Zimbabwe News


Berlin, 14 September 2020

Sarah Dilling and her daughter have been back in Germany since the end of August. After it had been very difficult to leave the country for a long time, it was suddenly possible to get a flight to Berlin.  The two of them have now undergone quarantine and a Covid-19 test (negative). They are preparing for normal day-to-day life with school and work here in Germany, because it is still completely unclear when a return to Zimbabwe will be possible.

Sarah Dilling, the project’s director, lived with her daughter in a small summer house in a quiet residential area in the capital Harare from January to August 2020. She moved to Zimbabwe to set up a training centre for young people. Here she tells us how she experienced developments in Zimbabwe during the Covid-19 pandemic.     

Harare, 5. August 2020

The number of Covid-19 sufferers is rising sharply. Sarah keeps hearing of people who have died of the disease. The hygiene measures are not consistently implemented by the population. Many only use a face mask sporadically, to avoid trouble with the police. This allows the virus to spread freely. Sarah reports on this in a voice message (in German).


Emily is mostly at home for her protection and she has little contact with other children. She is coping surprisingly well with the situation and thinks up wonderful projects using her great imagination and creativity. Among other things, she dances with enthusiasm. Here is a short sample…


Harare, 6 July 2020

The country’s financial crisis continues to worsen. The teachers of Chidzikwe Secondary School receive only 30,- UDS per month. Current price: 80 Bond = 1 UDS


Harare, 26.06.2020

While the distribution operations were being carried out by the teams in recent weeks, Sarah was working her way through the jungle of Zimbabwean administration. The result is that a registered association has now been founded in Zimbabwe. In order to meet the legal requirements for an effective association, many hours of research were required, in which a young lawyer from Zimbabwe successfully supported Sarah. Not all the hurdles in the administrative offices and ministries have been completed as yet, but Sarah is on the right track.

Masvingo, 3 June 2020

Sarah went to Masvingo with her daughter to be present when food was distributed. In addition, Sarah is spending time on the final phase of founding  a registered association in Zimbabwe, to ensure that the establishment of a vocational training center meets all legal requirements. 

Harare, 23 May 20020

We distributed a few food parcels to a facility for people with disabilities and received this letter of thanks.  Thank you for your great commitment. At present, through your support, we can provide vital help to many people.

I always have In mind James 1:27: to serve God, our Father, in an exemplary way is to take care of the orphans and widows and not let ourselves be corrupted by the world.


Harare, 14 May 2020

Sarah and her team, consisting of Ray, Ennoc and Desire, worked some days to utter exhaustion. Here is part of a voice message from Sarah (in German):

Harare, 25 April 2020

Today was a heavy day. We provided about 350 families with food parcels and were busy from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. We tried calling door-to-door in rural areas, but that was not possible. People have NOTHING left. The shops in the villages are completely empty and the people cannot travel elsewhere. So of course the news that we were distributing food parcels spread like wildfire and people came running from everywhere… This affected all of us emotionally. We were in a team of four plus the pastor and Bright, the manager of the wholesaler (who also wanted to experience a distribution campaign), and the truck driver.

Harare, 16 April 2020 

First we went to the wholesaler to buy supplies. The food is stored in a building where a lawyer friend has his offices. He is very much involved in the relief effort. Emily is friends with his children and stays with the family while the adults are shopping. 


Harare, 14 May 2020   
Sarah and her team, consisting of Ray, Ennoc and Desire, worked some days to utter exhaustion.       

Harare, 12 April 2020

On Tuesday we shall be buying the groceries to be distributed in the same week in Chitungwiza, a densely populated, predominantly poor suburb of Harare. The main recipients of the distribution will be orphans and the elderly. 

Harare, 8 April 2020

As of today, the banks in Zimbabwe are open again! So Sarah is aiming to organize food distribution as soon as possible. 

