Community Transformation in Zimbabwe

Family Impact Zimbabwe has been working with the community in Irisvale, about 80km outside Bulawayo, for the past 3 years, guiding them through the Church Community Mobilisation Process (CCMP). Supported by our partner, TEAR Netherlands, CCMP is designed to work through churches, helping them to recognise the call to show Jesus’ love through identifying and meeting needs in their communities by mobilising locally available resources. The programme does not tell communities what their needs are or what they should do about them, but helps catalyse an internal process of inclusive, community-led development. Working through the Irisvale pastor’s fraternal, Family Impact has provided training and awareness raising on HIV, behaviour change and establishing HIV support groups in the community.

The results of the training and encouragement given to the Irisvale community have been amazing. One of the key needs the community identified was the building of a secondary school. For the past 20 years students have been learning in dilapidated rooms which were former farm stables. The community decided to work together to build new classroom blocks. They moulded the bricks themselves and the community provided all the construction labour, with men, women and the youths all contributing. The leadership encouraged every household to donate a bag of cement to the project which was then supported by a donation from PPC, a local cement factory. To date two blocks (4 classrooms) have been completed and work is starting on the third one. Roofing of the classrooms remains a challenge and the community is seeking ways to access these materials.

We were also very excited to hear that a pastor who has been trained as a peer educator and behaviour change champion through the programme in Irisvale has decided to replicate the CCMP model through the pastor’s fraternal in an adjacent community. Meetings have commenced and the group are already reaching out to help families with HIV positive members.

We thank God for the way the CCMP programme has helped the community to recognise their own internal resources and to use them to make positive changes and bring fullness of life to families and the community as a whole.

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