Our Neighbours is a community-based development project that assists disadvantaged communities in Bulawayo, and surrounding areas, in Zimbabwe. Through the provision of education, micro-enterprise training, health care and counselling initiatives the project aims to improve the lives of victims of poverty and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
One of the major activities done by the project is its halfway home for abandoned babies and orphans from the crippling HIV/AIDS crisis in Zimbabwe. The country is experiencing one of the severest AIDS epidemics in the world. Approximately, one fifth of its adult population is living with HIV and an estimated 565 adults and children are becoming infected every day. Since 2007, the project has assisted 102 vulnerable children – 20 of these children have been adopted by loving families, 30 placed into ‘forever family homes’ and 19 reunited with their extended families.
In addition, the project offers schooling opportunities to vulnerable children who have missed out on significant amounts of schooling. Support is also provided to neighbouring squatter communities through micro-business training/facilitation, nutrition programs, basic health information services, counselling services and job-assistance/placement programs. These activities are designed to enable these beneficiaries to break the cycle of poverty and become self-sufficient.