In 2009, social and political uncertainties in Zimbabwe led to a crisis resulting in mass hunger, outbreaks of disease and a critical lack of medications, antiretroviral drugs and healthcare. Despite the crisis, our partner in Zimbabwe, Dialogue on Shelter, and the network of poor people it supports (the ‘Federation’), were determined to continue operating and supporting families in need of assistance.
In the city of Bulawayo, the Federation has secured land for 60 families to build their own homes. During a recent visit to Bulawayo, we met Gladys, who is building her home on the site.
Gladys’ husband died four years ago, leaving her to care for her two children. Now 46 years old, she has been a member of the Federation for over 10 years and she meets regularly with others in the group, contributing to the groups’ daily savings.
Before moving to Bulawayo, Gladys lived in a nearby town where she rented a two-room house. Struggling to pay her rent, she was eventually evicted and she stayed with a friend before being allocated a plot of land at the Bulawayo site. Through being part of the Federation, Gladys has been able to access an affordable loan, which she is using to build her own home for her family.