Order in chaos presents ministry opportunity in Zimbabwe.

By October 28, 2003

Zimbabwe (MNN)–World Vision and its community partners in Zimbabwe have been highly commended by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Southern Africa Famine Emergency Response (SAFER) for their exemplary food distribution model. It’s impressive praise considering the numbers: Some 600,000 Zimbabweans are receiving food aid from World Vision and its partner organizations, USAID and the World Food Programme.

The actual selection and registration is carried out at the village level by leaders and pastors who know the most vulnerable members in the community.

To ensure there is consensus on the beneficiary lists, villagers are called to a central meeting point; the names of beneficiary households are called out for the community to agree or object to their inclusion. After this process is completed, the community works with World Vision to plan and implement the actual distribution.

During the distribution, families are placed in groups of 10, according to family size. The food is then given to the groups, who later share the allocation according to a family’s ration. This group distribution model is quicker than handouts to individuals, which often results in panic and chaos as villagers scramble for rations. It’s also more cost effective and less labor intensive.

World Vision staff members feel excellence in their program best represents Jesus Christ to the people they assist. That’s a sentiment echoed by recipients. Letiness Nhuma, one of the recipients at this distribution point, gratefully commented, “If the food distribution stops, we would not know where or from whom to get food. We just would not know what to do. You have really been sent by God to help us who are helpless in this food crisis.

World Vision’s recently hosted the annual food aid manager’s workshop in Zimbabwe under the theme: “Food for everyone in need, and the will to make it happen.”

The workshop was attended by more than 55 participants from countries across the globe where food aid programs are implemented. Zimbabwe’s food distribution model has already been adopted by World Vision programs in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Liberia.

The workshop, which will include visits to a Zimbabwe warehouse and a food distribution point, will surely inspire other countries to enhance their existing programs.

Leave a Reply