What we do
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In Switzerland

Our association supports the small relief organisation Sethule Orphans' Trust based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

  • • We are looking for members and donors in Switzerland who are willing to support this relief work financially.
  • • We provide information about the activities and projects of Sethule Orphans' Trust with a newsletter.
  • • We organise small events and information sessions.
  • • We submit requests to provide support for projects of the relief organisation.
  • • We set-up meetings and maintain the contacts with the relief organisation.
In 2022, we were able to transfer CHF 177,079.50 to Zimbabwe. Our administrative costs amounted to less than 1% of the expenses.

In Zimbabwe

Sethule Orphans' Trust works in rural south-western Zimbabwe. Natisa was the original centre, but today activities take place in the larger region of Matabeleland.

Sethule Orphans' Trust works with the rural population and various schools in Matabeleland in southwest Zimbabwe to:

  • • seek out foster ‘grand’mothers, who have themselves lost their children, to take orphans in greatest need into their homes and to reintegrate both into their local community. Sethule also supports and assists other vulnerable children
  • • help to obtain birth certificates for children who do not have such documentation (necessary for entry to high school, passport, getting married etc.)
  • • help the upbringing and education of orphans and support pre-schools and schools (school materials and fees, books, bicycles, buildings, salaries etc.)
  • • run a feeding programme for children under 5 years of age
  • • conduct workshops on bereavement counselling and conflict resolution, childcare, hygiene, sexual abuse and AIDS prevention, etc.
  • • encourage women to engage in self-help projects (gardening, keeping poultry or bees, sewing, well construction, etc.).

Some projects and programmes

Bereavement counselling and positive parenting

The tree of life helps the children to draw their feelings and reactions.

Sethule offers counselling and support to orphans and foster ‘grand’mothers to cope with their grief. Children suffer from the loss of their parents not only because of death but also because of divorce or disappearance. In meetings lasting several days with 30 children, specially trained counsellors help young children to draw their hidden feelings and reactions using the Tree of Life method. For older ones, the emotional logic method is used. The impact on school and community life is extremely positive.

For foster parents and guardians, Sethule runs workshops where participants share ideas and discuss difficulties on how to raise a safe, healthy, happy and confident child.

Child Safeguarding has become a central focus that is important in all programmes. Workshops for teachers as well as parents and staff are held regularly.

Birth certificate project

Many doors open only through a birth certificate - Sethule assists with the difficult hurdles to obtain a certificate

One in three children in rural Zimbabwe does not have a birth certificate for a variety of reasons. For orphans, the figure is almost 90%. This has serious consequences: They cannot take national school exams and therefore cannot attend secondary schools. They do not receive an identity card and are therefore excluded from official institutions and disadvantaged in many ways. Sethule helps children and their families through the complicated process of obtaining a birth certificate.

Education: from pre-school to university

Sethule enables disadvantaged children to attend primary school as well as secondary schools
We are ready for school - Sethule runs two pre-schools and provides one meal a day for each child

The state of Zimbabwe requires all children to pay school fees, wear a school uniform and pay for school materials and other expenses. This is often a heavy burden for rural families. Sethule Orphans' Trust provides financial support selectively so that they can attend school. Over 50 disadvantaged children and young people also receive comprehensive support. Young gifted children are further supported after they have completed their mandatory education. Sethule covers the costs of boarding schools and universities or technical colleges.

In 2006, Sethule opened EMARIKA, the first Sethule kindergarten. Currently, Sethule runs two accredited pre-schools where the children also receive a healthy daily meal.

Would you like to sponsor a child at school?

Hygiene programme

Education about female menstruation and distribution of hygiene bags is close to Sethule's heart
In Zimbabwe, as in many African countries, female menstruation has negative connotations. It is a taboo subject and menstruating girls and women are often considered 'unclean' and are marginalized. In addition, many girls simply cannot afford sanitary pads or tampons. That is why some girls miss classes every month out of distress and shame. It’s important to break this taboo and facilitate access to female hygiene articles. Only then girls and young women will be able to fully participate in everyday life. This is an important concern for Sethule.

