Here's a little update on our past year and what we're working on in 2020.
Hello! Is this thing on?!
Hello world! We're back. Did you miss us? It has been a long time since you may have heard from us, but that doesn't mean there hasn't been a lot of work going on behind the scenes in the US and in Zimbabwe. We thought you might appreciate an update about what has been happening!
In 2019, our website and bank account got hacked! Yikes. That was pretty much the worst and led to a lot of time and energy to getting everything secure and fixed. We've always operated under the notion of wanting to provide the most transparency as possible with our supporters, and to be honest, when that hurdle hit, it felt like the end of the world. Because we're a smaller grassroots organization, we haven't had the structure before to handle such a blow, but with the board and a few major blessings from donors, we've gotten back to a place where we feel confident in our office operations. The website itself was a huge undertaking and we're so proud to show off the new and improved 2SOL hub. We're grateful for the help of our friend Anthony for doing the coding and build of this beautiful new site. A lot of copy editing, digging through photos, and examining what content was needed took weeks of time, but we're glad to have recently re-launched our website and think it's going to serve as a great tool moving forward. Don't wait another moment- go check it out!
As for our work in Zimbabwe, that's something that we are even more excited for! At the end of 2019, we chose to partner with a new organization, Harambe Trust, based in the capital city of Harare. Harambe Trust empowers and equips disenfranchised communities in Zimbabwe through inclusive educational, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. That's up our alley, right?! This year, we decided to implement a new way to bring food security to communities, and with them, have been providing scholarships and educational consulting to women entrepreneurs working on their own community-based agricultural projects. The hope is that these women, when given financial support, education in chosen topics, and additional resources, will be able to create sustainable economic businesses that will not only support their families but the greater community. By supporting women, we hope that they will be able to bolster the economy and gain more power over their lives. Currently, there are over 250 women and projects on our docket, with the hope to grow to over 1000 by the end of 2021.
Another pretty amazing task took our attention at the end of this year, and that was rebranding our student vision trips to a social justice residency. The feedback we received from past trips centered on students' desires to go deeper into the material, and so we bulked up our lessons, added excursions and classes taught by local experts and people of color, and created a Zimbabwe schedule that will allow students to see more of the country and how it is experienced for different community members. We're currently working with six incredible students, who are rocking the program, and will be traveling to Zim this July. As I'm sure you can imagine, the Covid-19 pandemic has halted quite a few of our plans and financial resources, and we are praying for the Lord's sovereignty and that whatever happens will work together for His good. We'd appreciate you keeping us and our team in your prayers as we all come to face another challenge together.
We will be blogging more about our new programs, but wanted to give you a brief glimpse into the work we're doing and the people we're partnering with.