Mission trip to Zimbabwe

Dream, discover and make a difference – experience Zimbabwe for yourself.

Are you looking for something worthwhile to do during your holidays, gap year or career break? Do you want to make a difference to the lives of children in rural Africa? Travel with a purpose but still enjoy some rest and relaxation? Join us on a two-week Mission trip to Zimbabwe, this August, and return with a suitcase full of great memories.

Nature has given Zimbabwe one of the finest climates in the world; warm, without being oppressive, and daily sunshine of four to ten hours all year round. 13% of the country’s land is reserved for parks and wildlife estates. This trip may give you the chance to see a herd of elephants walking majestically towards a waterhole, catch a glimpse of a lion stalking its prey and observe a tower of giraffes loping by.

What the trip involves

Experience Africa in this hands-on trip where you can volunteer and still be adventurous. You’ll help orphans, and vulnerable children, at rural schools for the first week. The second week offers additional visits to rural schools, exploring the countryside and a 3-day visit to the Victoria Falls with a safari.

We’ve tailored this trip so you get involved with the schools, and communities, we support in rural Zimbabwe. During this life changing experience, you’ll help repair school facilities, help with new water supplies, visit children in their guardian’s home and share your skills in the classroom. There’s something for everyone.

Ben at Chitakatira

Melissa at Chitakatira

Ben and Melissa

Accommodation and visits

We’ll be staying at Matukutu Lodge, Domboshawa for the first eight nights and we’ll travel by minibuses driven by local drivers who know the infrastructure and roads. We’ll have an interpreter on home visits and walking trips to find water and firewood. Nothing is compulsory, you can choose to visit Harare, go the local market, doctor’s clinic or Rotary club. Be part of everything or go at your own pace. Experience shopping in the local markets and seeing where we source ingredients for our Feeding Programme and buy uniforms for the children. You’ll appreciate how different it is to a UK high street.

Meet our Zimbabwean volunteers

We’re proud of the way our volunteers consult with local communities to discover what impacts their daily lives. We work together on long-term and sustainable projects and you can help make these projects a reality.

You’ll meet Beverley, the woman behind the vision and passion of Creating Better Futures. Ever since her daughter Dorothy was awarded her first scholarship, Beverley vowed to help other children as her child had been helped. Several years later, she’s touched thousands of children’s lives and is locally known as Mhamha (mum). Beverley leads a team of hard working and determined volunteers. The team volunteer in the most difficult of circumstances, and have worked hard to gain the trust and commitment from local communities.

Feeding Program

Nelson, his mum and their house

home visit

You’ll see how our volunteer team works with the local schools and communities; this is how our Feeding Programme and water borehole projects were started. We listened to what the local community needed and worked together; it’s the guardians and parents, who carry water to make porridge to feed the children we support (a combination of maize meal, wheat, soya beans, vegetable oil, sugar and salt). They mix porridge with boiling water and stir for about 20 minutes so its thick enough to eat. Maheu is a malt based drink and contains pre-cooked maize meal, soya bean meal, sucrose sugar, malt flour, fruit acid, salt and sweetener. It contains vitamins and minerals and when mixed with cold water makes a nutritious drink.

Areas you’ll visit

We’ll be visiting a number of primary and secondary schools and getting stuck in to our project work. You’ll be warmly welcomed with song and dance; the children express their joy of meeting you through music and beaming smiles. You’ll be inspired by their joy and resilience; they may not have much in life, but they’re thankful. We’ll spend the first week in Domboshawa, which is an area 50km north of Harare and situated in rural Mashonaland. In the second week we’ll travel to visit a school in the Chimanimani Mountains near Mutare, 3½ hours east of Harare.

Visiting a guardian’s house

Your volunteering will have a lasting impact on the children we help. Their guardians are extremely grateful for your support and would be honoured to thank you personally. Stepping inside their house is likely to be a shock; a mud hut, about the size of a garden shed, shared by a grandmother and her grandchildren. No running water, no electricity, no Internet and no bathroom. It’s humbling to see how they’re not concerned about having the best looking home, they value having each other.

You’ll get a real insight into how different life is for a Zimbabwean child; how they help their guardian to cook, clean, fetch water, firewood and farm the land. You’ll go with them, walking across stony grassland, to the nearest reliable water source. Once you get there, you’ll be shown how a plastic container is dangled over the water hole and dropped at least 50m, until you hear the splash of water, and then hauled back up and emptied into the bigger plastic water carrier. This process is repeated many times until the water carrier is full, which may hold up to 20 litres and weigh the same as a 3-year old child. It’s then lifted onto the child’s head and they walk home carrying precious water for drinking, cooking and washing. You’ll really appreciate the many benefits of a water borehole project.

Typical day (first week)

7am                       Breakfast and devotional time

8am                       Introduction and presentation of gifts at one of three primary schools

10am                     Help with Feeding Programme, construction or teaching project work

12.30pm               Lunch

1.30pm                 Visit the homes of children and their guardians

4pm                       Return to lodge

5.30pm                 Reflection time

6pm                       Dinner

7pm                       Relaxation and socialising

Rest and relaxation

While the focus of the trip is on making a difference to the schools and communities where we work, you’ll still enjoy some rest and relaxation. There will be opportunities to visit Harare and on the first Saturday, we’ll visit the Mukuvisi Woodlands.

However, a trip to Zimbabwe wouldn’t be complete without amazing landscapes, animals and the majestic Victoria Falls, one of seven Natural Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage site. So, at the end of the second week, you’ll experience a 3-day trip to the majestic Victoria Falls. Locally known as Mosi-O-Tunya which means ‘the smoke that thunders’. We’ll fly to Victoria Fall and while there we’ll tour the impressive falls, enjoy a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River and go on a morning safari, before flying back to Harare.

I want to be part of this trip, what should I do?

Please get in touch at volunteer@creatingbetterfutures.org.uk.

We’ll give you more information and offer tips to raise money for the trip. You can call our office on 01183 271154, which is staffed on a part time basis, or if there’s no answer please call 07898 784113.

If you’re unable to join us but would like to make a difference to children we support, you can:

  • Volunteer in the UK and Zimbabwe
  • Help with admin, digital marketing and fundraising in our Reading office
  • Help teach, construct boreholes, classrooms and toilets in Zimbabwe
  • Promote us at your church, club, school and work
  • Organise activities and events using our fundraising ideas
  • Fundraise for us or donate at JustGiving
  • Ask people who support your fundraising event to sign a Gift Aid form; the government gives 25p extra for every £1 you raise so we get £1.25
  • Sponsor a child for £15 a month to give them skills, vision and motivation
  • Have fun choosing items to fill a shoebox and the joy of opening one lasts forever
  • Purchase from retailers at easyfundraising; we get a percentage of what you spend
  • Take advantage of retailer discounts at Savoo and we get a donation from every purchase you make
  • Use easysearch to search the Internet, instead of Google, so we benefit
  • Promote us by liking and sharing our blogsFacebookLinkedin and Twitter posts
  • We work with Rotary International and our projects are overseen by Rotary Club of Harare