Stories from change-makers in Zimbabwe

Yollanda Candace Leosa
Yollanda is a sponsored child in Zimbabwe
Yollanda never attended school, because her parents couldn’t afford the fees.
Then, she was accepted into Plan International Zimbabwe’s accelerated learning program, which offers girls ages 10 to 19 the chance to catch up on some of the basic education they’ve missed, at a community-based learning hub. But that was before COVID-19.

“The lockdown has affected me because I am no longer going to school where I was learning how to read and write,” explains Yollanda.

To prevent children from falling too far behind, Plan International and our partners quickly found ways to adapt the program, training community educators to help students with remote learning. During the lockdown, cases of domestic violence have been on the rise, with adolescent girls most vulnerable. In recognition of this, safeguarding is now a critical aspect of the program.

With recent advances in access to mobile learning platforms in Zimbabwe, our community educators are able to steer students toward new online learning opportunities, helping them continue with their studies while they are at home. Yollanda is grateful for the support from the community educators, who also teach the students about COVID-19 awareness and prevention.
Protect girls like Yollanda
Candace is a sponsored child in Zimbabwe
In Zimbabwe, malaria is among the top causes of illness and death, particularly for children.
But Candace is determined to change that. She’s a proud member of her school’s malaria club, organized by Plan International Zimbabwe. Together, Candace and her peers are promoting powerful action — both in their homes and communities — that will help pave the way toward a malaria-free world.

The club educates their community through drama, poetry and music. They conduct community outreach activities and promote the use of traditional mosquito repellents that are locally available. The malaria clubs have been so successful that adults in the community have started forming their own groups to support the children’s activities, destroying malaria breeding sites and ensuring the proper use of mosquito nets in homes.

“Being part of this malaria club is a big responsibility,” Candace says. “Malaria is a very serious matter and through sharing information with others, I can help stop the spread of malaria in my community.”
Learn about our maternal & child health programs
Leosa is a sponsored child in Zimbabwe
Leosa was exhausted before her school day even began. She had to walk six miles each way, a tiring journey that took about two hours.
“This is a very mountainous area, so it’s scary walking in those mountains,” Leosa says.

Unfortunately, this is all too common. For many girls in Zimbabwe, the long journey is simply too dangerous. Along the way they endure harassment, and sometimes even assault or rape.

If they don’t want to drop out, another choice is to rent a space closer to school to stay in during the week, known as “bush boarding.” Girls who bush board stay in places like empty storage sheds. Living on their own, they don’t have critical adult supervision.

But now, through Plan International USA’s Graduation Project, girls like Leosa will have a safe place to live and learn. The project is designing and building two girls-only dormitories near local high schools, where girls can stay. These buildings are being designed with significant input from the girls themselves

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, the project is also supporting the girls’ families while they’re living at home, providing essential items like emergency kits, soap, sanitary pads, materials to help them continue their education remotely and money for food.
See how girls are leading the way with GirlEngage

Plan International has been working to improve children’s lives in Zimbabwe since 1986.

Our work in Zimbabwe

Plan in Zimbabwe
Office locations

Plan Zimbabwe’s country office is located in Harare, with program unit offices in Bulawayo, Chipinge, Chiredzi, Harare, Kwekwe, Mutare, Mutoko, Mwenezi and Tsholotsho.

Technical areas

Education, skills and work, protection and health.

Number of sponsored children

As of June 2022, people like you sponsor 28,985 children in Zimbabwe through Plan International.

Why sponsor with Plan?

Gender equality is a fight we must all take on together. Through sponsorship, you can change lives and create long-term impact in communities.

The full circle of Fate

When you sponsor a child through Plan, you form an incredible friendship.

Sunny Days Magazine Child using a viewfinder and smiling

But that’s just the beginning. With Plan, you also have the unique opportunity to:

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Send them birthday gifts and cards.

Little Treasures icon

Give them special holiday presents called Little Treasures.

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Subscribe them to Plan’s educational kids’ magazine, Sunny Days.

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Arrange a visit (pending any travel restrictions), with individual travel assistance from us.

Each gift offering is safely hand-delivered by us, and given to your child with personalized cards from you. It’s likely that the child you sponsor will have never seen anything like these gifts, and with the exception of Little Treasures they’re available year-round to make the bond between you and your sponsored child even stronger.

Meet a child to sponsor