Zimbabwe

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 area is reserved for parks and wildlife estates. You can’t fail to be moved by the sight of a herd of elephants walking majestically towards a waterhole, spell bound by a lion stalking its prey or mesmerised by a tower of giraffes loping by.

The name Zimbabwe was derived from the stone structures of Great Zimbabwe, or Dzimbahwe, which were built by Shona people between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries. Two Shona words; dzimba (houses) and mabwe (stones) translate as ‘big houses of stones’ or ‘honourable houses’.

Zimbabwe has a diverse population; almost 98% of the population is made up of black ethnic groups; Shona (85%), Ndebele (15%) and Bantu (5%); Venda, Tonga, Shangaan, Kalanga, Sotho, Ndau and Nambya groups

Creating Better Futures Flower Lily

Creating Better Futures American Eagle

Creating Better Futures Mbira

Facts

  • Languages: English (official), Shona, Ndebele (Sindebele), numerous tribal dialects
  • Motto: Unity, Freedom, Work
  • Religions: Christian 25%, indigenous beliefs 25%, syncretic 50%
  • Symbols: soapstone bird, African fish eagle, flower lily, sable antelope
  • Anthem: Blessed be the land of Zimbabwe, Simudzai mureza weZimbabwe (Shona) or Kalibusiswe ilizwe leZimbabwe (Ndebele)
  • Instrument: mbira or thumb piano
  • Literacy rate is the highest in Africa at 91%

Economy

  • Industry: Mining (coal, diamonds, gold, platinum), cement, chemicals, steel, wood
  • Agriculture: Corn, cotton, tobacco, wheat, cattle
  • Exports: Tobacco, gold, ferroalloys, textiles, clothing
  • Currency: US$, euro, Botswana pula, UK£, South African rand
  • Population: 14,150,000 and 34% live in urban areas (2013)
  • National GDP: US$ 13.966 billion (2015)

Health

  • Zimbabwe has almost one million children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS pandemic which has ravaged the country (UNICEF 2012)
  • 90% of the country’s orphans are cared for by their extended family, often their grandparents, who may be suffering from ill health themselves and can’t cope with looking after young children

Geography

  • Situated in Southern Africa between Zambezi and Limpopo rivers
  • Landlocked by Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia
  • Size: 390,580 square km (three times the size of England)
  • Longest river: Zambezi River (2,655 km)
  • Highest peak: Mount Nyangani (2,593 metres)
  • General terrain: mostly high plateau with higher central plateau; mountains in east
  • Lake Kariba on the River Zambezi and is the world’s largest man-made lake
  • Climate is tropical; moderated by altitude; rainy season (Nov to March)

Creating Better Futures Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

  • The local tribe call it Mosi-O-Tunya which means ‘the smoke that thunders’
  • Discovered in 1855 by explorer David Livingstone who named it after Queen Victoria
  • Located on Zambesi River and the largest waterfall in the world
  • World’s only waterfall wider than a kilometre and higher than a hundred metres
  • Can be heard more than 40 kilometres away and seen from 50 kilometres away
  • During floods, the water flow capacity reaches ½ million litres per minute
  • Open to tourists in 1905 when Bulawayo railway built
  • Became UNESCO world heritage site in 1986
  • Hydro-electric station setup in 1950 provides electricity to Zambia and Zimbabwe

If you’d 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, donate at JustGiving or text CBFZ10 £10 to 70070
  • 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