Zimbabwe, Africa

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

Other Reports Available:

Print friendly version

Back to Partnership

Report Date: June 23, 2016

Fountain of Hope Peniel Centre Report


This report is based on the evaluation of Peniel Centre which was done from the 7th to the 10th of June 2016. The evaluation team included the children, members of the community, the staff members and the YWAM eldership team.

All of us as a team are so grateful to Bright Hope World for their partnership in brightening the future of children at this centre. The support from Bright Hope World is really going a long way in making these children enjoy life just like all the children who have parents. Thank you so much for helping us to provide a home, family, hope and a future to these children who all at one time were homeless. 

changed livesPeniel mission: Reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS and poverty on orphans and vulnerable children through the provision of a home, family, hope and a future. 

Target group: Orphaned, abandoned, homeless, abused and rejected children from in and around Matabeleland province of Zimbabwe. 

Number of children at Peniel centre currently: 25 

Main goal: To provide family, hope and a future to orphans and vulnerable children 

Family - all the children now belong to a family – there is no more loneliness
Hope - physically the children are restored to full health and overcome the effects of malnutrition/poor health. Spiritually they are introducted to eternal hope and faith in God. 
Education - 
All are in school except for one who is looking for a University placement. All are being trained in life skills for personal development.
Economic - 7 of the Peniel children are undergoing skills training for economic development while one is looking for a University placement to study Tourism and Hospitality.
Emotional - Positive emotional development is exhibited by most of the Peniel children. 


Recent Events


family nowPeniel centre was applauded by all the people who were part of this evaluation for the way the children are made to feel at home at this centre. All these children have found a home at Peniel home and it’s amazing that they take care of one another at school as if they are biological siblings. To foster more family skills in these children Peniel centre has divided the children into three distinct family units where these children are able to be given love as individuals. The centre does not treat these children as a group but as individuals hence there are three family units with each family having less than 10 children. Each family unit has a parent who provides guidance and love. We have realised that one of the things that these children need among all other things is, loving parents.  

Challenges: It is always a long process for some of the children who never have been in a family setting to be able to adjust to the new way of life at Peniel centre. The cost of living in Zimbabwe has been going up and this has increased the budget for the three families and it’s a very big challenge to meet that budget. Another challenge is acquiring birth certificates for the children, this is a very difficult process in Zimbabwe.

new familyRecommendations: The team recommended Peniel centre staff members try to help these children visit some families in the community so that they can appreciate family life more and connect each child to a family in the OVC supporting church. It was felt it was important to develop a long term connection for each orphan to a family and develop commitment from Christian families to become ‘god-parents’ to an orphan in the home to provide a place of refuge, care and support in holidays and in the future after the child has left the home.

It was also suggested that Peniel centre keep thinking of more self-sustainable projects as a way of increasing income to meet the needs of the centre. 


A number of Peniel children came without hope, some were picked from the streets, others were victims of sexual and physical abuse and others came when they were very sick, literally without hope for the future. The centre brought all these children to a turnaround in their lives as all of them have got hope for the future now. These children don’t have only hope for the life here on earth but they now strongly believe in God through Christ. Those who came sickly are in good health, those who were school drop-outs are back in school, and those who were sexually abused have gone through counselling and are moving on with life. Please read more in Personal Stories below.

Challenges: Our biggest challenge has been the health of some of the children who came to the centre while being infected with HIV. The centre is a bit far away from health centres and it is always a challenge when these children get sick. Zimbabwe's health delivery system is a bit expensive and this is one of the areas that always takes away more money than other needs of Peniel centre. Food also in Zimbabwe is now getting expensive due to the El Niño induced drought which left the country in famine and there is a challenge on being consistent in providing children daily with nutritious food.

Recommendations: The team recommended that all children at Peniel centre be on medical aid for this will help them to be accepted at health institutions when they get sick.  It was also recommended that both the two boreholes of Peniel centre be used to harvest more water for gardening as well as for cooking and drinking. Instead of installing them with electricity powered pumps, solar powered pumps should be used to minimize the money paid on electricity bills.  



One of the thrusts of Fountain of Hope is to see orphans gaining skills that will help them earn a living after school or after moving out of the children's home. We endeavour to break the cycle of poverty by ensuring that these children are helped to go to school and are given opportunities to learn skills that will help them in life. At the moment seven orphans are undergoing training in Hotel & Catering management, Motor mechanics, Building, and Aquaculture. We are so grateful that through the support of Bright Hope World, these children are able to do all these skills and will soon be able to run their own businesses and farms.  

