We are officially in Zimbabwe! This week the UK volunteers arrived ready for action. We met up with the in-country volunteers, who we’ll be working with for the next 11 weeks. Orientation, orientation! The first week pretty much consisted of us getting to know each other, cultural exchanges, the DOs and the DON’Ts (code of conduct) we have been good so far, pinky swears. Oh, the host families. The kids (me included) were handed over to their host mums and dads for the remainder of their time here in Zimbabwe! My waist line is beautiful now; I’ve been eating a healthy cooked meal every single day and at the correct times, too. The meal usually consists of SADZA, rice, meat/fish, vegetables and fruits. Sadza goes with anything, could probably build houses with it, we haven’t tested this yet. I personally am in love with my host family and home.

All in favour of sadza? Google it! 

Team Caritas is a part of the Roman Catholic institute specialising in relief services. Our project will enable us to work with the local farmers in Kentucky’s irrigation scheme. Our farmers are currently all living on LESS than $22 each month and with some walking up to 6km from home, just to water their crops. We walked the 3km length of the pipeline leading up to Kentucky farm and though it’s beautiful, walking that far in the heat every single day is very hard work!

The main problem that the Kentucky farmers face is getting a start-up loan in order for them to buy the necessary tools. The banks require a lot of personal details/information that most of the farmers simply do not have. ISALs (Internal Savings and Lending Schemes) will allow them to form small groups amongst themselves, pay in such amount each month. A group member can then request to borrow that money, to benefit their crops/business and return the money with set interest, which will increase the savings of all members.

Our long term goal is to have all Kentucky farmers members on an ISAL, which will enable them to earn up to $60 per month. 

Today we will be meeting the farmers on a more personal level and build relationships with them in order for the project to be successful. Not only will we teach them how to better market their crops, we will also be delivering training sessions on HIV & AIDS and how better nutrition from these very crops can benefit people living with HIV. 

We absolutely cannot wait to get stuck into the rest of our programme down in the Dora area.

Here is a selection of some of our recent team photos:

Cultural exchange role play at orientation; Land of the Albatross.

Allan, Cleo, Frank and Beth from Team Caritas presenting the team plan.

Setting off on the 3km walk to Kentucky in the heat of the day.

Walking the rugged landscape of the pipeline to Kentucky.

Arriving at Kentucky, elated by the sight of crops growing in the distance. 

Team Caritas at Kentucky farm, tired but motivated after walking the 3km pipeline.


Written by ICS Team Caritas