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Join with us in supporting the people of Zimbabwe
January 07, 2007

What is it like to live in a country with inflation pushing 1,000 per cent? You can barely afford basic food items. What is it like to live in a country in economic meltdown where unemployment is chronic? You have been struggling to find a job for months. You and your family can barely cope. Add to this that you are living with HIV, and what would you do? For many people in Zimbabwe this is the reality. That is why Progressio has development workers there.

Progressio works alongside three partner organisations in Zimbabwe, supporting them as they help the people who are living in these difficult circumstances. Our partners work in many different ways, supporting people to have full and active lives in their community.

We want to increase our impact. We want to do what Progressio does best: stand shoulder to shoulder with the marginalised, fighting for their rights and giving them the support they need to improve their living conditions. So we would be grateful if you could send £25, which will help us to send another development worker to Zimbabwe.

On a recent trip to meet our partners in Zimbabwe, I met Ivy Chibwang who greeted me with, "My name is Ivy, I am the Chair of two support groups, I am HIV positive and I am happy! "

Ivy, a widow, tested positive in 2003. Since then she has gone on to run two support groups, joined an income generating scheme, and is now trying to organise her friends into a group that will care for children who become orphans. She knows she has only managed to achieve this because of the support she received from our partner, Batsirai.

Progressio Development Worker Christopher Nyamandi is an HIV and AIDS advisor with the Batsirai, helping them increase their ability to support the growing number of HIV and AIDS affected individuals in the province. Part of Christopher's work with Batsirai will be to help increase the involvement of all sections of the local community in HIV and AIDS prevention and care. He will be helping to find ways to ensure that individuals live safely, especially women and children who are most at risk of infection.

We also met Violet Tapfuma, who is a partner in the shop that Ivy runs. Together with four other people, they have set up the small shop that keeps them active and provides an income. The income is vital but Violet says that being kept busy is also important - "it stops me from thinking about the illness all the time".

Zimbabwe is full of people like Ivy and Violet: strong, proud people who do not want a handout; they just want a chance to live a normal life. This is why we at Progressio need to support our current partners and seek out new ones.

We all know that the problems in Zimbabwe are immense and they are not going to improve overnight. As local organisations face the day-to-day challenges of economic hardship, illness and food shortages, we should do all that we can to give them the encouragement and support that they deserve.

By recruiting more development workers to join our current team, Progressio can make a difference. One potential partner that Progressio is hoping to engage with is aiming to create two new HIV and AIDS centres for voluntary testing and counselling of individuals. This kind of work is vital in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Visit Progressio's fact sheet

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