these transformation centres. We have realised that children and young people suffer mostly and quietly the challenges that we are going through as a nation. Some of these young people if not helped would turn to become prostitutes, beggars, robbers etc. Our aim is to develop the orphans and vulnerable children socially, mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. We desire to produce young people out of these transformation centres who have something to contribute to the development of the nation and the world at large.

We are currently running a transformation centre in Makamure community where we are aiming at assisting 100 people with education, legal help (provision of birth-certificates) and provision of psycho-social support. 67 are being assisted so far at the moment from this community. Apart from that we are currently training 12 young people to gain agriculture skills so that they may be able to earn a living out of agriculture soon after the training.

Mthombothemba transformation centre has 120 people who all come from difficult different backgrounds. Mtshazo has got a pre-school that runs and supports 45 young people. 


Skills Training

learning new skillsWe realised that many young people do not have skills that they can use to make a living. In March 2020 we only planned to get 12 young people from our transformation centres to do agriculture training but we were overwhelmed by the number of young people from these communities who showed an interest in being trained or being given agriculture skills to live by. Makamure alone recorded over 200 young people, both boys and girls between the age of 16 and 23 who all came from vulnerable families and who needed to be empowered with agriculture skills. Unfortunately our budget was for only 12 young people.

This gave us a glimpse of how big unemployment is in our society and we began to be challenged by the community leaders to consider running skills development courses that will empower young people with skills to make a living in a nation where there is no employment. This has given birth to our Carpentry Skills Training which is going to commence in the first month of 2021. Fountain of Hope already has the trainer who is ready to start empowering young people with necessary skills that will enable them to survive in this turbulent world. We are at the moment in the process of coming up with a curriculum to be used during this training. 

We are looking forward to seeing the Carpentry course give birth to other different courses that will assist unemployed young people from the communities that we work with. We believe that these courses will reduce teenage pregnancies, the spread of HIV/AIDS amongst the youth, crime rate in all the communities, decrease the number of prostitutes, and will improve the quality of life of youngsters. Please find below the story of one of the girls who did Sewing Training between March and December 2020 (see the above photo of the young girls who were trained):

learning new skillsMy name is Chloe and I am so grateful to Fountain of Hope Foundation for helping me to acquire skills that will help me to earn a living. My mother died when I was young and I did not manage to get to know her. I do not have a picture of what she looked like. After the death of my mother, I was left with nowhere to go except to go and stay with my aunt who also didn’t have her own place of accommodation. I already had dropped out of school by the time I heard of the transformation centre that Fountain of Hope Foundation runs in Mthombothemba community. We started living in a squatter camp outside Bulawayo town and there was literally no hope for me because apart from being a vulnerable young girl, I also didn’t have an identity document. My father was a foreigner therefore I was a stateless young girl. I thank God for the transformation centre staff members who welcomed me well when I went to seek assistance; they helped me to get an identity document. I am now a citizen of Zimbabwe and am also able to open up a bank account like anyone else in this nation who is above 18.

Furthermore Fountain of Hope Foundation helped me to gain a skill in dressmaking. They sent me for training for a full one year up until I graduated. They supported me monthly and I am so  grateful to these people for their support. I graduated in December 2020 and I am looking forward to opening up my shop outside Bulawayo where I will be making school uniforms for school children and that’s how I am going to be making a living. I only need an electric sewing machine for the business that I am about to start.   


Livestock Management

tough yearThis is one of the projects that faced a lot of challenges in the last two seasons and especially between March and June 2020. In the midst of severe drought and the challenges of COVID-19, southern parts of Zimbabwe were sadly attacked by a livestock disease that left many people without goats, cows and even chickens. The government workers were very reluctant to come into these communities and help as they also didn’t have protective clothes against COVID-19 and therefore were too afraid to come out and help the people. We thank God for our agriculture officer and our staff members who sacrificed their lives and began to find ways to help the people, especially the livestock of Mthombothemba, Chirogwe, Makamure and Mandiva communities.

Mandiva community is the one that was mostly affected and many livestock died in this community. We thank God that our agriculture officer became the hero because after three months of trying to find out what the problem was, he managed to discover a vaccine for people to use against the outbreak and thank God that the disease has now stopped. Despite the challenges the livestock project is going a long way in transforming the lives of people from the communities that we work with. 



breaking the cycle“Education is the powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”, Nelson Mandela.