Harare, 7 April 2020

Berlin, 4 April 2020

Sarah in Zimbabwe was having big problems with her mobile phone, which was no longer charging. She could not write long texts because the phone was not working properly yesterday at three percent charge. The danger was that Sarah’s only means of contact with Germany would be cut off. It may seem strange but many Christians, who we told of the problem, began to pray for the battery of the mobile phone. This morning, the phone was 100 percent charged again! What a heavenly miracle! Now Sarah writes the following:

Harare, April 4 2020 
 While I stand in the kitchen baking bread I think of the people in my neighbourhood 
here in Zimbabwe. My bread supplies are slowly being used up, but I have flour in my 
storage cupboard to take care of myself and my daughter. Many, indeed most of the 14 million 
Zimbabweans don't know how to survive the three weeks of the lockdown because they don't 
have any reserves. They fervently hope that the state will shorten the time of the lockdown
so that they can go outside again to pursue the business of street trading. 
The few dollars they earn would be sufficient to provide for them and their families for the day. 
Unlike most foreign development workers of other organizations, who have rapidly left Zimbabwe, 
I am still in the country. I know that even Germany and other Western countries 
currently have financial concerns arising from the pandemic. 
But it is important to me to send out a call for food donations
to deal with the current very great need. Since I am still in the country, I can make use of
this advantage. Therefore, I ask you whether you may be able to part with a few euros or more. 
Please transfer your donation to the account given below. 
Every euro helps and benefits the people of this country. I will be personally supervising the food distribution with a 
Advivia gGmbH - IBAN: DE83 1005 0000 0190 7302 42
Reference: Zimbabwe food donation

 Harare, 31 March 2020 
 *About us* Emily and I are doing well so far. We have enough food and toilet paper 
to last for the next few weeks. We now have all the books Emily needs for school 
so that she can do her set work every day and then I can 
correct it. Her teacher has set up a WhatsApp group for this homeschooling program, 
where she posts the tasks on a daily basis. Emily enjoys it. Today, thank God, the 
water delivery that will supply us for the coming week arrived. Let us hope that this service 
is not discontinued (the state does not supply us with water although my landlords pay a monthly sum for it). 
To be prepared for all eventualities I have obtained a number of reserve canisters 
which, in the case of an emergency, will provide us with water for a few days. A friend of our landlord 
also has a well where we can at least fill our smaller canisters with drinking water 
when it gets difficult. We are living in a very cozy cottage with a garden 
on the same plot of land on which our landlords, an older white 
couple, live. We take care of each other and are a great support to each other in this difficult 
time. For them, we are like family, as their only daughter and her family live in Australia. 
Thanks to the installation of a solar system, which I was able to get hold of in a hurry on Saturday after the announcement of the lockdown, 
we now also have permanent electricity! Resounding thanks to my team! ? 
I have frequently been asked whether I have put our names on the return list and in "ELEFAND" [the German government's crisis aversion 
list]. Yes I have. However, there is no commercial means of leaving Zimbabwe, 
since air traffic has been completely suspended. From the German embassy, I have 
received the news that no repatriation flights are currently planned for Zimbabwe. 
If this changes, I will be informed immediately.

*On the country* *Although officially only seven Covid-19 cases are recognized (we all know 
there are many more) on Saturday the lockdown was announced for 
Monday. It is expected to last for three weeks initially. Since the announcement was made with such short notice 
the population was not warned and only had the Saturday morning to prepare essential things such as gas cylinders 
to be able to cook if the electricity fails). From noon on Saturday 
many shops and banks were closed again (as usual). The lockdown came into force 
yesterday. The state has imposed a general ban on activities, so that all companies are also closed. 
It's not hard to imagine what this means for the economy. Banks are also closed, so that the population
cannot access their reserves and we also cannot collect any money via Western Union or 
Worldremit. The majority of the population (95%) are unemployed and survive from one day to the next, doing 
casual jobs. They practically live from hand to mouth and cannot afford to stock up 
for three weeks. As the state is cracking down with police and army to enforce the lockdown, 
many Zimbabweans are afraid of starvation. People are now preparing for a situation in which 
there may be great unrest...

Advivia gGmbH – IBAN: DE83 1005 0000 0190 7302 42
Reference: Zimbabwe

15 April 2020 Video of a purchase from the wholesaler in Harare. The goods are stored in the house of a law firm.               

Berlin, 21 April 2020 Today, an interview with Sarah about the situation during the Covid lockdown in   Zimbabwe was broadcast on ERF (Evangeliumsrundfunk, a Christian radio station). Here is the link (in German): ERF plus               

Tomorrow, 22 April 2020 you can listen to an interview with Sarah on RBB (Rundfunk Berlin-Bradenburg) Radio 1 at around 6.35 a.m. or listen to it later on the website.

Harare, 21 April 2020 New message from Sarah (in German):