United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe Bruce Wharton today awarded grants worth thousands of dollars to 15 community-based organizations under the ambassador’s self-help program aimed at assisting small-scale and short-term development projects.
Ambassador Wharton told journalists in Harare after presenting grants to various community organizations that the objective of the program is to bring tangible and immediate improvements in people’s lives.
He said the program, which is part of large-scale initiatives carried out by some organs of the U.S government, also helps to bring Americans and Zimbabwean closer.
The fifteen selected beneficiaries were drawn from more than 200 organizations that sought financial assistance from the U.S Embassy.
They include Jesuit Refugee Services from Tongagara Refugee Camp in Chipinge, Chenhuta Secondary School in Murehwa, Bhagu Village Women’s Group from Gutu, Domboshava Community Development Association from Mashonaland East the Zimbabwe Opportunities Industrialization Center’s Taguta Co-operative from Chivi district of Masvingo province.
Jesuit Refugee Service Southern Africa Regional Director, Father David Holdcroft, said the grant which they received would benefit 50 women and their households.
Another recipient, councilor Enock Shindi, said Taguta co-operative in Chivi would use the grant for alleviating serious water shortages in the district.
Murehwa district administrator, Maxwell Maburo, who co-ordinates development activities in the area, said the development projects will go a long way in providing food and nutrition, particularly for people living with HIV/AIDS.
More than $2 million has been distributed under the ambassador’s special self-help program in the last 10 years.
Grants range from $5,000 to $10,000 with beneficiaries expected to complete their projects within 12 months of signing a grant agreement.