Gap Year Encounter’s Zimbabwe

Capturing stories is not my strong point (as we all know!) so it’s great having Lydia and Zach around from Trent Vineyard at the moment.  Lydia is doing some pieces for the and Family Impact sites each week, so I hope you enjoy…..


As a foreigner coming to Zimbabwe, two things have come to my attention: 1) don’t drink the tap water and 2) everyone here (or at least at Family Impact) is genuinely passionate about what they’re doing despite having comparatively fewer people, and quite a lot less money than a UK charity of a similar size.

As an international volunteer, I get to spend time with Lynne and learn about the range of organisations she (and Family Impact) have their hands in, as well as see firsthand how Lynne’s objectives of supporting grassroots organisations, raising leaders and building bridges plays out in reality. One of the organisations Zach and I get the opportunity to help out with is Encounter Kids’ Club, run by Hlulani Clauke.

Founded just last year, Encounter Kids’ Clubs have reached over 1,000 children across Zimbabwe through in-school classes, after school clubs and summer camps, all with the aim to allow kids to have fun while learning about Jesus.

Zach and I went with Hlu to the Western Suburbs and Tshabalala last Saturday to help out with 2 kids’ clubs. Despite the (painfully) early morning and a kombi ride (14 seater commuter bus) that really took human contortion to new levels, it was amazing to be a part of something so exciting. We had about 20 kids between the ages of 2-10, and entertained them with games, crafts and songs about the Bible and God’s love. And while it was quite funny to run around after a bunch of kids who spoke little English yet still had a persistent interest in my hair and trainers, it was genuinely lovely to watch these kids respond to songs about Jesus and Scripture through games and songs. A few kids in the second club who definitely put me to shame on my Scripture memorisation! Hlu’s passion for these children and her heart for seeing kids come to know and experience Jesus is the driving force behind all of the 7 clubs Hlu oversees; armed with little more than a few songs and balloons it was incredible to help support Hlu in bringing light and joy to these kids even if only for an hour and a half each week.

Zach from Trent Vineyard helps out at one of Encounter's Kids Clubs
Zach from Trent Vineyard helps out at one of Encounter’s Kids Clubs

Encounter Kids’ Clubs is an example of an organisation supported by Family Impact, and Lynne is so excited to see it grow and flourish in the hope that it continues to reach thousands more kids. If you are interested in volunteering at Family Impact with people like Hlu at Encounter, you can find out more here or send us an email through our website.

Written by: Lydia Bernard-Brooks


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