Mzimuni's Community News

Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on World Vision operations

In support of public health recommendations outlined by the World Health Organization, some sponsorship program activities have been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. Activities may include sponsor queries and correspondence, sponsor visits, gift notifications and gift deliveries. These temporary suspensions may affect the information you receive from us in the coming weeks and months. Learn more about our response to COVID-19.

Thanks to the generous support of Canadians, we’ve started work to improve the well-being of children and families in this community. These are a few of the areas we will focus on this next year

The rural community of Mzimuni is home to almost 18,000 people, many of whom make their living as subsistence farmers. Natural disasters like prolonged drought negatively impact harvests and earnings. Those who can't raise livestock or sell crops often resort to brick moulding or illegal gold mining. Some families depend on money that family members send back from their jobs in South Africa or Botswana.

Youth who aren't in school may be found heading across the border in search of work. This puts children at risk of abuse and exploitation"especially girls. Many families in Mzimuni have also felt the sting of HIV and AIDS, and there are more than 3,400 orphans in the community. These children not only struggle to continue their education, but to afford life's basic necessities.
Child Protection
  • 2 adults learned how to access services and information to keep children safe, helping them understand how to build a safer community for children.
  • 193 parents learned how to nurture their children holistically, creating families where girls and boys can grow physically, emotionally and socially.
  • 40 men and women learned how to advocate for the needs of children, helping to improve community services related to health, hygiene and education.
Health and Nutrition
  • 72 volunteers who are actively engaged in an HIV and AIDS team.
  • 2500 boys and girls took part in faith-based activities, deepening their understanding of God's love for them, others and nature.
  • 40 parents participated in learning opportunities to support the spiritual nurture of children.
  • 2500 children participated in spiritually nurturing activities.
  • 1250 boys and girls took part in faith-based activities, deepening their understanding of God's love for them, others and nature.
  • 2 farmer groups utilizing formal and informal financial services.
  • 1 group of farmers is working together to develop and sell their products collectively, helping increase their income and meet their family's needs.
  • 4 savings groups are active, providing community members with a local place to save money regularly, earn interest and access loans.
  • 4 communities updated their disaster preparedness plans.
* Results achieved from October 2018 to September 2019
To ensure children can access and benefit from quality education, World Vision will assist the community to:
  • Establish reading camps and train teachers on new methods to improve literacy.
  • Support schools with new teaching materials, as well as improved infrastructure.
  • Promote the importance of education to parents and increase their involvement.
  • Offer career guidance for youth between the ages of 15 and 18 to support their transition out of school.

Health Care
With the partnership of Canadian sponsors and the community, World Vision will work to:
  • Improve access to maternal health care. Provide health care staff with additional training.
  • Boost nutrition of new mothers and children, with special attention to those under age five.

To ensure parents in Mzimuni can provide for their families, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Enhance the quality of crops and livestock and increase production.
  • Build proper irrigation systems and establish good resource management to ensure greater food yields.
  • Share information on conservation and strengthen community resilience against crop-destroying natural disasters.
  • Increase household income and establish savings groups and market networks for farmers.

To combat the spread and stigma of HIV & AIDS, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Educate community members of all ages on the spread and prevention of HIV.
  • Provide care and support to those impacted by HIV and AIDS.

Water and Sanitation
In partnership with families and sponsors, World Vision will work with the community to:
  • Increase availability of safe water sources. Promote proper sanitation and hygiene practices.

Explore Mzimuni

current conditions

To protect the privacy of children, this map shows only the general area of the community, not the exact location.

The needs in Mzimuni

In Mzumini, there are few schools, and some students are forced to walk hours to get to school. This leaves them exhausted, unable to complete their schoolwork and vulnerable to danger along the way. Girls especially are at great risk of being harassed on long travels. There are no preschool programs available for younger children to attend.

Families in poverty struggle to cover school fees and not all parents prioritize education. Schools have difficulty finding qualified teachers and updated, engaging learning materials. As a result, most students cannot read, write, or do basic math. Children who are not registered at birth face a unique challenge: without official documentation, they cannot write Grade 7 exams, or progress to the next grade. This forces many children to dropout and abandon their education.

Health Care
Many children, especially those under the age of five, do not enjoy good health. The youngest are often underweight and malnourished, suffering primarily from respiratory infections, pneumonia, and diarrhea. A long trek to one of the community's three health centres prevents many parents from vaccinating their children. For some, including pregnant or nursing mothers, the walk is almost 30 km. Only one facility has a qualified midwife and maternity ward, forcing more than 75% of women to give birth without professional care.

Families in Mzimuni struggle to eat nutritious meals year-round. Many farmers grow corn, harvesting anywhere from 20 to 500 kg of food a year. This rarely lasts them until the next rainy season, so they often have no choice but to survive on one meal a day. For children, this leads to stunting in their growth and development.

Few community gardens exist and those that do often have just green vegetables. The lack of food diversity keeps families from enjoying a proper, balanced diet. Many farmers endure poor yields due to drought and limited training. There are few resources available for them to renew the worsening soil and as a result, some become dependent on food aid.

The HIV rate among pregnant and nursing mothers is very high in Mzimuni, which puts children at great risk of contracting the illness through mother-to-child transmission. Education and provision of preventative care is scarce.

Water and Sanitation
Sicknesses such as diarrhea are common in Mzimuni, and are due to poor sanitation and hygiene. This is because many families don't have access to safe drinking water or latrines.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Mzimuni,  is in Phase 1

PHASE 1: Building the foundation

With local leaders, we assess the community's needs and resources, plan projects to provide long term solutions. Sponsorship and development opportunities begin.