Wesley is a bright and engaging eight-year-old boy whose mother died in childbirth; his widowed grandmother, Locadia (above), cares for him and his older brother. She is one of the many heroic Zimbabwean grandmothers who are caring for a generation of orphaned children with few or no resources but with much love and determination.

Locadia supports Wesley by selling fruits and vegetables by the side of the road—she may earn $15 on a good week, usually less. When we first met them in early 2014 they had only the barest essentials.The family lived on a cornmeal-based porridge, with a few vegetables and fruits.

Bopoma Villages equips vulnerable families like Locadia and Wesley in a number of important ways:

  • Locadia is part of a group of caregivers who have been trained in biointensive agriculture. Wesley and Locadia now have fresh nutritious vegetables from a large community garden and their own household garden.
  • Surplus food from the gardens can be sold to earn additional income to pay for clothes, school fees, visits to the doctor and other essential items they have done without.
  • Wesley and Locadia now have clean water from a BioSand Filter, a Tippy Tap hand washing station, training in nutrition and hygiene, a rocket stove, and flytraps.
  • Wesley now goes to school wearing a school uniform made for him by our amazing volunteers.
  • The family receives regular home visits from a local volunteer who has been trained by Bopoma Villages to provide caregivers and orphaned children with practical and emotional support.