our impact

  • 2 projects
  • 11 partners
  • 165,776 people helped

Quick facts

  • 14.15million people
  • 68%living on less than USD $1.25 / day
  • 20.1%don’t have access to safe water

Once considered the jewel of Southern Africa, Zimbabwe now faces an uncertain future. After years of economic instability, and the devastating impacts of HIV and AIDS, millions of Zimbabweans are confronted with severe food shortages.

Despite steady progress being made in the promotion of gender equality, there are significant challenges in addressing Zimbabwe’s societal prejudice against women. Issues such as increased vulnerability during disasters and conflict, sexual violence and a deep-rooted patriarchy mean it is difficult for women to stand up for their rights.

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The poorest households and communities in Zimbabwe face complex challenges to meet their practical needs. Intense weather events frequently ravage the landscape, with crippling periods of drought made worse by the impacts of climate change. Repeated internal conflicts in the country have also led to significant economic uncertainty, which in turn creates tenuous livelihood security for those Zimbabweans already living in poverty.

Oxfam’s work in Zimbabwe primarily focuses on helping the country’s poorest people (in particular those affected by HIV and AIDS) receive services for HIV prevention, treatment and care, as well as support in the development of a secure personal income. Oxfam is also undertaking relief work in response to the El Niño induced drought in Zimbabwe.

Key areas of work

Governance, HIV and AIDS, Food and income insecurity, Gender justice

One story of change

Photo: David White/Oxfam

Photo: David White/Oxfam

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“The Sisters Project saved my life because when I joined it I was very depressed and I wanted to commit suicide,” said Kudzai Mlilo.

Kudzai, a 25-year-old mother of two, is a mentor for the Sisters Project. The scheme educates young women about their sexual and reproductive health rights by forming mentorship programs. Thanks to funding from Youth for Today and Tomorrow, the project is now established across several wards in Zimbabwe.

In a country devastated by the impacts of HIV and AIDS, the Sisters Project has been welcomed by Zimbabwean communities — Kudzai is just one of 120 mothers who have become beneficiaries.

“The project educated me that being HIV positive is not the end of my life as I can live positively and take good care of my beautiful children,” Kudzai adds.

Since becoming part of the program, she now mentors two other girls. Kudzai says she has learned to insist on the use of a condom every time she engages in sex, and educates other girls to be assertive and know their rights.


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