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

Founded 2007

Zara's Center Newsletter
July 2020
Update From Our Director

Dear Zara's Center Supporters, 

I hope all of you are well and are continuing to stay safe. I’m reaching out with an update about what we have done (and are continuing to do) to protect our children during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Since the last newsletter, Zimbabwe has continued to have relatively few confirmed cases of Covid-19, but cases are continuing to circulate in the community. Authorities have loosened the stringent restrictions that were in place in March, April, and May, but rules remain in place regarding large gatherings and all schools remain closed. Though the restrictions have loosened, we are remaining conservative in our re-opening process, as our children and their families are uniquely at risk, both physically and financially. 

To protect our children and their families, we have decided to re-open only for meals for the foreseeable future, at least until schools re-open. We opened for daily meals in June, and our staff is to be commended for their diligence in enforcing the health guidelines. Once schools re-open, we will begin offering limited programming to small groups of children.

Since our closure on March 24th, we have taken the following steps: 

Continued Nutrition/Hygiene
  • Emergency food hampers were distributed to each child and all staff members in April and May. Families with multiple children received multiple hampers.

  • As of June 6, we are open for a home-cooked meal for all children each day. All children are required to wear masks, get their temperature taken, wash hands upon entry, and bring their own food containers. 

  • This month (July), children will be given basic food staples to bring home for their families - in addition to daily meals at the Center.

Medical/Emotional Needs
  • All children with special medical needs continue to receive medication.

  • During the closure, Zara’s staff visited each child’s home to check-in and ensure their well-being. 

  • Upon re-opening, each child was weighed and measured to ensure they stayed healthy during the closure. Those who lost weight during the closure (approx. 12% of our kids) will receive additional monitoring in the coming weeks.

Community-Wide Water Distribution
  • We have continued to distribute water to the community throughout the closure, overseen by our caretaker who resides on premises. All in line must wear masks and access the water outside of the fence.

As always, we are incredibly grateful for the generosity of our supporters during this unusually trying time. While we can’t be with the children in person as usual, we remain committed to providing much-needed nutrition as well as emotional and medical support.

I wish everyone well and will be in touch in the coming months.


Gibson J. Connick

Executive Director

Recent Photos & Video
Hand-washing station at the entrance to the center. Water has been pre-treated with disinfectant.
Temperatures are taken before entry to the Center.

Children take lunch to-go in their own containers.

Our avocado tree has begun bearing fruit!

Beetroot, spinach, and peas growing on the new land.
Staff distributed emergency food to all of our children in March and April during our full closure.
Children lining up for daily lunch outside the gate
Children were weighed upon re-opening to ensure they stayed healthy during the closure.
Zara Bella (our Chief Friendship Officer) loves her dinner time. 
Green peppers and tomatoes thriving on our new land. 
View Our 2019 Annual Report
(click the image below to view PDF)
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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 in the State of NY. 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 © 2020 PG Family Foundation | Zara's Center, All rights reserved.

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