Challenges and Recommendations: Zimbabwe’s economic situation is projected to worsen significantly in the next 5 years, 2016-2020. In this environment, unemployment and resulting poverty and malnourishment are projected to rise substantially. It will become even more difficult for orphans to find employment and income. 

Therefore it is essential to maximise the future income earning prospects for orphaned children. Without solid steps taken FHF and its church partners are at risk of becoming an agency which sustains children to the age of 16 only to then abandon them to a life of poverty and unemployment. 

In order to maximise the future opportunity for FHF orphans, FHF has the responsibility to engage in:
- Providing scholarship funding for all orphans in primary and high school
- Scholarship funding of both capable and incapable orphans for tertiary education
- Establishing apprenticeships into Christian businesses for orphans from its children’s home in partnership with local church partners.
- FHF should consider running a seed investment programme whereby those children who have completed their skills training can be given or loaned funds to kick start their businesses. 
- A tertiary education scholarship fund would be for those orphans with better or even below average school results, to provide an opportunity for them to escape the trap of grinding poverty and unemployment.
- In this struggling economic environment of few training and employment opportunities, a programme needs to be established that places orphans within businesses on very little pay to essentially provide them with experience and training in a specific area of work. 
- Using the national network of churches, Christian owned businesses would be envisioned to take the step to take on 1-2 teenage orphans referred to them by FHF for a trial period whereby they would gain extra labour at very little cost and the orphan would gain valuable work experience and on the job informal training. 

Self-Sustainable Projects

Peniel centre is running a number of self-sustainable projects some of which have been running very well and others have not been doing very well due to the economic challenges our nation is going through. Some of the projects that the centre is running are as follows:

struggling with droughtLivestock project: We currently have 10 head of cattle and 24 goats which are all feeding on our 52 acres of land. These livestock have been going a long way in helping the centre have milk as well as meat. We slaughter a goat each month to be shared amongst all the families of Peniel centre. The challenge has been the drought that we are facing which unfortunately killed some of our livestock at the beginning of the year. As you can see in the photo that they are thin because of drought. During the meeting it was agreed that Peniel centre should consider doing pen feeding so that we may not continue to lose animals to drought. 

Broilers & Layers Project: Our broiler project has been running very well over the past years up until this year when our market immediately crashed. We were selling our chickens to the miners close to Peniel but the problems that are bedevilling Zimbabwe eventually made these miners not be capable of honouring their debt leading to our business crumbling. We have however started a layers project whereby we are selling eggs to members of the public in town. In this meeting it was also agreed that the broiler project is flooded in Zimbabwe and is not a viable project, so it was thumbs up to Peniel centre for starting the layers project. There is a need for more finances to buy more layers so that more eggs can be produced on a daily basis. 

making a differenceGardening: Our desire is to produce our own veggies and be able to sell the surplus. Peniel centre has two small gardens now; one grows veggies for family consumption while the other one grows veggies for sale. The challenge which has been there for us not to be able to maximize production has been the issue of water. Water from our borehole is shared amongst people, livestock, chickens, and the garden. Due to the drought we are experiencing, we try by all means to use water sparingly, therefore making us not to plant veggies in every portion of our garden. It was suggested during the evaluation that the other borehole should be resuscitated so that we are able to harvest more water. The other borehole just needs a solar pump since the panels are already there.  

good cropFoundations for farming: We have been practicing farming God's way in our gardens, specifically to produce maize for the kitchen. It has not been just to produce maize for consumption but also to give skills to our children as most of them would like to get into farming after school. We have seen so many people coming to Peniel centre to learn about farming and our children are really proud that they are spreading the word about this type of farming to so many people in Zimbabwe. The drought did not even stop our children from practicing this and even at this point there is a maize portion in our Peniel field.  


Personal Stories

On Hope

hope for futureShe and her younger sister were dumped in Mthombothemba by their grandmother soon after the death of her parents. Their parents succumbed to HIV/AIDS and the grandmother viewed these children as a curse and to make matters worse this girl was sick unto death. Sickness had eaten up this girl when she was dumped, to a point that no one thought she was going to make it in life. There was literally no hope for life, such that the community started to prepare for her burial. She had sores all over her body and was literally stinking hence the community decided to plan for her burial. 

