World Vision is a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. They serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.
World Vision began operating in Rhodesia in 1973, working from bordering countries to provide life-saving support to refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) during the Liberation Struggle.
After independence in 1980, programming shifted towards work in institutions such as Mathew Rusike, Chinyaradzo Children’s home, Copota School of the blind and Manhinga villages for the orphans among others that were taking care of orphaned children. Propelled by these preceding experiences the organisation switched to long-term development programming.
During the mid 1980’s, World Vision adopted a long-term programming model frequently referred to as Community Development Projects (CDPs). These were clustered village development projects often characterised by some funding from Support Offices (SOs) that covered small community projects. Operations were largely centralized, with World Vision support staff based in Harare and Bulawayo.
In the early 1990’s World Vision moved to the large scale development programmes commonly known as Area Development Programmes (ADPs). Since the adoption of the ADPs the following older clusters have since transitioned Sengwe ADP (Chiredzi District), Chihoko (Mt. Darwin District), Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe (UMP District) and Inkosikazi ADP (Bubi District).
With the political and economic crisis of 1999-2009, interventions increased significantly to meet the growing humanitarian needs, peaking with the cholera outbreak and food security crisis of 2008-09, during which time as many as 1,900 staff served 3 million Zimbabweans with food rations, Water & Sanitation services, health care provision, educational and micro-finance support.
Over the years World Vision has transitioned to large-scale community development programmes designed to address community needs with a specific focus on children, using participatory planning approaches and ensuring sustainability.
Today, World Vision is the largest humanitarian organisation in Zimbabwe, operating relief and development projects across the country benefitting more than one million people.
- James Gavin