An after-school safe haven for orphans and vulnerable children in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Founded 2007

Zara's Center Newsletter
May 2022
Update From Our Director


Dear Friends, 

Zara's Center has been busy since our last newsletter. Despite the continued challenges of COVID, we’ve provided essential food, medical care, and other intervention services for our vulnerable children and their families.  In addition we’ve expanded academic support initiatives, and hosted events to highlight and honor community-based partners that make our success possible.

Annual Events

We held our annual tree planting ceremony in December and our year-end celebration in early January. Both events brought together the entire Zara community - children, alumni, staff, caregivers, and special guests.
  • At the tree-planting, the community helped us plant eight trees to beautify our land. Each tree honored a different group that has made a difference in our kids' lives (i.e. grandparents, overseas donors, our Uncommon coding partner, etc.).
  • At the year-end celebration, our guest of honor was Dr. Rumbi, a local doctor who has partnered with us to provide annual medical check-ups to every child in our care. We celebrated our recent graduates and college-going alumni, and we honored our own children with holiday gifts, food hampers, and solar lights for use at home – making it possible to study beyond sunset.

Academics & Tutoring

  • We are proud that 100% of our children are in school in a country where 47% of youth are not in school [UNICEF]. Additionally, our students consistently outperform their peers on grade 7 exams at a rate of nearly 2:1. Despite these impressive outcomes, our kids have struggled during COVID-19 along with students throughout the country and around the world. 
  • In order to help our students succeed, the Zara’s Center Board of Directors voted to expand our academic support programming to include daily tutoring in core school subjects. An enriched tutoring program was tested in April during the school break and was very successful. In addition to small group tutoring, Zara’s Staff put together quizzes in each subject and grade. The children enjoyed friendly competition and received prizes for great scores.

Uncommon Coding

  • Our partnership with Uncommon coding is in full swing. All age groups are now receiving computer coding instruction and we are excited about the career opportunities that coding will bring to our young people.

Our Expansion
  • Behind the scenes, we continue to work on exciting plans for an expanded Zara’s Center campus, through a pro-bono partnership from US-based Krueck Sexton Partners.
  • Keep up with our project here:

Below are some recent photos from the Center. Thank you, as always, for your support for the children in our care.

Best regards,

Gibson J. Connick

Executive Director, Zara's Center

Recent Photos & Video
Zarabella, our Chief Friendship Officer, loves to help harvest maize on our property.
At the year-end celebration, we honored two of our Alumni who recently graduated from University.
Each child received a solar powered light for use at home. Electricity is unreliable or nonexistent for most of the children we serve. 
Dr. Rumbi, our guest of honor, shows off a beautiful art piece the children made to thank her for all she does for the Zara Community.
We were honored to have Mr. Manda, grandfather to two of Zara’s children, plant a tree at our annual tree planting ceremony.

The winners of an academic quiz tournament held during the recent school break. Winners received special rewards and treats. 
Our kids each received freshly harvested maize from our garden to take home. The children are always excited to see fully grown crops they helped plant themselves.
Some of the children checked on the growth of our butter beans. We can't wait to harvest them.

Zara dancers at the year-end celebration

Our youngest children love when the older students host outdoor games.
Mr. Connick welcomed the children and caregivers to the tree-planting ceremony. All of the children brought watering jugs to use during the planting.
Rebecca, our visual art instructor, poses with our new welcome sign. The kids spent a lot of time creating it and we think it looks wonderful. 
Ready to Run the NYC Marathon?

Zara's Center will have a team of 20 running in the 2022 NYC Marathon. We are honored to partner with NYRR for our 14th consecutive year. Our runners help generate awareness about Zara's Center and raise funds for our programs.

We only have six spots remaining.

Click below to learn more about running on Team Zara.
Learn More
Support Zara's Center

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​Simply click the "Donate" button below.

Donations are tax-deductible.
Zara's Center is supported by the PG Family Foundation. The Foundation was officially incorporated as The Jonathan Plutzik and Lesley Goldwasser Family Foundation. The Foundation is a designated charitable entity as described in U.S. Tax Code Section 501(c)(3). The Center is registered as a Charitable Trust in Zimbabwe. Registered as "Zara's Centre Trust" (Registered Trust: MA137/2007)
Copyright © 2022 PG Family Foundation | Zara's Center, All rights reserved.

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