Jesuit Missions works alongside local partners to run transformative projects for some of the most disadvantaged people in Zimbabwe.
The Jesuits have been in Zimbabwe for over one hundred years. After the country’s independence in 1980, many Jesuits decided to stay and gain local citizenship. Jesuit Missions has had a long relationship with the country, traditionally supporting the many British Jesuits who were delivering life changing work throughout the crises. Zimbabwe was once known as the ‘bread basket of Africa’ but after years of an unstable political system and steep inflation, the country slipped into decline. The last year has started to see a turnaround with the election of a new president, but life is still difficult for many.
Jesuit Missions supports the Jesuit Refugee Service in Tongogara refugee camp in the south east of the country that has 12, 000 refugees, providing secondary education and skills training to increase employment opportunities especially for women.
We are improving literacy in communities where nearly half the students are below their expected reading ability. Additionally, we are helping to train young teachers become forces for change in their communities, providing training in Ignatian spirituality, leadership, justice and democracy. We support young people as they leave school; providing opportunities for further study and to learn new skills giving them a greater chance of gaining employment and earning a decent living wage.
Jesuit Missions runs a Companions in Action programme which links schools in the UK with those in the Global South including Zimbabwe. This is an opportunity for relationships to develop between students and teachers between the countries and for each to learn about another culture.