B.U.Z Orphan Care - The Baptist Union of Zimbabwe Orphan Care Programme operates under the Baptist Union of Zimbabwe which is a welfare arm of the church that was established in 1950 to carry out social services and development programmes in the community. The mandate of the programme is to do charity work, i.e. to take care of the underprivileged within the church, such as widows and orphans. Zimbabwe like many sub Saharan countries is burdened by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, as a result many of the orphans under our care are AIDS orphans and many of them are infected with the virus. For years the Baptist Church has been active in providing spiritual support and counseling to members who are infected with HIV/AIDS and contributing in many ways for children who have been orphaned as a result of HIV and AIDs, i.e lost their parents to AIDS.

In 2003 The BUZ founded an orphan programme, designed to cater for the needs of orphans. The Orphan Care programme was established to provide funding for the following needs. -

  • School fees and School Uniforms
  • Books and stationary materials In the past nutritional support has also been provided where necessary however Zimbabwe continues to struggle due to recession in the economy thus the major thrust of this programme has been stream lined to focus on the educational needs of the children.
  • In addition, the Programme has also started initiatives to grow the children spiritually by hosting youth camps and Sunday school outings for the children country wide. Many orphans also attend these camps through the generous donations of our sponsors.The BUZ has successfully hosted summer camps for 13 years. Children are taught Scriptures and also have time to play games. The BUZ also holds an annual Bible Quiz which brings together children from different churches to participate and sharpen their bible knowledge. The BUZ has realised that the people in the rural areas are the ones hardest hit by poverty and problems associated with the AIDS pandemic therefore the Orphan care programme is working closely with rural churches. Since the inception of the programme many centres were identified around the country including Mutoko, Bulawayo among others to benefit from this initiative.
  • In Masvingo province Zvavahera district is one of the centres that has a small church whose community also has beneficiaries of the support. Over the years it has been observed that many young people who were getting assistance in the form of tuition would complete their studies up to O’ level but due to various reasons they were unable to proceed to tertiary institutions. Thus they would be unemployed and unskilled adults struggling to support themselves. Thus there was need to give the young people a means of survival not through material assistance but equipping them with skills to make them economically active people in the community.
  • In 2014 work at Zvavahera was expanded to include the construction of a skills centre. The project is a pilot project to be a place where the youths can be trained in various skills. As a place where they can be equipped with technical skills and empowered to earn a decent livelihood, construction is still under way. The vision of the Skills centre is to see young people being trained in various areas such as: - Welding - Carpentry - Sewing - Computers - Rabbit keeping The Skills centre seeks to provide training for students who have gone through our programme and others from the surrounding community. The project is especially targeting unemployed youths and women as a means of income generation while serving as a sustainable development programme.
  • Over time people can create groups to carry out projects that can generate income throughout the year once they find markets for their products. The skills centre will be a model for other centres round the country to follow.

Vision

To take care of the orphans holistically by developing them morally, mentally, physically, socially, spiritually, psychologically and emotionally. Reaching orphans for transformation in Christ in order to transform communities.