Zimbabwe, Africa

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

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Report Date: August 31, 2021

Fountain of Hope Foundation Report August 2021

tough place to liveThis dry and arid community is in Matabeleland South Province of Zimbabwe and is under Gwanda district. It is in climatic region 5 of Zimbabwe and this means that the community receives below normal rainfall annually and by virtue of this rainfall pattern, the community and the areas around always struggle with hunger all year round. This challenge has really pushed many men out of the community to neighbouring countries to look for green pastures. This also came with its own challenges as most of them would cross borders without enough papers and sometimes will not be able to come back once they have settled in the neighbouring countries leaving their families without a provider and a protector. Some of these men and young people who try to cross into South Africa are taken and eaten by crocodiles as they try to cross at undesignated points along the crocodile infested Limpopo River. So many people are eaten by crocodiles in this river as they try to run away from hunger and starvation in this region of Zimbabwe.

This is the region with schools that record a 0% pass rate meaning that few of them get jobs in town hence they rely mostly on going to either South Africa or Botswana for employment. It is to this backdrop that Fountain of Hope is working in this community to improve the quality of life through empowering people to live a dignified life. We have been basically running two projects in this community - Foundations for Farming and a Transformation Centre. Please see below what we have achieved so far in Mtshazo community: 

Recent Events

Foundations for Farming

transforming livesOur aim in this community is to improve food security through training the community members to practice sustainable agriculture. We trained and empowered 30 farmers with seeds to practice farming God’s way. 60% of our farmers in this community did exceptionally well and thank God that they have not only grasped this new idea of farming but have got enough food for their families for the whole year.

This community has never had a bumper harvest since 1947 and thank God that through this program our farmers managed to harvest food enough to feed their families for the whole year. For the first time in the last 74 years, the community successfully held a Field Day which was attended by many people to witness this miracle (a bumper harvest in a dry community). This reminded us of the story of Isaac in the Bible who planted and harvested much in a year of famine. Famine used to be the order of the day, but thank God for the Foundations for farming program, it is really indeed breaking the cycle of poverty and hunger. 

Challenges and Solutions:
Rain brought a number of challenges, chief amongst them being insects and stalk borer for maize. Our Agriculture Officer did a great job of coming up with affordable and available community remedies to fight out all these devourers and at the end the farmers won the battle. 

Our team and the community resolved that farmers should continue to be trained up until they grasp this new technology of farming. Drought resistant crops should be encouraged to be grown in such areas as this one. We also agreed that we should slowly move to the next village and the farmers from this community are to work with our Agricultural Officer in training the farmers from the other village, therefore increasing the number of people who are benefitting from this program. This is how the program is going to cascade down to all the parts of Matabeleland region, one village at a time. 

Fountain of Hope and the community agreed to establish a Community Based Sustainable Agriculture Resource Centre. Land has already been allocated by the community to be used as a learning resource for not only the people of the community but all the people of Gwanda. We look forward to seeing people coming from all over the region into this community to learn how to grow different crops which will take them out of the doldrums of hunger and poverty. The demonstration plot is going to be open to all the members of the community and other people around. It is going to be a centre that multiplies this idea in the whole region hence the land is situated by the side of the road. Some of the crops that are going to be grown are as follows:
i) Different varieties of maize especially those hybrid which are done by Zadzamatura
ii) Sorghum
iii) Cow Peas
iv) Groundnuts
v) Millet
vi) All kinds of green vegetables
vii) Fruit trees 


Transformation Centre

Our aim is to reach out to vulnerable children and young people from the community of Mtshazo. This is one of the communities that was affected by the havoc of COVID-19 since most of the men from this community have been working in South Africa and now most of them have lost their means of income and even their employment leaving them with no means to support their young children. The community also witnessed a number of elderly people succumbing to the pandemic leaving again the young people without anyone to look after them. It is to this backdrop that we are running a Transformation Centre with the aim of bringing hope to the hopeless children through supporting the education of young people, helping in the acquisition of birth-certificates, providing the vulnerable girls with monthly pads; offering parenting skills to parents and grandparents, and offering skills to out of school young people so that they may have something that will enable them to earn a living in a nation where unemployment is very high. We also endeavour to improve the quality of health of vulnerable children through sending them to hospital whenever they are not feeling well. 

This Transformation Centre has a pre-school which has one teacher and 36 small children apart from the community’s vulnerable teenagers and young people. 18 young girls have been going through reproductive health training as well as being helped to start a netball team so as to give them something to do on a daily basis. Above all, these young children and teenagers are taught the word of God. 

Challenges and Solutions:
COVID-19 has been the biggest challenge this year since we have been going under lockdowns from the beginning of the year. It was very difficult to reach out to the community during the rainy season but thank God that the community assisted us by building up the road which was destroyed by the rains. The death of the elderly people due to COVID-19 left so many small children and young people without parents or guardians and our ministry is doing its best to ask the community to look after these orphaned children. There is a great need for counselling probably for the whole community because what is happening came to the community that wasn’t expecting such to happen.  

The community and Fountain of Hope agreed to keep on running this Transformation Centre. 

It was also agreed that teenagers should also be involved in Foundations for Farming so that they may grow up with the knowledge of farming.

Fountain of Hope was asked to consider paying high school fees for some of the orphans and vulnerable children who do not have someone to pay school fees for them. 



Fountain of Hope staff members would like to hereby register their deep appreciation to Bright Hope World for all the support that is being rendered to the communities and villages that we are working in. Thank you so much for partnering with us in bringing hope to the hopeless, our communities are slowly but surely getting transformed through the support that comes from you. Your support has undoubtedly brought hope to the young people whose hopes were dashed by a myriad of challenges that we are going through right here in Zimbabwe. The farming God’s way program has brought smiles on the hearts of the families that used to struggle with food insecurity. 

Our economic challenges coupled with the deadly pandemic issues has really brought many communities to their knees. Most of our communities were and are really affected by COVID-19 and many people lost their jobs, while a number of grandparents who were now the sole providers of orphans and vulnerable children are succumbing or have succumbed to the deadly pandemic. In one of the communities that we work with, this year’s winter season really brought a dark cloud over the community since a day would barely go by without the death of an old person. Children are left with no food and some of them without shelter. Thank you so much Bright Hope World that through your support, we are able to provide shelter at Peniel Centre as well as feeding these children at our Transformation Centres. 

The support from Bright Hope World has opened a great opportunity for our team to be able to disciple the people from the communities that we work with. The support for the Transformation Centres is helping us to touch the lives of children, the youth and the community at large. The Foundations for Farming has brought a number of people to Christ and now we are coming up with farmers groups which are smaller groups in the villages that we work with where farmers meet together to learn and to pray together. The skills development centre has gone a long way in taking young people off the streets and these young people are being taught to know God and make Him known.

Thank you so much Bright Hope World for the support.