In 2006, ICRI was invited to provide consulting and training to several Zimbabwean NGOs. This led to a request from local government authorities to establish a more permanent presence in the country. In 2007, the Child Resource Institute Zimbabwe (CRIZ) was formed. ICRI directs a diverse array of projects aimed at improving the lives of Zimbabwean children, families, and communities. We maintain a headquarters office in Harare, as well as a field office in the community of Buhera.
Orphaned and Vulnerable Children Intervention Project
1.6 million of the world’s 14 million HIV/AIDS orphans reside in Zimbabwe. There is an extraordinary need for care, support, and advocacy on behalf of Zimbabwe’s orphaned and vulnerable children, especially under the age of 6. We work to start or improve programs that address the basic needs of orphaned and vulnerable children, including education, health care, shelter, and psychosocial support. Our past work has included:
- building or developing schools and community centers
- training teachers and other professionals working with young children
- providing educational materials and financial support to programs serving orphaned children
- triaging children’s healthcare needs through linkages to community-based clinics
Our model program in Marondara has become a leader in the transformation of education for young children, the integration of good health programs and health monitoring, the provision of healthy and nutritious foods, and the support of AIDS orphans whose older siblings are raising their younger brothers and sisters.
Support for Women and Girls
CRIZ provides intensive support services to orphaned and vulnerable young women and girls, with a particular focus on two particularly underserved populations in Zimbabwe: young women who have endured sexual assault, abuse, and/or are HIV-positive. We run accessible drop-in centers where young women can find a safe space and connect to support services including individual and group counseling; educational assistance such as tutoring and scholarships; economic alternatives such as vocational skills building, small business training, and seed grants; and peer-based health education and empowerment. Our goal is to advance the safety, stability, and self-sufficiency of young women and girls in Zimbabwe.
CRIZ provides nationwide support to community-based organizations serving Zimbabwean children and families. We provide training, capacity building, advocacy, infrastructure development, seed grants, and intensive organizational mentoring. Our goal is to strengthen individual grassroots organizations, and to connect grassroots efforts into a coordinated and effective national movement advocating for Zimbabwe’s most vulnerable citizens.
Sustainable Families Project
CRIZ believes that the best way to help lift families out of extreme poverty is to equip them with the skills and resources they need to help themselves. We provide training and assistance so they can earn an income through raising livestock or growing crops, operating mini-bus services, or opening small businesses.
- The Orphaned and Vulnerable Children Intervention Project has provided early childhood education training and materials to over 17 programs, serving a combined total of over 2100 children.
- Support for Women and Girls has provided intensive advocacy and support to over 40 young women, and training on the rights and needs of young women to over 300 community members.
- The Grassroots Advocacy Project has provided capacity building, training, and organizational mentoring to over 23 grassroots organizations serving children and families.