This girl was handed over to Fountain of Hope volunteers who did not waste time to take her to the hospital, where she was immediately seen by the doctor. This was the time when many people were dying of HIV/AIDS and our main hospital was full of people who were sick, so they refused to admit her because there was no more space for such children. The doctors also thought that she was going to die and that’s why they couldn’t take her into the hospital. They suggested that she should be brought to the hospital on a daily basis for medical check-up. She was taken to Peniel centre from the hospital since she didn’t have anywhere to go. Much care was given to this young girl who was so skinny and full of sores all over the body. There was no hope for her, but the moment she was placed in this place of hope, hope was rekindled. She met people who accepted her and who were willing to take her to hospital on a daily basis even though she was stinking. 

After several months of being sick, this girl began to change and today she is one of the strongest children of Peniel centre. She plays soccer at school and would like to be one of the best female soccer players in the nation. Apart from playing soccer, she would like to be a nurse after school, so that she could help and assist those who are sick. Thank you Bright Hope World for partnering with us in restoring hope to the hopeless.

Creating a Future 

changed lifeHe never got to know his father, actually he never heard who his father was. His mother left this young man when he was a small boy and disappeared into thin air with another man. She never came back to see this young man. This young man was left in the custody of his grandmother who didn’t have accommodation of her own and was living on one of the farms near Bulawayo. He became a school drop-out when he was still very young and his help only came when he was brought to Peniel centre. 

At Peniel centre he was taken back to school soon after joining the family. However he didn't do well in school, mainly because of the time he spent without going to school. After ‘O’ level last year, with the support from Bright Hope, he was sent to a tertiary college to study Agriculture. He became one of the best students at his school, to a point that he was seconded to go and study Aquaculture in Harare. He is one the first people from Matabeleland region to study Aquaculture. 

He would like to have his own farm after this training as he now has skills in horticulture, aquaculture, and livestock management. Fountain of Hope is currently discussing with the government to provide him with the land so that he can practice his farming. Once he gets a farm, we would like to drill a borehole for him and help him to establish his aquaculture business.  He may never experience love and guidance from his biological parents but he now has a future because of the skills that he was provided with, again thanks to Bright Hope World. 

On Family 

Name: Nqobile Nyathi 
Date of Birth: 23/3/2001
Ambition: To be a pilot 
changed lifeNqobile's father, who was a garden tender in one of the suburbs of Bulawayo, died when this young girl was doing her 7th grade of primary school. The father didn’t have accommodation of his own in the city of Bulawayo and was living with his family in a cottage which was owned by the family he was working for. Soon after the death of Mr Nyathi, his employers didn’t see the reason why the remaining family should continue occupying their cottage, so Nqobile and her mother were told to vacate the place and get another place of abode. After the mother looked around and couldn’t find a place for her and her child, she then disappeared into thin air leaving this girl with no one to take care of.  

The neighbours who knew the mother of this child took her in and really acted as good Samaritans to this girl up until they decided to pull her out of school and engage her into child labour. This girl was then introduced to child labour where her wages were a plate of Sadza (Zimbabwe's staple food) every day. She really wanted to go to school but there was nothing that she could do since her mother had ran away from her soon after the death of her father. She then had to accept this life of working for food and of being emotionally and physically abused by her master. 

After some time she bumped into one of her former teachers, who started to inquire from her about how she lives and whether she still goes to school. She broke into tears as she explained to the teacher her predicament and her desire to have a loving home or family. The teacher quickly took the problems of this girl to the Child Protection Committee who did not waste time to contact Peniel centre to consider taking this child into the home. The girl is one of the newest children of Peniel centre. 

She came to Peniel centre when the other children were already in the middle of the first term of the school year and we thank God that the school accepted her even though she was coming to school as a drop out. This girl is a hard worker and a very intelligent young person who quickly adjusted to both the school and Peniel environment such that she passed five subjects out of eight at the end of the first school term.  Thank you so much Bright Hope World that through your support this girl has a home and a family now.


Peniel centre is really giving these children a family, a hope and a future. 

Blessings to you Bright Hope World team for the support. 

Gideon & Jennifer Chishamba