Munhu initiated the community grant program in 2010 as a way of providing financial assistance to villagers taking care of orphans left in their care. Munhu awards grants to local communities where our students live. Within each community, the money is then used to provide informal microloans to villagers who start income generating projects. The loans are at 0% interest; and loan recipients agree to repay the loans within a specified period–typically 2 to 3 years, depending on the project. Money from repaid loans is recycled within each community to fund new income generating projects. To date, we have funded 62 groups who have started projects; and of these, 23 have paid back the seed money and the others continue to make monthly installments.
Munhu makes a difference in people’s lives at the grassroots level by directly connecting the kindness of donors with villagers who need the assistance. Beyond that, Munhu’s philosophy of helping others to help themselves is consistent with the ancient teachings that if you give fish to someone, they will have fish to eat for that one day; but if you show them how to fish, they will eat for the rest of their life. Villagers who receive assistance from Munhu are hardworking, creative, and productive people who have been reduced to destitution by a combination of factors including the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the country’s political unrest, and the collapse of the economy. All they are looking for now is an opportunity to get back on their feet and become productive again so that they can provide for themselves and their dependents.
What is most often the only means of access to capital for villagers in poor rural communities. This program promotes entrepreneurship among the villagers.
An opportunity for the villagers to establish a sustainable means of income to support themselves, their families, and the orphans left in their care.
A means for the villagers to move from poverty and dependency to self-reliance and independence within short timeframes.
Under the community grant program, small cooperative groups operate businesses including raising and selling poultry, running convenience stores, sewing school uniforms, making wire, and buying and selling goods.
Below we share some of the success stories.
Inspirational Garden on the Banks of the Murove River Story by Martha Mutomba In the rural area of Buhera in the Manicaland Province of Zimbabwe, a young man named Lameck is generating a lot of buzz with the market garden he created on the banks of the Murove River. This garden has become an inspiration
The members of Sizo Zimbabwe Trust received a grant of $1,500 from Munhu in January, 2016 to fund their Amajongosi Yimali (Steers for Money) project. $1000 of that was money that had been paid back from another project funded by Munhu and $500 was a gift from donors. The members had initially planned to buy
Tashinga 2 was one of the first groups to pay back the $1200 seed money they received as part of Munhu’s community grant program. This enabled the money to be recycled into funding other groups in the community. A group of 4 men formed Tashinga 2 and received $1200 from the community grant program in September of 2010 to start a poultry project.
The two members of Takavimbika received $400 from the community grant program to boost their cross-boarder trading business. They travel to neighboring South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia to import goods for resale in Zimbabwe. The group has paid back the $400 seed money in full. Two widowed women who were separately running cross-border trading businesses combined forces to
Mangodo started a chicken business with $900 from Munhu’s community grant program and has now diversified into buying and selling maize (corn) to supply the local market. The group has already paid back the $900 seed money. Mangondo was formed by a group of 4 entrepreneurial villagers who saw an opportunity to improve the lives of their
Kushinga Fencing Group is composed of 4 men with prior experience working in wire making factories. They received $1590 in seed money from the community grant program in June of 2010 and have paid back $750 to date. The men of Kushinga Fencing Group are utilizing previous experience gained in wire making factories to provide a needed commodity