U.S. awards grants to communities in Zimbabwe’s four provinces

Harare - U.S. Ambassador Charles Ray officially handed over US$100,000 in grants to eight Zimbabwean community-based groups at a grant signing ceremony in Harare on Monday. The grants are part of the 31-year-old U.S. Ambassadors Self Help Fund, a U.S. government grassroots assistance program for small community-based development projects. Since 1980, the Fund has awarded approximately $3 million through 300 grants to groups in all 10 provinces.

The recipient organizations are involved in various community income and service projects, including seeking conservation friendly ways of balancing the need to protect communities from wild animals while protecting the animals from poachers, securing access to clean drinking water for hundreds of families, and building community garden plots. Other activities involve securing materials, such as sewing machines, cement and tools, so that schools can teach job skills to young adults and community members can build their own homes.

We are thrilled to assist each of you in your endeavors, Ambassador Charles Ray told the awardees during the signing ceremony. Your projects were selected because you have what it takes strong leadership; dedicated, hardworking community members; and a can-do work ethic to bring your projects to a successful conclusion. For that, we believe in you and are proud to stand by you as you strive to create a better Zimbabwe.

The recipient organisations are Chinamora Secondary School and Muturi Horticultural Producers Association in Mashonaland East province; Kwayedza Secondary School in Mashonaland West; Rupare High School, Nyangambe Wildlife Project and Kushinga Nutriotional Garden Project in Masvingo, Kuvaka Ishungu Brick Project and Tichakunda Project in Harare.

Over the past 30 years, our awardees have made a tremendous positive impact on their communities for the betterment of their families, neighbors and fellow citizens. Our current group of grantees here with us today follows in this exceptional tradition. You all work tirelessly to improve the lives of those around you. We honor and commend you for your work, said the U.S. Ambassador.

The U.S. Ambassadors Self Help Program was established in 1980 and funds community-initiated projects that support education, access to healthy food, income-generating activities, and water/sanitation initiatives, as well as other activities that improve living conditions, provide education or increase income.

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