When was the last time we heard anything good about Zimbabwe?
The media have reported nothing but anguish and hardship. There seems to be an endless stream of headlines telling tales of misrule, persecution, hyperinflation, food shortages, droughts, floods, a decrepit health system, corruption and general despair. And all that is true. But there is so much more to the story of Zimbabwe.
There is the obvious extraordinary beauty of the country, a nation hosting natural wonders including Lake Kariba, Victoria Falls and the Nyanga, Hwange and Matobo Parks. I have had the privilege of visiting most of these areas during the years I lived in Zimbabwe with my wife and three children. And yes, we remember with fondness and awe the magnificence of the place. But what we remember most is the magnificence of the people. My life in Zimbabwe was intertwined with Zimbabweans: work, school, church, community and neighbourhood. Amidst adversity in their lives and their parent’s lives, the people of Zimbabwe had a resilience. ‘We will make a plan’, was a common response to an impending problem. And they did. I was often humbled (and educated) in situations where I could not see a way through. And that is what will happen during this current crisis. Can you imagine going about your daily business with tanks on the street? I am sometimes ashamed at our western culture of blame and excuse when we have so much to be thankful for.
Zimbabweans are sometimes criticised for having a bit of a ‘wait and see’ attitude. But there was something more. Much more. Faith. Never have I come across those of such faith in a God who cares, guides and provides. That is so hard for people of no faith to understand or even accept. But I have seen it and experienced it. It is tangible. It is real. Christians will be praying yet again during this time for Zimbabwe: for peace, justice, righteousness and protection. All We Can took the decision to work with partners in Zimbabwe given the state of the nation and the need for friends. We are so pleased we did. Working with local organisations serving the most marginalised and forgotten in this extraordinary country we are already inspired by the stories of change and transformation.
We are delighted to be celebrating some of the achievements of our Zimbabwean friends on January 20 in London at the All We Can Conference. Clever Tabaziba, who manages a team tackling poverty in some of the poorest rural communities in Zimbabwe in partnership with All We Can, will be at the conference sharing his thoughts on his home nation and the huge potential for change in Zimbabwe. We will also be enjoying music from Zimbabwean diaspora and hearing about All We Can’s ongoing work in Zimbabwe. All are welcome to join us at this event.
When we stand alone, problems can seem impossible to overcome. But when we work together we can transform lives and create real, lasting change. We are seeing that change in Zimbabwe. Find out more about supporting people around the world to overcome poverty, injustice and discrimination.