Letter to friends and members of the Tariro community.

Letter to friends and members of the Tariro community.



April 22, 2020


Dear friends and members of the Tariro community,

We all hope you are staying safe and well. Our thoughts are with you and together we will get past these unprecedented times.

As the novel coronavirus, COVID -19, spreads across Africa, we wanted to give you an update on the current situation in Zimbabwe and to request your help so that we can provide support to our students and their families at a time when they need it the most.


As of April 22nd, 2020, the country has been in the midst of a full lockdown until at least the beginning of May, with schools, banks, and most stores closed. Essential services though remain open. There are reports of some violence and many arrests for not obeying the lockdown. The number of those testing positive in Zimbabwe is still low (28 cases and 4 deaths recorded as of April 22nd), but most agree that this is due to the lack of enough testing and inability to accurately track related cases. To make matters more complex, there is currently an outbreak of malaria in the country that has killed at least 135 people as of today. There are many reports that social distancing is not being practised, food is scarce, health care is hard to come by, and there is an expected increase in cases which follows the path of infections around the globe.

Even before this pandemic struck, the country’s “informal economy” was how most people obtained groceries and other necessities. This economy operates on a mostly cash-only or barter system. With the lockdown, staples are hard to get, especially if you are without cash, compounding the ongoing health crisis with a likely hunger crisis. As was noted in the United Nations News (published April 8, 2020):


“Urgent international support is needed to prevent millions of desperate Zimbabweans from plunging deeper into hunger”.

“According to the World Food Programme (WFP), as COVID 19 takes hold, the country’s already severe climate-and-recession induced hunger crisis is becoming even more profound.”

“…with unprecedented hyper-inflation having pushed the prices of staples out of reach for most Zimbabweans, increasingly, desperate families are eating less.”

In consultation with our staff in Zimbabwe and with the generosity and flexibility of Kutsinhira Arts and Cultural Centre in Eugene, Tariro was able to provide a one-time crisis grant to the girls and their families so that they can buy food and essentials, such as sanitary pads. Young girls impacted by HIV/AIDS are especially vulnerable to the effects of the economy and the COVID 19 pandemic, and we are extremely grateful to Kutsinhira for helping us find a way to provide essential support to our students and their families.

With the support of generous donors, Tariro has shown that it can be responsive in the face of crisis and protect some of the most vulnerable members of communities: young girls already orphaned by AIDS and HIV.


How can you help? Please consider contributing or making a donation to Tariro and even consider a recurring monthly gift of even $25 USD per month. The stability of funds will allow us to support the wellbeing of our students and staff for the duration of the crisis and to plan into the future as we begin to understand the full effects of this pandemic.  Any support is greatly appreciated; if a recurring gift is not possible, a one-time offering can still go a long way.

Your generosity will ensure that we can continue the work we do and strengthen the resiliency of the Tariro girls and staff well beyond the pandemic’s passing. Ensuring the right to education and emotional well-being for our students is our priority, and brings stability to their lives.

We remain committed to our mission of supporting education and the psycho-social needs for our girls. We hope that you can support us and donate to Tariro.

You can donate through our website www.tariro.org  to make a donation. We all thank you in advance for your generosity through these critical times.


Warmest wishes and thanks,

Barb Roberts

Board President

Tariro – Hope and Health for the Orphans of Zimbabwe


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