Zimbabwe, Africa

ZIM02g - Fountain of Hope - Mtshazo Community Development: Partnership Reports

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Report Date: July 21, 2020

Mtshazo Community Report

This community is in ward 3 of Gwanda district in Matabeleland South province of Zimbabwe. This province is known for a poor rainfall pattern, livestock dying of hunger on an annual basis, and people migrating to South Africa because of hunger and starvation. There are very few schools in this province with a small percentage of young people going to school up to University level.

There are many rivers that flow through this province taking water to Limpopo river in the south of Zimbabwe but there are very few dams to harvest all this water for the betterment of the communities in this region. Mtshabezi river, which is one of the largest rivers in this region, flows through the community of Mtshazo. The river has silted because of soil erosion that takes place at the source of the river. If water in the sand could be harvested this dry community and other communities can be transformed from being a dry community to a green community. It is the desire of Fountain of Hope to see these dry communities changing into green belts of the nation of Zimbabwe.

Please find herein below the brief report on what Fountain of Hope has been doing in this community:

Recent Events


much needed waterFountain of Hope installed this borehole with a solar powered pump to provide drinking water to the people of Mtshazo, especially the children who come to learn at Mtshazo transformation centre. The other aim for this borehole was for Fountain of Hope to use the land to run a vegetable pilot project in order to challenge the whole community to begin to grow vegetables for consumption as well as to improve their economic status.

The garden, which was established at the beginning of the year, is now run by one of the men of the community as a pilot project in this dry sandy community. We have been using this garden as a training ground for the community that has never had irrigated land in their community. The land though it is sandy soil has produced tomatoes, green veggies, onions, green pepper etc. 

This borehole and the garden which was established ignited hope and faith in the hearts of the people of Mtshazo, they now believe that something good is capable of coming out of their land. Fountain of Hope is going to start training people of this community on how to run small-scale gardens to improve household food and income security as from August 2020.  

safe place

Transformation Centre

The transformation centre is going a long way in making children who could be out of school to be in school as the community and Fountain of Hope are establishing a community based school. The school caters for children from poor backgrounds and who live mostly with their old grannies. The nearest public school is very much inaccessible during the rainy season because of the river that separates the school and the community. The school is also very expensive as it was built to be a boarding school for children from rich families. The children from this community cannot afford to be at this school especially when they go for high school. The transformation centre does not only provide educational assistance to these children but gives food to them on daily basis as well as ensuring that all these children have got identity documents.  

Foundations for Farming

crops growingThe greatest desire of Fountain of Hope is to train communities, especially those from region 5 of Zimbabwe, to utilize their land to the maximum to produce food for their families. Mtshazo is a dry and drought prone community that has never before experienced any meaningful harvest. The community receives below 100mm of rainfall annually and this does not make crops to grow well in this community. Year after year the people of this area suffer hunger and starvation and this has resulted in many of their children not being able to finish off school. Husbands and fathers leave their families for either South Africa or Botswana to look for employment in order to care for their families. Some of them do not even come back home while others come once in a while to check on their families. 

It is to this backdrop that Fountain of Hope would like to harvest water for irrigation purposes in this community to make this community a green belt of Matabeleland province. It is not just harvesting water but also training the community to practice Foundations for Farming to improve the fertility of their soil, so that they may produce much from this once poor soil.

A pilot project which was run by Fountain of Hope in Mtshazo village proved that with water the community is capable of producing much. 30 communal farmers are receiving training run by Fountain of Hope on farming God’s way. We are not only interested in making the people of this community produce much from their field but to see them coming to full knowledge of God. This project is going a long way in making people turn from an animistic worldview to the Biblical worldview. 


Personal Stories

Please see the story below of one of the children who was assisted at the transformation centre:

changed lifeGift was born in South Africa to Zimbabwean parents who were living in South Africa. The parents survived through doing menial jobs in South Africa and therefore didn’t have proper jobs or even good accommodation. The mother of Gift gave birth to this wonderful young boy in a shack; she didn’t go to a hospital or clinic for fear of being deported back home to Zimbabwe. After giving birth to this young boy, life became too unbearable for this couple in SA and they decided to come back to Zimbabwe with a child who didn’t have papers and who literally was nationless.

They illegally crossed back into Zimbabwe with their child and a few belongings to start a new life back home. The child grew up without papers in Zimbabwe and only when it became difficult for him to be enrolled at school that his family realised they had a daunting task to undertake getting identity documents for him. To make matters worse, the mother also didn’t have an identity document so there was no way that they could apply for a document for this child.

Thank God for the establishment of this transformation centre. This boy was assisted to get an identity document. Fountain of Hope did not only help the child but the mother first to get her identity document. The mother is now a happy citizen of Zimbabwe with an identity document and has the right to participate in all developmental projects taking place in the community. The child as well now has his birth-certificate, thanks to Fountain of Hope for the assistance. 


Plans for the Future

Harvesting Water

Before lockdown, Fountain of Hope met with the community to find ways of utilising the water in the deep sand of Mtshabezi River to irrigate the land of Mtshazo and other villages to improve food security in this community that is known as a food insecure community. The community with excitement agreed to work with Fountain of Hope in harvesting water from the river for drinking and productive purposes. This is one of the projects that Fountain of Hope is looking forward to working with the people of the community in ensuring that there is safe drinking water in the community.

Small Scale Community Gardens

The community has the vision now to establish a community garden with the water being pumped from Mtshabezi river bed to irrigate the community garden. Land is already allocated for this project which came as a result of seeing the pilot community project working or doing wonders. This garden will go a long way in making families live together and living a happy life. Due to perennial droughts and economic challenges, families in this community have been living separate ways. You would find that a man will be working in South Africa while the woman and children remain at home, waiting for the father to come back once a year or once after every two years. This project will reduce cases of gender based violence as both men and women will be able to work and produce something for their families in the community.  


Current Issues and Challenges

1) Poor rainfall and very sandy soils 

2) People do not have full knowledge of farming since farming has not been their area of expertise (men in this area were known for hunting and so hunting was their source of livelihood but animals are no more) 

3) There is water that flows through their community which is not harvested to be used for productive purposes to take people out of hunger and starvation 

4) High School is 8 km away from the community therefore making it difficult for children from this area to do well in school because they are always tired of walking