Life has been very full over the last few years so it’s time to share with you a little of what has been happening with EightyTwenty and our future direction.

 

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Since beginning work in 2009 EightyTwenty Vision has gone through some serious changes. Our work began as a partnership with the Health Education Food Organisation (HEFO) and a community in Nkayi, Zimbabwe, focussing on cholera and HIV/AIDS. By 2010 we were able to shift our focus to issues like maternal health, education and food water security.

With your help we’ve done things as varied as

  • employ a doctor,
  • improve mother’s waiting rooms in health clinics which has seen medically assisted births go from 18 in 12 months to an average of 18 a month,
  • build and renovate classrooms,
  • sink boreholes,
  • build community demonstration gardens,
  • teach conservation farming methods and water harvesting,
  • partnered with the local prison, working with prisoners to improve their capacity to feed themselves and potentially their families upon their release.

In 2009 when we started this partnership there was very little government investment in the Nkayi area and virtually no other community development organisations involved in ongoing projects. Since then the political landscape has shifted and both the government and other NGOs are more active in the Nkayi district.

In addition to these changes and the work of HEFO sits the resilient, capable and determined spirit of the people of Nkayi. Many community members have developed their own initiatives or invested their time and energy into existing and new development projects. We have seen the rise of cottage industries and small livestock programs – not facilitated by any outside group, just the ingenuity and diligence of the local people. Seeing these kinds of changes in an area that faces so many challenges has been truly inspiring. Although our part in this change has been very small we feel incredibly proud of our work and think you should too. We are so grateful for the support you have given us, and more importantly, the people of Nkayi.

As a small NGO we worked hard to receive DGR status to make donations tax-deductible for our donors, which we achieved, but it proved incredibly difficult for us to then send this money to Zimbabwe. In 2011 we approached TEAR Australia about becoming involved in Nkayi and, after a thorough review process they conducted, TEAR partnered directly with HEFO as well as entering into a memorandum of understanding with EightyTwenty Vision. We were therefore able to channel your funds through TEAR to HEFO.

TEAR have been invaluable in increasing our governance, accountability and project reporting.

Based on the success of this partnership, after discussions with HEFO and TEAR, we have decided to hand over all of our project involvement to TEAR. This will allow the project to grow beyond what Eightytwenty Vision would be able to facilitate and we have full confidence in the teams at TEAR and HEFO to continue with the important work being done in Nkayi.

Over the past few years, HEFO have been considering how they might assist with creating more of a rural market for a prized Zimbabwean commodity – cattle. The Ndbele people of Nkayi are traditionally cattle herders – though livestock ownership has plummeted amidst the difficulties of life in rural Zimbabwe and people in rural areas are generally excluded from the bigger markets. HEFO have already built an abattoir and butchery in Nkayi, kick-starting the local economy by buying cattle directly from the community. They are also beginning to outline a program that would see a community breeding herd increase stocking rates in the area, give local people access to better genetics and improve animal husbandry practices. Eightytwenty Vision has been involved in supporting this next step with HEFO as they research and put together a pilot project. HEFO are currently in discussions with TEAR as to what this project could look like in the future and are beginning to forge relationships with others involved in a value-chain approach to community development.

We really believe in the work TEAR and HEFO are doing. We’d like to invite you to continue supporting the people of Nkayi in whatever format is most appropriate for you and your circumstances.  You can support TEAR through their website www.tear.org.au

Now is the time for Eightytwenty Vision to step back, review our successes and failures and begin to plot out ‘what’s next’ and how we can continue to contribute. Taking a step back will allow us to make a more meaningful contribution in the future. There is little time for reflection in the world of fundraising and project delivery. We are still connected and committed to Zimbabwe and will be actively investigating opportunities to contribute within Zimbabwe. In the meantime, our website will become a holding page where we will provide an update when we begin the next phase.

We would like to thank you for your support up to this point and for sharing our deepest hopes for a brighter tomorrow. We are a very small organisation – Dave and Luke, with a small Advisory Board and a few volunteers who have helped run fundraising events — and we have relied entirely on your generosity. We would like to thank our board members for their guidance and support. We would also like to make special mention of Ilenna Copley, who has been the driving force behind many of our most successful fundraising events.

Kind regards,

David Pocock & Luke O’Keefe
Eightytwenty Vision co-founders

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