An after-school safe haven for orphans and vulnerable children in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Founded 2007
Zara's Center Newsletter
February 2018
Update From Our Director

Dear Friends of Zara’s Center,

The new year is upon us and Zara's programs are in full-swing. As we plan many exciting projects for 2018, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year and share some highlights. 2017 was Zara’s 10th year of operation and I'm proud to report that it was our most successful to date. 

In the final week of 2017, all children received new school shoes and a care package of food for their families to enjoy for the holidays. The week culminated in a graduation and birthday celebration (photos below), where twenty-two children age 16+ graduated from the Center. Graduates will continue to receive school fees and life-skills support but will not attend daily programs with the younger children.

While it is bittersweet to see the oldest children leave the Center, it is a privilege to watch them grow into their own advocates and we are all excited to see what they'll accomplish. I hope you enjoy the photos and updates below and thank you for your support for the children we serve.


Gibson Connick
Executive Director, Zara’s Center

In 2017, Zara's Center...

Provided 28,000 meals

  • Impact:  We’ve provided consistent and well-balanced nutrition in a country where 27% of children have stunted growth due to malnutrition (WFP). Our feeding program has improved the health and school performance of our kids and lessened the personal and fiscal burdens of the adults (and extended community) that care for them.
Engaged in a deep and meaningful relationship with a new corporate partner – NutriBullet
  • Impact: Increased nutrition and caloric intake by introducing blended drinks to our children, including new combinations of fruits, vegetables, as as well as vitamin filled supplements.
Directly provided or facilitated third-party coverage of school fees for all children in need, and university support for two graduates.
  • Impact:  Covered school fees guarantees that 97% of our children can attend school and we're working to make it 100%. Assisting with college tuition and fees allows Zara’s Alumni to lift themselves out of poverty, and provides role models for younger kids.
Provided school shoes and socks for all of Zara’s children
  • Impact:  Reduced incidence of foot-related maladies for Zara’s Center’s children.
Boosted our program in scope and depth by partnering with Lalela, based in South Africa.
  • Impact: Created new outlets for self expression for our children; provided instruction and training for our  staff.
Leased five acres of land from the City of Bulawayo to expand into agriculture programs.
  • Impact: We will soon break ground on this critical program to ensure the Center’s long term viability and teach our children to grow their own food.

Recent Photos
Children received certificates upon graduation from Zara's Center.
Zara's staff prepares the care packages for each child to take home to share with their family.
Zara's Junior Choir performed at the graduation ceremony for the audience of caregivers, staff, and fellow students.
Zara's traditional dance team performed at the graduation celebration.

A new year brings incredible new artwork from our budding artists.
Zara’s is grateful for donations of clothing for the children.
Zara's Alumni pose with Executive Director, Gibson Connick, at the 2017 Graduation.

Children try on their new school shoes. Every child received a new pair of shoes for 2018.
Kids enjoying some indoor play time in January 2018
Zara’s Center is committed to helping the wider Emganwini community. During routine water shortages, the Center provides water from our borehole to all in need (January 2018).
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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 © 2018 PG Family Foundation | Zara's Center, All rights reserved.