Shingiririai Trust was founded in 2003 when sixteen concerned women met under a tree in a church yard to talk about ‘doing something for orphans’. A community survey was carried out March 2003 to identify the challenges facing families affected by HIV/AIDS. They identified a need for community psychosocial support for orphans and vulnerable children and especially the pre-school age group. In August 2003 they started the first early childhood learning development (ECLD) program with around 12 children.
Shingirirai developed initially as a membership organization and the most competent and dedicated moved on to take positions of responsibility. From 2003 to 2005 it served the Mabvuku section of the community. In 2006 it entered the Tafara section and in 2008 it extended to include Caledonia, an area of squatters and displaced people living in extreme conditions.
Shingirirai is a legally registered organization (October 2006) with nearly thirty trained staff and is a force in the community for social change. The leadership of the organization is mainly female and it welcomes the involvement of men. The women involved are ordinary members of the community – mothers (mainly widows), aunts and grandmothers all of whose lives have been deeply affected by the ravages of HIV/AIDS.
The name of the organization, chosen in 2003, has been particularly apt. Shingirirai means ‘perseverance’ and the team’s ability to persevere has been tested on every level- personal, community, and societal. The philosophy of “If someone can do it, why can’t I” has resulted in a strong commitment to teamwork. This spirit of co-operation has enabled the organization to overcome significant challenges to programs, especially during 2008 when economic and political chaos affected all sectors of society in Zimbabwe.
Our Vision: the development of a model grassroots community organization with empowered community leaders to deliver effective family and community psychosocial support for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Our Mission: to increase community psychosocial support for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and their caregivers through the development of sustainable community-based programs.
Our Objectives: to develop appropriate psychosocial skills in community leaders to respond to the needs of the orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) of the Mabvuku/Tafara/ Caledonia communities using a roots-upward approach.
- Realizing children’s rights
- Roots-upward approach to community development
- Accountability and transparency in all aspects of programming
- Commitment and dedication
- Participatory methodologies
- Quality programming