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Located in southeastern Africa, Zimbabwe is a landlocked country bordered by Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, and South Africa.

  • Population: 13,724,300
  • Life Expectancy: 58 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 80%
  • School Enrollment: 90%
  • Land Mass: 150,872 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 84%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 90/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 680

Facts about Zimbabwe

The economic situation in Zimbabwe in recent years has particularly affected the education sector in rural areas. Challenges include low teacher retention rates, dilapidated school infrastructure, and low pupil to textbook ratio.

Roughly 48 percent of Zimbabwe’s 12.3 million people are under 18 years of age.

Zimbabwe has an HIV prevalence of at least 15 percent, and there is an estimated 300,000 children living with HIV.

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Progress in Zimbabwe

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2013.

  • Trained community members on economic opportunities, such as selling baked goods, raising fish, and sewing to generate income for vulnerable families.

  • Provided schools with necessary infrastructure, such as desks, chairs, tables, and library books, to improve children’s learning environment.

  • Reconstructed classrooms and school buildings so children could learn in a child-friendly space.

  • Worked with veterinarians who taught farmers basic animal care, in order to reduce disease in animals and ensure more income for farmers.

  • Trained teachers on HIV and AIDS prevention so they could provide age-appropriate education for children.

  • Provided mosquito nets to pregnant women, elderly people, and children under age 5 in order to reduce the incidence of malaria in the community.

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    World Vision in Zimbabwe Today

    World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Zimbabwe to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 23,300 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Zimbabwe. Highlights include:

    • Assisting children who have lost one or both of their parents to HIV and AIDS with school fees and training, giving them a chance to attend school.
    • Increasing access to and use of clean drinking water to reduce disease.
    • Increasing the accessibility and utilization of food through food distributions and training.
    • Improving school enrollment and learning environment for all children.

    World Vision History in Zimbabwe

    World Vision’s efforts in Zimbabwe began in 1973 with the sponsorship of 71 children; since then, some of World Vision’s major accomplishments have included:

    • Establishing nutritional programs to educate mothers of malnourished children about nutritious diets in the 1970s.
    • Providing food, medicine, blankets, seeds, and additional assistance to victims of severe drought during the 1970s and Mozambican refuges in the 1980s.
    • Assisting 60,000 people by constructing improved water systems and offering hygiene education during the 1990s.
    • Focusing on agricultural development, loan programs for Zimbabwean entrepreneurs, HIV and AIDS education, and flood relief since the beginning of the 21st century.

    Geography & People

    Geography and people

    Located in southeastern Africa, Zimbabwe is a landlocked country bordered by Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, and South Africa.

    Zimbabwe is home to vibrant wildlife and varied landscapes. Plateaus and grasslands make up most of the terrain, along with mountains to the east and the Zambezi River to the north. The world’s highest waterfall, Victoria Falls, plunges nearly one mile into the Zambezi River.

    The country’s natural resources include coal, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, lithium, tin, and platinum.

    English is the official language, but Zimbabweans speak many other dialects as well.


    Formerly the British colony of Southern Rhodesia, Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980.

    Robert Mugabe won presidential elections in 1980 and has stayed in power ever since. In 2000, Mugabe redistributed white-owned farmlands to blacks — a move that slowed the economy and caused shortages of goods.

    Massive flooding hit northern Zimbabwe in late 2007, displacing more than 1,250 people.

    Elections in March 2008 were filled with controversy over the delayed results. After a run-off election in June and negotiations that lasted until February 2009, Mugabe remained in power and his opponent became prime minister.

    A devastating cholera epidemic hit Zimbabwe in 2010, causing more than 1,000 deaths and counting and infecting thousands more people.

    Prayer Requests for Zimbabwe

    • For increased access to clean drinking water in Zimbabwe.
    • For strong partnerships between World Vision staff, church partners, and the local government in Zimbabwe.
    • For the protection and care of vulnerable children.
    • For stability in the country’s politics and continued economic recovery.