Friday, May 22, 2009

Champions of Quality Education in Africa

ASAP's "Bridge the Gap - Kufusa Mari Junior" project has been declared the winner of the Early Entry Prize for the "Champions of Quality Education in Africa" collaborative competition, sponsored by ASHOKA. To read more about this winning project please click here.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A poem recited by Providence Simbarashe Majaha


You people like me in Zimbabwe
I am encouraging you to work very hard
In order to produce enough food for your families
ASAP has introduced better methods of living
“Mukando” where people gather and plan their future
“Mukando” where people learn how to calculate interest.

ASAP has done its duty
Let’s play our duty too
Our local authorities, my fellow people
Let us join hands and have a better life
Let’s develop our country
Zimbabwe is our country
ASAP has introduced “Mukando”
So let’s come and join hands through “Mukando”.

You rural people
“Mukando” is waiting for you
There is room for everyone
God bless you
Thank you

A poem recited by Providence Simbarashe Majaha at the official launch of the Kufusa Mari Mutasa project 21 April 2009. Simbarashe belongs to an ISAL club at Sanyamandwe cluster. He joined the programme in October 2009 together with his mother, two sisters and two other children.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Community empowerment for sustainability through Cluster Facilitator training

by Collins Mutsvairo
ASAP has been improving the household and food security for rural families in Zimbabwe through the Internal Savings and Lending (ISAL) methodology since 2001. In each of these villages the community selects a leader, or Cluster Facilitator (CF). CFs work closely with ASAP field staff and attends supplementary training sessions offered by ASAP. It is her responsibility and privilege, as the community’s chosen representative, to share information and skills with her community during regular savings club sessions. In this way, skills and knowledge cascade throughout remote communities, reaching most villagers in a very cost effective manner.
A total of 80 CFs received additional training in the ISAL methodology in Nyanga in April under ASAP’s Rural Micro Finance project – a 5 year project partnership with CARE International funded through the Swedish International Development Agency. The CFs are ASAP’s link persons who coordinate project activities at cluster level in the communities.
The training focused on empowering the CFs on the five ISAL modules that include Member selection, Group formation, Constitution, Fund Development and Record Keeping, The workshop was facilitated by ASAP field officers headed by Joseph Miti.
Lovemore Manjoro, one of ASAP's field staff members in Mutasa is facilitating the module on Record keeping in the above picture.The CFs also discussed other issues that effect lives in their villages each and every day, including Gender based Violence, Cholera, HIV Aids, Inheritance, Child Rights and Child Abuse. In this way they are able to facilitate such discussions in their communities after the workshops. Pictured above, some participants present a drama to raise awareness of child abuse issues. Pictured here, Mrs. B Chikumba of Old Murapa cluster in Mutasa is presenting her work-group's discussions on cholera.

Care International technical specialist Ernest Musinamwana graced the occasion at the same time taking notes to enable CARE Zimbabwe to finalize the "Official" CF training manual. The fact that ASAP was chosen by CARE to enable them to finalize the Manual exemplifies the respect and fine reputation that ASAP Zimbabwe has earned by successfully improving the income and security of over 25,000 clients in Eastern Zimbabwe through various ISAL projects.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

New Partnership with TLC in Malawi

ASAP Africa in Malawi is proud to announce their new project partnership with Total Land Care (TLC) in Malawi. The project will "facilitate effective collaboration between TLC and ASAP towards the shared objective of helping the economically vulnerable smallholder farmers in Chikwawa, Blantyre and other districts of Malawi to improve their food security, nutrition and income status by engaging in sustainable agriculture practices, production of high value crops using appropriate irrigation technologies and managing a village savings and loan scheme."

Since ASAP's arrival in Malawi in 2008, there has been synergy between the two like-minded organizations. The signing of this agreement marks the "official" beginning of what promises to be a long-term mutually beneficial partnership. ASAP is grateful to the helpful, encouraging and supportive attitude of the TLC team during ASAP's challenging start up period.

To read more about Total Land Care Click Here

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Harvest of Hope

Irene Dunlap, co-author of best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul books for kids and preteens, contacted ASAP last year and expressed interest in our work in Zimbabwe. She made a generous contribution and mentioned that she was planning to hold a fund raiser in the Spring. At that time we had no idea what this meant.

ASAP Africa is delighted and honored that the upcoming Harvest of Hope Home and Garden Fundraising Event to Help the Hungry, will benefit ASAP's work. The event will be held May 15th and 16th in Newport Beach California.

We now know that Irene Dunlap not only writes inspirational books, but truly lives an inspiring life. For more information about the event Click here

Friday, May 01, 2009

Zimbabweans Seeking Asylum in South Africa Expected to Increase

According to a recent IRIN article, the number of Zimbabweans fleeing economic collapse in the country, numbers so high they are usually associated with a country at war, is expected to continue to increase under the new unity government.

"The nature of Zimbabwean migration makes it difficult to determine the numbers involved, and estimates range from one million to more than three million people, a figure further complicated by those criss-crossing the border for a variety of reasons, but despite the numbers involved, South Africa has leaned towards accepting rather than preventing migration.

According to the Refugee Act, if someone is inside the country seeking asylum, regardless of how they got into the country they cannot be deported and they can apply for documentation. South Africa acts contrary to its own Act."

To read the entire article Click here