Against the Odds
A History of Zimbabwe Project
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: African Books Collective
About the Author
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List of Acronyms
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A Note on Sources
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This history of Zimbabwe Project has been written primarily from material emanating from within the organisation. The written documents include organisational correspondence, annual reports, evaluation reports...
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The current ZimPro Board of Trustees decided there was merit in exploring the organisation’s origins and examining the projects with which it was first involved to see how this history relates to the work now being done Zimpro...
1. Genesis, 1978
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Like so much else in post-independence Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Project Trust1 owes its genesis to the protracted war of liberation waged from the mid 1960s until 1979. The wartime experiences of many clerics and missionaries...
2. Sojourn in London, 1978–1981
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Years later, towards the end of the 1990s, when the development field was flooded with NGOs, many directors found themselves pressured to identify their ‘niches’ in order to persuade donors that their organisations...
3. Mobilising the Demobilised – 1981: Defining a role in Zimbabwe
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Barely a week after the critical management meeting which authorised the move to Salisbury, Judith Todd was on the plane to begin what became ZimPro’s 30 years of activity within Zimbabwe. Could any other individual have...
4. Co-operatives Venture 1981–82: Embracing the co-operative ideal
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By the end of 1981, besides having a staggering array of promising activities under way, ZimPro had also become thoroughly wedded to the co-operative programme. Where did this commitment originate? Was it an ideological position, or was it...
5. Retaining Independence from Government, 1983
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There were, however, some darker clouds that were gathering, portending a storm ahead which was to threaten the very existence of Zimbabwe Project. As long as the two liberation movements operated from outside Zimbabwe...
6. Fallout – 1983: Governance
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The remarkable series of events presented in the preceding chapter constituted a struggle for control of Zimbabwe Project. Such a conflict inevitably involves issues of governance. If an organisation does not have strong and appropriate...
7. Searching for a Way Forward, 1983–1984
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By the end of 1983, ZimPro had succeeded in establishing itself firmly in Zimbabwe and had survived an assault on its independence. Its programme of assisting co-operatives formed by ex-combatants was well formulated...
8. Becoming a Bureaucracy, 1984–1985
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The development and expansion of ZimPro’s programmes after 1984 was matched by changes in the philosophical foundation as well as the structures and practices of the organisation. When Judith Todd’s leadership of ZimPro came under attack...
9. Education and Training, 1983–1990
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The three-year plan described the work of Zimbabwe Project as mediatory and service provision. This was nothing new, and simply described what had been going on since 1981, with education and training being one of the major services...
10. The Second Pillar – Providing Finance, 1981–1990
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As Zimbabwe Project continued to consolidate, create structures, define procedures and gradually transform its identity, co-operatives continued to struggle along, some succeeding in establishing themselves and others falling...
11. Political Unity Brings Changes, 1988–1991
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At the end of 1987, ZimPro’s work was greatly facilitated by a major event in the political life of Zimbabwe. At the end of the year, ZAPU succumbed to ZANU’s use of force and joined with them in a new, united ZANU-PF. Never mind...
12. Funding and Funders, 1986–1990
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Judith Todd had been a successful fund-raiser over the years, building up trust and confidence in the Zimbabwe Project and its staff. She had a gift for developing and cultivating relationships with donors, who often became friends, and retaining...
13. The ‘October Revolution’, 1989–1991
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By 1989, Zimbabwe Project had developed into a budding bureaucracy with a soul and had, a year earlier, successfully managed a change of leadership without any apparent hitch. Adjustments had been made to the loan fund that enabled...
14. Implementing Change, 1991–1993
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Zimbabwe Project settled into a three-year cycle of planning followed by implementation and then evaluation. In 1991 a second proposal was submitted to the EC for co-financing by Oxfam, Novib and Christian Aid. This time Novib, rather...
15. Riding Many Tigers 1993–1996: The new three-year plan
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The evaluation of 1992 did inform the programmes for the coming years, and is clearly reflected in the 1993–96 plan. No major change of direction was contemplated, rather ZimPro would continue what it had been doing...
16. Advocating for Change,At the October 1989 retreat it was decided that Zimbabwe Project must become more involved in advocating for policies that would assist the marginalised in creating secure livelihoods. After the introduction of ESAP in the following 1983–1996
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At the October 1989 retreat it was decided that Zimbabwe Project must become more involved in advocating for policies that would assist the marginalised in creating secure livelihoods. After the introduction of ESAP in the following...
17. Exploring New Territory – Can an NGO Generate its own Income? 1990–1995
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When ZimPro resolved during the ‘October Revolution’ to become self-reliant by generating its own income, it was probably unaware of the rocky road it was to travel. Making money was no easier for ZimPro than it was for the...
18. The Sky is Falling, 1993–1996
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There had been a lot of hard work, and many problems, in trying to implement the 1993–96 plan, particularly the investment programmes, and ZimPro’s management might have hoped for positive progress. But dangers were lurking, as a cooling...
19. Can ZimPro Hold Up the Sky? 1997
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By early 1997 ZimPro was beginning to look like a different organisation. The senior staff recruited in 1996 were making a remarkable difference to the efficiency levels of the organisation, taking it in a more professional....
20. Finding a New Direction, 1998–1999
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1998 was to be a difficult year. There was rising turmoil throughout the country, stemming from the war vets’ payouts of the year before, the consequent rapid drop in the value of the Zimbabwe dollar, and food riots and the resurgence...
21. Crisis – the Trustees Awaken 1999–2000: Mavimbela’s report
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The evaluation scheduled for the end of 1998 was to be the ultimate decider regarding Novib funding for the Core and the land resettlement programme. This time Novib engaged a single consultant based in South Africa who had experience of...
22. Difficult Transition Years, 2001–2003
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Su Hove took over as substantive director in 2001, after acting for nearly a year. It was a near impossible task she bravely shouldered; not only were ZimPro’s finances still in a parlous state, the whole country was in turmoil...
23. Income-Generation, 1996–2007
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We left the activities of Octrev and the whole investment portfolio in the late 1990s, with Inyathi Valley operating but problematic, Madeira and Newlands still gobbling up money but producing no income for ZimPro, and only Trust Academy...
24. New Realities, 2003–2004
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Like Su Hove before him, Tobias Chipare took on a daunting responsibility in 2003. An unassuming, quiet person, he took charge of the organisation at a time when major shifts were becoming evident in the provision...
25. Hanging On, 2005–2007
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The new board recruited by Tobias Chipare was full of enthusiasm and energy and represented a variety of backgrounds and interests – business, tertiary education, human resources, health and finance, for example. On balance, though, the members had....
26. Surviving the Present, Looking to the Future
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By the end of 2007, the strategic plan devised in 2004 had run its course. It had been necessary to make many alterations in order to meet the ongoing emergencies, and a new plan would have to take account of the need to allow...
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Page Count: 420
Publication Year: 2012