The cycle of poverty in Zimbabwe is unrelenting

After five years of punishing drought, followed by a cruel chaser of devastating floods, Zimbabwe is facing an urgent hunger crisis. Persistent drought and damaging rains have made farming almost impossible. 4.1 million people are directly affected by severe food shortages, with most families eating only one meal every two days.

Without food and water, children don’t have the strength to attend school and thrive – and the cycle of poverty continues.

Meet Fiona

“Most of the time they will be staying at home due to a lack of food. My fear is that if I send them [to school] on an empty stomach they might collapse.”

- Fiona, Zimbabwe

Meet Liliosa (middle)

“There was a time where it really became so bad, we were going without meals and people had no interest in us. They would just dismiss us and say ‘we don’t know how they are going to survive.”

- Liliosa, Zimbabwe

Meet Preserve

“I don’t think the life that I am living is the real life I’m supposed to be living. My fear is that it might be repeated with my children.”

- Preserve, Zimbabwe

Ever walked a marathon?

For nine hours a day, Ida walks the equivalent of a marathon to get water for her family because there is no other water source. Every day she carries it on her head, one bucket at a time. And the water isn’t safe.

“The time we are wasting walking up and down to fetch water is productive time … If we could get water near to our place, it would reduce the amount of trips we make … and assist us to do something that would uplift our livelihoods.” - Ida, Zimbabwe

You and Oxfam, tackling poverty together

"[Now] we are all accessing clean water. And the attendance, it has improved."

- Imanuel, Zimbabwe

Clean water keeps kids in school

Before Oxfam rehabilitated the local borehole, teacher Imanuel Tabe struggled to keep students in class. Without access to safe water, children either stayed home or skipped lessons to drink dirty water from the nearest river.

Mobile money brings a smile

We’ve distributed phones to women like Florence, so they can receive mobile cash transfers to pay for basic food items via text message. The phone pouches are useful as women rarely have pockets, and the phone light provides a bit of extra comfort when the sun goes down.

"The coming in of Oxfam into my life was a great relief."

- Florence, Zimbabwe

You can help break the cycle of poverty

All photos: Abbie Trayler-Smith/OxfamAUS Videos: Mark Edwards

Oxfam Australia (ABN: 18 055 208 636) is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient. Donations of $2 or more to Oxfam are tax deductible in Australia. Oxfam Australia is a member of the Oxfam International confederation.