Dave and Luke first met in 2006 and found they had a lot in common. At that stage Dave had relocated to Perth after signing a contract with the Western Force and Luke was managing a leadership training college. In 2007 they became increasingly aware of the inequality in the world, the part they played in it and the need for change. It became such a strong motivation that they simply could no longer ignore it.
In 2008 they travelled to Zimbabwe where Dave had spent most of his childhood and the place he wanted to give back to ever since he’d left. They visited an orphanage and an abandoned babies home, saw young children on the side of the road eating wild berries to at least fill their bellies and witnessed the general lack of food, electricity and opportunity in the country at the time. It had a profound effect on them and demanded action. They stopped along their journey and gave away what food they had but it didn’t seem enough.
They felt compelled to do something further and met with Anania Ncube in Bulawayo who was assisting the community of Nkayi to become self-sufficient. Luke and Dave felt a real connection with Anania and the work he was doing and saw a tangible way to become more involved on the ground in Zimbabwe. The corresponding points of their journeys had now put a face to the world’s 1.2 billion living in poverty and a chance to bring change in a small but significant way. If change could be pursued anywhere in the world why not Zimbabwe?
Upon their return to Australia the wheels were put in motion towards setting up a charity, formalizing the relationship with their Zimbabwean partners and looking to raise some funds for the development program. They also needed a name and after several brain storming sessions Dave came up with Eightytwenty Vision. A name that reflected the estimated statistics at the time – that 80% of the world lived in abject poverty while 20% held a majority of the wealth and resources (1); it also reflected their personal realization that they were a part of the 20% and had an obligation to be a part of bringing change for the 80%. While these statistics may have improved since this time (2), it serves as a constant reminder of those less fortunate than ourselves. So began Eightytwenty Vision and a committment to seeing the world through that lens.
Over the next eight months, they poured their time, energy and money into Eightytwenty Vision and prepared for their first visit to Nkayi in December of 2009. Upon their return to Zimbabwe, Dave and Luke met people who taught them the meaning of hope, joy, love and perseverance. Many of them had suffered greatly in losing loved ones to Cholera, HIV, lack of secure food sources and unsafe conditions for childbirth. They also saw what can take place when generous people make change possible. Conservation farming techniques being taught to the community bringing greater yields, mothers waiting shelters being refurbished and birthing rates at medical facilities increasing and school feeding programs supporting young primary school children. Small but significant steps towards people becoming self sufficient.
Luke and Dave are often asked why they do what they do and their answer is simply that they see justice as an essential part of human progress and believe that all humanity is connected to one another and are entitled to dignity and respect. They cannot accept that some should live in luxury while others are condemned to a life of poverty. In light of this they feel compelled to assist and bring change where it is needed most.