Fountain of Hope Foundation believes so much that one of the ways of breaking the cycle of poverty is ensuring that young people are given a proper education whether formally or informally. We endeavour to empower children from child-headed families, orphan families and from vulnerable families, especially those who live in squatter camps, with an education up until at least they get a first degree. Fountain of Hope is doing a splendid job of supporting 40 children from around the community of Mthombothemba with education assistance. We support these children from grade 0 to university level. Please find below the story of one of the children:

Bertha’s father left this beautiful, intelligent and responsible girl and her mother for greener pastures in South Africa 15 years ago and never came back home. When he left Bertha’s mother was overjoyed and excited at the prospects of having a husband who works outside Zimbabwe and who would send money back home for the family to survive. Little did she know that her husband would not write back nor even phone back home to communicate what is happening to him in the land of gold. No one knows whether he died or was killed on his way to South Africa as people cross the crocodile infested river in order to get into South Africa. There has been no report back on what really happened on his way to South Africa or whether he is there working or not and it is now 15 years since he left.

His disappearance did not stop the children from growing and from needing a place of accommodation. When the man left, the family was renting a one room bedroom in one of the suburbs of Bulawayo, where they were booted out after failing to pay their rent. They joined other destitute families who live in one of the squatter camps outside Bulawayo town. We thank God for the transformation centre that is run by Fountain of Hope Foundation in the community of Mthombothemba. They have been taking these children who live in the squatter camp back to school and this is how this wonderful girl has remained in school.

Fountain of Hope has been paying school fees ever since this girl has been at Primary school and now she is at one of the Universities of Zimbabwe where she is studying for her first degree. Fountain of Hope pays school fees, buys stationary, pays for private wifi for the child to be able to study at home. Not only is this girl being supported with education but the transformation centre assisted her to acquire a birth-certificate and that’s why she is still in school, hoping to pass her degree and start a business of her own where she will be able to help her mother and her young brother. 


Peniel Centre

making a differencePeniel Centre is a home to orphans and vulnerable children from very hard or difficult places. We consider this as the last resort of helping homeless and abandoned children from region 5 of Zimbabwe. Peniel centre has 27 children at the moment who all come from different and difficult circumstances, some have a background of being raped by their close relatives, while others were just abandoned by their parents, and others come from cases of physical abuse. Fountain of Hope provides a home, family, hope and a future for these wonderful children. We ensure that they all go to school and are provided with psycho-social support.

In 2021 we are giving birth to the Skills Training Centre at Peniel Centre so that the older children are provided with carpentry skills and other skills which will help them to survive in life. We decided to initiate this program after realising that there is no employment in Zimbabwe and people can only survive well if they have a skill, hence we are working on helping these youngsters by equipping them with some skills. The training is going to take place at Peniel Centre and will also involve other youngsters from the communities that we work with. We thank God that we already have the trainer who is willing to take them through.

Please find below the story of one of the young boys who is a resident of Peniel Centre: 

Gava’s mother became mentally ill soon after giving birth to this wonderful and strong young man. She became mentally unstable because she became pregnant after her stepfather, who was very old, raped her. Soon after the rape, she told her mother about the whole story but her mother couldn’t help her but rather turned to alcohol until she became alcoholic. The family went through a very difficult patch as they were trying to solve the whole problem. The rapist also couldn’t manage the stress and died of heart failure so by the time this boy was born everyone in the family was sick. The mother was taken to a mental health centre and lives at this centre up to today.

This boy was taken to Peniel Centre when he was very young, without a birth-certificate and even with no name. He was given his name by Peniel Centre staff members who did a great job of raising this young man who is now at high school and who would like to be a lawyer after school. Praise God that he has an identity document now and will be getting a job one day or will be able to start a business himself and hopefully will get his mother out from the mental institution. 



fantastic teamThe Fountain of Hope team (pictured) is so very grateful to Bright Hope World for all the financial support without which we could not achieved all that we have achieved so far in these downtrodden communities. Our staff members have done an incredible job especially during 2020 where they have sacrificed all and became frontline workers in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our staff members worked so hard and with all commitment especially when the doctors and nurses in Zimbabwe were on strike; they are the ones who would sit with the communities and teach them what to do and how to change our normal ways of doing things. Unfortunately one of our staff members got infected with COVID-19 in the process and December became a very difficult month for all of us as we all tried to give support to this one who is infected. She is asthmatic but we thank God that she is doing fine under the attack of COVID-19.

Thank you again Bright Hope World.

Gideon & Jennifer
for Fountain of Hope Foundation