Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Boost from the West

Over 9,800 people will benefit from the recent grant made to ASAP Africa by The West Foundation. The funds will support ASAP’s Village Savings and Lending Project in Nyanga area, which has been ongoing since 2004 called "Kufusa Mari".

The Kufusa Mari project is scheduled to run through December 2006, but with the record inflation ongoing throughout the year, some project activities to further strengthen income generating activities in the area had to be curtailed. According to Willie Dhlandhlara, ASAP’s Country Director in Zimbabwe, the project is now operating at full scale and field staff have the resources required to meet the needs of the rural savings clubs.

ASAP Africa is thankful for the generous support from The West Foundation, which will help us to use our skills to the best of our ability to help people in their efforts to improve their own lives in rural Zimbabwe today.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Surprise from Grace Church School

by Elizabeth Bara, ASAP Executive Director

Today ASAP Africa received a cookbook with a drawing of Chef Rover on the cover from the Grace Church School in New York. As a lover of both dogs and cookbooks, this really caught my eye. The letter included with the cookbook is attached.

“When last year’s 6th grade at Grace Church School voted on which organization would be the beneficiary of our class cookbook fundraising project, ASAP Africa came out the overwhelming favorite. Students and teachers contributed recipes that were meaningful to them and wrote short accompanying narratives detailing why they had chosen those dishes to share. The children illustrated every recipe, to entertaining and often humorous effect. The resulting publication was a delight and not only garnered monetary contributions to your cause, but brought the grade together as a team united in service of the global community. The children raised $1001 for your organization, a check for which we are happy to enclose in this letter.

We stand together in respect and admiration of all that you do and are thrilled to add the fruits of our labor to your efforts. Good luck on your continued mission.”

Every one of us at ASAP is honored that the 6th grade class has chosen our organization to receive the proceeds from this wonderfully creative fundraiser. We want to thank every student and faculty member and wish to express our sincere gratitude. We are also thankful that the Hudson Orbe’s Marinara Sauce is not actually radioactive! The cookbook is so delightful and the drawings are absolutely amazing. It is cherished – as is the generous contribution to our work!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Read All About It!

ASAP Africa's Autumn Newletter is now available. Click here to view now.

Friday, September 15, 2006


by Morris Matseketsa, ASAP Africa

I woke up in the morning
Open my eyes
And there’s the world
I look in the mist mirror
And I see it’s me

I hear the rain spattering outside my tiny room
I pondered for a moment
I dressed myself and bend over to pull on my unpolished pinch shoes
This is an ordinary beginning to another laborious and monotonous day
For a rural Zimbabwean child!

It’s almost time for my first lesson
How I wish it was a weekend
I ran to school on an empty stomach,
The heavy drops of rain spattering on the empty mealie meal bag covering my head
Utterly exhausted and drenched
I entered in a small, dimly lit room
Packed with more than 60 pupils
Emphatically I tried to suppress my noisy breath
I sat on a rugged metal chair
Everyone’s gaze is directed at me
I retrieved a semi drenched science notebook from my old satchel
What a normal start for a rural Zimbabwean child!

The teacher is busy arranging his tattered apparatus in front of the class
Then something unreeled and clattered on the potholed floor
What a day for a rural Zimbabwean child!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

ASAP Africa and CARE enter new partnership

ASAP Africa will be working as an implementing partner with CARE Zimbabwe on a new 18 month project. The Joint Initiative Consortium project is headed up by Mercy Corps. Other partners are Africare, Catholic Relief Services, Oxfam, Practical Aaction and Save the Children UK. ASAP's role in the project is to adapt the savings and lending methodology project concept, that has been proven to be very effective in rural settings, to the urban setting of Sakubva - a high density suburb of Mutare. The goal is the improve access to food, raise household income and help households better cope the impact of HIV and AIDS. Causemore Samanga will be taking a lead role in ASAP's project implementation.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

ASAP Africa and Rotary Launch Book Drive for International Literacy Day

Friday September 8th in International Literacy Day. Do you have gently used educational or inspirational books that could be appreciated -even cherished - by others less fortunate?

The Rotary Clubs of Peachtree City, Fayette Daybreak, Fayetteville, the Borrowdale Brooke Club in Harare and ASAP Africa are partnering on a Literacy Project that will begin with a Book Drive that will run through September 30th.

Your donated children’s educational books will benefit the over 41,000 students in 131 schools that ‘ASAP Africa’ ( currently works with in Zimbabwe. ASAP is a non profit organization based in Peachtree City that has been working to improve rural education and alleviate poverty in Zimbabwe since 1994.

According to Willie Dhlandhlara, ASAP’s Country Director in Zimbabwe, the most valued books will be primary school math and science textbooks (hardback or softback for grades K-12). English is the official language in Zimbabwe and all children’s books written in English will also be most appreciated. Shona is the local language but schools are taught in both English and Shona, so a good command of English early on is instrumental in academic success across the curriculum.

Project Literacy is also requesting inspirational and motivational paperback books (hardcovers cannot be accepted) which will be given to the Fayette County Jail to provide positive reading materials for local prisoners. Building on a program started by the 2006 Leadership Fayette Class, the goal of this program is to promote literacy with uplifting and motivational books to be made available to those prisoners being held at the Fayette County Jail facility.
The book drop-off points are:
The Peachtree City Library
Sandy Creek High School
Fayette County Chamber of Commerce
ASAP, Africa Office/Warehouse, 189 Fulton Ct. (off Huddleston)
Each of these locations will have a collection box for Project Literacy and welcomes your contribution and active participation to ensure this book drive is a success. Please donate only relevant educational (K-12 level) and inspirational/motivational books. Cookbooks, encyclopedias and magazines cannot be accepted.

Please mark your calendar to donate appropriate books to this project from
the 8th until the 30th of September. Your contribution will truly enrich the lives of others.
Thanks for your help!

Friday, September 01, 2006

From ASAP Africa Co-Founder Elizabeth Bara

Recently I was honored to be nominated for the Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service by a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. Although not the selected candidate, the letter sent out informing me of this decision was so inspirational that I wanted to share it. As World Citizens, this message pertains to each person that makes and effort, however small, to make the world a little better place.

It is from Paul Thompson, the 1989 recipient of the Sargent Shriver Award and one of the panelists this year.

Thank you for restoring my hope, for reminding me that dreams do come true, for inspiring me to recreate my own vision, and the humbling opportunity to review and reflect on the tremendous accomplishments that each of you and your communities have shared as part of this process.

You are clearly all winners of Humanitarian Service to the Planet, and the true joy and glory of your work is only as far away as the next smile of the village child, the next educated Mom or Dad who can now help their neighbor understand HIV more clearly, or the bicycle that works because of the repair shop down the road.

I wish all of you good health, long life and loving communities in which to share your passion and wisdom.

Terima Kaseh (thank you in the Mayaysian national language…literally translated “receive love”)

Paul Thompson