Sethule educates and supports these girls with the necessary hygiene articles.

Sethule Skills Centre

Living in the city is a big challenge - Sethule prepares students with basic life skills
Children and young people who have grown up in rural poverty are completely overwhelmed by “modern life“ in a boarding school or in the city. Sethule enables them to live in a simple house in a suburb of Bulawayo during annual 6 weeks holiday and teaches them practical skills according to a programme and their personal needs. In this way, the young people acquire everyday knowledge and skills.

Ride for education

17km to school is easier by bike than on foot - Sethule lends bikes to children living far
Pupils in rural areas have to walk an average of 17 km per day to school, and up to 20 km for secondary school pupils. When they arrive, often late, they are tired, hungry, thirsty and have concentration problems.

Sethule lends bicycles to students from different schools. They are responsible for the care and maintenance. Where necessary, a Sethule staff member repairs the bikes.

The Sethule garden

Vitamins from the Sethule garden... fresh vegetables for local families and the feeding programme
The Sethule garden has a well and an irrigation system. Fresh vegetables are produced for the feeding programme and the local families.

REACT (Reject & Expose All Child Trauma)

One in 10 children is sexually abused before 18 in Zimbabwe
One in ten children is at risk of being sexually abused before the age of 18. The awareness programme for 8-12 year olds informs and counsels children on sexual issues and how to prevent abuse. With the support of the Ministry of Health, the programme is being implemented in ten schools.

Mental Health / Stable Child Psychology as a Basis for Life

Child receiving mental health counselling
In rural areas, knowledge about mental illness is limited and signals are often overlooked or misunderstood. Children and young people with mental health problems receive neither support nor adequate treatment.

In weekly lessons, pupils learn how everyday challenges, stress and conflicts affect their health and learn how to cope with them. A trained staff member counsels children who are particularly distressed and, if necessary, refers them to professional help. Teachers and parents are sensitised in workshops.

D2BD (Dare To Be Different)

Sethule supports teenagers in Zimbabwe to avoid early pregnancies, school drop-outs, drugs, sexual violence and HIV/AIDS
Teenagers in Zimbabwe are confronted with early pregnancy, dropping out of school, drug abuse, sexual violence and HIV/AIDS.

The school club D2BD enables young people to express their views, exchange ideas, find their own solutions and thus defend themselves against negative influences. Through activities such as playing theatre, singing and group discussions, the young people express their feelings in a wide variety of situations and learn to make responsible decisions.

VID Programm (Voices In Development)

Starting a start-up - how to use my resources to generate an income

In rural areas, technical vocational training and skills development are rarely accessible. Many youth do not understand that in order to generate an income, they can develop something of their own, a small start-up, and not wait for government employment. Sethule shows them that a change of mentality, discovering and using their own resources will make a difference. The young people are taught basic skills in computer technology, research, analysis and leadership. The project identifies socio-economic opportunities in the rural areas where Sethule operates.

ATTIC (a time to invite Christ)

Great experiences and new perspectives for teenagers in August camps
During the August holidays, Sethule organises a one-week camp for teenagers to meet other children, away from the home environment and gain new perspectives. The focus is on the Christian gospel, respect for others, and moral values. Competitions in Bible quizzes, singing, drama and sports take place. Teams from more than 10 different village communities participate. This event is the most important on the annual calendar for the WAGES (We Are God's Eager Servants) is for older youths and will take place in March.

Feeding programme

One basket contains maize, oil, sugar, salt, beans, soap and is sufficient for a family of four for one month.
Sethule brings home survival baskets to around 50 families in need. Many of these families are run either by a child or an elderly woman and have little or no income. One basket contains maize, oil, sugar, salt, beans, soap and is enough for the family to survive for a month.

Sethule gives malnourished preschool children a daily meal, promoting their health and better success in school.