Mahenye Charitable Trust

WHO WE ARE: Mahenye Charitable Trust (Zimbabwe).

WHY WE NEED YOU: Mahenye is a village in the far south east of Zimbabwe, one of the poorest regions of a profoundly troubled country. It was instrumental, in the years following independence, in promoting community led conservation and was one of the pioneer communities of the CAMPFIERE movement. Mahenye Charitble Trust is a UK charity which seeks to support the village, its people and Shangaan culture by funding carefully selected initiatives under the headings of culture, education, community and conservation, working in collaboration with the community, and respecting the local culture and traditions.

HOW MANY PEOPLE WORK FOR OUR CHARITY: The charity does not have any employees; all delivery is secured through volunteers collaborating with the community, and the assistance of Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge staff and investors.

WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES: We do a wide range of work under the headings of Community, Education, Culture and Conservation. For example:

  • $750 / £500 will fund a bursary to support and orphan through school from grade 5 to the end of secondary school by paying school fees and providing uniform.
  • $1500 / £1,000 will provide furniture for a classroom in the primary school for up to 60 children.
  • $2000 / £1,330 will sponsor the annual Shangaan Cultural Festival, which both helps preserve cultural traditions which would otherwise be under threat and attracts tourists to the village, bringing much –needed revenue.


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Mahenye Charitable Trust operates on a lean model, with delivery on the ground being supported by Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge staff and investors, as are the administration and accounting functions. We work with the village elders and the CAMPFIRE committee to identify projects and secure collaboration with the village community to secure delivery. We firmly believe that the true value of aid is only achieved if it enables the community to function independently and accordingly we look to ensure that delivery of projects is secured by a collaboration between the charity and the village: typically we provide capital goods and labour is provided by the community, supplemented as needed by skilled craftsmen engaged by the trust. By ensuring that the community is fully invested in projects we aim to ensure that lasting benefits are achieved from our projects.

The Trust’s recent projects include:

The Trust is presently raising funds to provide furniture for the classrooms in the Primary School and in due course to build further classrooms. We are also collaborating with the European Union development project to develop the Jamanda Wilderness area, although the precise scope of our involvement is presently under discussion. We meet regularly with the local Campfire Committee and the village elders to identify areas where we can make a real difference. Mahenye Charitable Trust is a UK registered charity with registration number 1162249.

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