Our activity center is located in a neighborhood of the city of Harare, called Dziwarasekva. Home for about 100,000 people. Dzivarasekwa is one of Harare’s poorest neighborhoods. The Dzikwa activity center is the heart of all our activities. Here children eat, learn, share and play. Most of the children will come to the center daily for several hours to spend time with their friends. There is a lot going on all the time!
The vision of the activity center was born in 2001 – and it was finally completed in 2013
The idea for an activity center was first conceived in 2001. In December 2006, the site for it was purchased from the best possible location in the center of Dzivarasekwa. Foundations were laid on November 12, 2007. In 2009, a fence was built to protect the area which then contained a small well and a warehouse. Kitchen, dining hall, and field for ball games were completed the following year. In addition, the center has an IT building as well as an office and caretaker housing built in 2013. Thus, the operations and employees were finally brought under the same roof. The activity center has been built a bit by bit as the funding for this has been accumulated. Funding has mainly come from the development funds of the State of Finland and from Scotland and England. Dzikwa’s special advisor and building project manager was the real estate department of Old Mutual Insurance Company.
The diner functions as a multifunctional space
Lunch is served in the dining room on weekdays between 10am and 14pm and on weekends from 11am to 1:30pm. At other times it can be used to do homework and also receive additional support in various school subjects. The dining room also serves as our banquet hall.
IT classroom offers an opportunity to learn computer skills with the guidance of a teacher. Children can also complete the requirements for a certificate in this. Studying IT skills is important because it is one of the fastest growing economic factors in Zimbabwe.
Dzikwa’s administration and operations are coordinated and managed from the office building. It accommodates our field workers, Levita and Priscilla, as well as our accountant. The office is also a space for our director, project leader and a workspace for volunteers. Part of the office building also includes the janitor’s apartment.
There are a separate toilet and bathroom facility for children. The water is from our own bore well and the showers are in good use especially after the sporting activities.
The ball field is active when different ball games are played by children of different ages.
Two friendly guard dogs, Rex and Doris, live in the activity center. Only a few children can keep pets at home, so for many, these dogs are the only chance to develop a respectful and loving relationship with animals.
Dzikwa shelter is located less than 100 meters from our activity center. It was originally set up for emergency accommodations in 2005 when tens of thousands of houses and shacks lacking proper permits were demolished in Harare by the Zimbabwean government. Since Dzikwa does not have a specific children’s home, the Harare Social Services required all children and young people under the age of 18 to be relocated with their relatives instead of the shelter. This was implemented in 2013. The shelter serves mostly as a living space for a few employees, parents, volunteers and trainees.