An after-school safe haven for orphans and vulnerable children in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Founded 2007
Zara's Center Newsletter
February 2017

Dear Friends of Zara's Center, 

Welcome to the first edition of Zara's Center's e-newsletter. Each newsletter will provide updates about whats going on at the Center. We'll feature stories about the kids, staff members, volunteers, and supporters like you who help make Zara's such a special place.

As we enter our 10th year of operation and continue to refine our programs, we remain committed to our core goals: providing nourishment, academic enrichment, and the tools to help our kids thrive. 2017 is already in full swing, and the children have been busy participating in the many programs we offer, including computer instruction, music, art, and drama. The Center continues to provide breakfast and a home-cooked meal each day and pay school fees for those in need.

I hope you enjoy the photos and updates included in this newsletter. If you would like more information, or you have suggestions for the newsletter, feel free to reach out to our US Program Director, Jessica Briggs at

We so appreciate your support.


Lesley Goldwasser
Co- Founder & Board Chair, Zara's Center
Zara's Center Updates
2016 was a big year for the Center, as we continued to refine our programs, measure children's progress, and identify ways to better serve the Emganwini community. 
The second annual year-end celebration was a huge success. The week-long celebration was held in December, and included a tree-planting ceremony, community service, a day of fun and games, and distribution of new school shoes for all of the children. 
The week culminated with a special event for caregivers, in which the children shared their work and performed music, drama, and dance pieces for their families. Each child was sent home for the holiday break with food for their whole family.
Zara's is now preparing to engage in an exciting new agriculture and nutrition project, in which we will annex five acres of additional land to create a nutrition and wellness program. The program will teach the children to grow their own food, leading them toward healthier and more sustainable lives.
Meet Zara's Director

Mr. Gibson Connick, Executive Director, joined the Zara's Center team in 2014. He came to Zara’s after a successful career as an educational leader in traditional academic settings. 

Most recently, he served as Principal at one of the most well-respected private schools in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe - Petra Primary School.

In his time at Zara's, Mr. Connick has improved and refined the Center's programs by identifying curricular goals and expanding our academic enrichment offerings.

He has also strengthened Zara's relationship to the wider community. He regularly hosts meetings for the children's families and meets with school administrators to make sure all of our children have the support they need to thrive.
Team Zara 2017
Zara's Center is running in the 2017 TCS NYC Marathon on November 5, 2017. 
  • The application and registration process for Team Zara 2017 will begin in early March
  • Each team member is guaranteed a spot in the NYC Marathon and raises money for the Center through sponsorships from family and friends. ​
  • Funds raised by past teams have helped pay for food, school fees, job training, and academic enrichment for the 125 children we serve.​
If you're interested in running for Zara's Center in 2017, please email our US Program Director, Jessica Briggs, at, who will notify you when registration has opened. 
To learn more about NYC Marathon
charity teams, click here.
Recent Photos 
The children love computer class with instructor, Gayle Mhlope.
Learning some high kicks during dance class
Children participate in the tree-planting ceremony during the year-end celebration. Each year, Zara's plants four trees at the Center and in the surrounding community.
Homework time. Zara's Center offers homework help everyday after school and tutoring for those who need extra help.
The kids love practicing their Marimba playing. A group of our older kids have even formed a band that plays for audiences in the wider community.
Zara's provides water from our borehole to anyone in the community who needs it. Due to persistent drought, many in the community lack access to water. During especially difficult times, the Center has provided water to over 300 people daily.
A big thank you to Team Zara 2016 for representing Zara's Center in the 2016 NYC Marathon. The children and staff so appreciate the Team's support.
Support Zara's Center

Donate by credit card and have your donation processed by PayPal.
​Simply click the "Donate" button below.
Donations are fully 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 © 2017 PG Family Foundation | Zara's Center, All rights reserved.

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