Advice about starting a Zimbabwe nonprofit from the beginning?

Posted January 28, 2010 from United States

Hello! My name is Caitie and I am VERY new around here, but because of the work I am doing it was suggested to me to join your group and address you all. I am helping my friend Belinda, a native Zimbabwean whom I met when we studied together in England, start up her own non-profit in Zimbabwe. [You can get more background on the work she's doing here:] Basically she began with small-scale projects using funds donated by friends we went to school with, including building the foundation of a church, raising chickens, and hosting a "Christmas party" for school children where she distributed "gifts" of stationary and other necessities. She has also worked hard the past 6 months to develop a project proposal and recently completed the nonprofit registration process. She does most of the work; I simply support her and maintain communication with our friends around the world. I have the reliable internet and some background in nonprofit management; she is the visionary while I am the organizer. We make a good team!

But here is where I find myself way over my head. I have never been to Zimbabwe (though I hope to go soon), and Belinda has returned to her village of Sanyati after living in Harare the past 6 months in order to find land to purchase that she can develop into a community center. Buying land, getting approval from the local rural council, buying residential stands, opening bank accounts, and all the legal aspects of getting a nonprofit up and running, all in a country I've never even been to, leaves me feeling pretty useless.

Therefore I would LOVE it if anyone has ANY advice, insight, experience or encouragement for me and for Belinda, especially if you live or have worked in Zimbabwe. Anything would help! Helpful things to do, things we might have forgotten, things I can do from America to help her out. I'm very excited about the PulseWire community, sharing my story and getting to know all of you! Thank you so much!


PDF icon project_proposal.pdf

Comments 4

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  • Gertrude Pswarayi
    Jan 29, 2010
    Jan 29, 2010

    Well done for teaming up to spearhead this exciting project.

    I have some experience in setting up/establishing an NGO in Zimbabwe. I have done that for two organisations that i co-founded. What exactly do you need help with?

    Setting up an NGO is hard work in a country with a pending NGO Bills that makes it hard for people ro register as Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) rather than regestering as a Trust. It is also difficult when there is a lot of corruption taking place making it difficult to purchase land.

    Is your friend based in Harare? Has she identified any particular piece of land that she is interested in? Has she opened an organisational bank account with a commercial bank in Zimbabwe? Has she applied for land yet?

    There are many questions to be answer. If you need help, i can provide you with the information that i know based on experience.


  • Elizabeth Jiri
    Sep 02, 2011
    Sep 02, 2011

    Hi Caitie,

    Thank you very much for being there for us. I am a Zimbabwean who is very passionate about our youth and i want to start an NGO which will remove our youth from the street, bottle stores and from drugs and alchohol abuse by keeping them busy with trainings and make them build up their wealth.

    My name is Elizabeth Jiri and if you are still in Harare please call me on 263772293135 so that we can meet and you can help me to get this going. Or you can text me you details so that i can come to your offices.

    Once again, thank you very much


  • cherisal
    Oct 21, 2011
    Oct 21, 2011

    Hi Caitie and Belinda,

    I have spent a lot of time in Zimbabwe and love the people, the beauty of the land, the animals and the wonderful children. I have done some conservation volunteer work in Victoria Falls and I have been looking for other ways to volunteer. I wanted to get in touch with you to see what I can do, if anything, to support your effort. I have read your proposal and it looks like a sound project. I have been in corporate America for 20 years and have an MBA. Perhaps I can offer assistance in helping people start up and run their own businesses. Looking forward to talking with you.

    Kind regards,


  • patrick chitege

    Hie Caitie how did it go with the registration of your friend's NGO. Please i need help with the same thing, my email is please inbox me.