About us


Our story

Zimkids began in 2006 with one little boy needing life-saving HIV treatment. He was just five years old, had no family, no clothes and no way to get food. Through getting to know this little boy and providing for his most basic needs we were exposed to the massive problem of poverty throughout Zimbabwe.

Since then we have developed a strategy for helping families to stay together despite the death of parents, illness and homelessness. Zimkids works with the whole family, helping them to learn to get themselves out of poverty.

We are a grass-roots organisation and are completely Zimbabwean-led in the field. We create employment opportunities for local people in the townships we have a presence in so that the whole community are being developed.

We currently have a presence in three townships - Epworth and Hopley in Harare, and in rural Mutoko.  



Zimkids is a Christian charity registered by the Charity Commission and overseen by a Board of Trustees in the UK.  We raise funds for the team of Zimkids employees and volunteers in Zimbabwe who in turn are overseen by a local Board of Trustees.

This structure ensures that funds raised in the UK are used directly to support vulnerable families in Zimbabwe. 

You can check out our latest accounts on the charity commission website here.


UK Trustees

Peter Leech // Secretary

Peter is a long-standing member of the Church that Zimkids sprang from (Morden Baptist Church), and one of the initial Trustees. He is also the Company & Charity Secretary and taking the opportunity of retirement to visit Zimbabwe each year.

Kelly Griffin

Kelly has been involved with Zimkids since her life-changing visit to Zimbabwe back in 2007. She is a qualified nurse and line-manager to our UK Operations Coordinator. Kelly loves to champion the charity whenever she gets the chance! 

Tanya Ratzer // Treasurer

Tanya grew up with Charlene (Founder) in a rural farming community called Karoi in Zimbabwe. Tanya is the Treasurer for Zimkids and worked in investment banking for 10 years prior to taking on this role. Having lived in Africa she is passionate about the importance of enabling poorer communities to help themselves and giving them the opportunity of breaking the devastating cycle of poverty.

Nadia Johnstone

Nadia was born and bred in Zimbabwe in the beautiful ancient city of Masvingo and spent her school terms in Harare. Nadia is a mother of two who enjoys travelling and exploring other cultures and ways of life. She is very passionate about all things human rights related and developing, coaching and mentoring young fellow Zimbabweans both here in the UK and back in Zim. She is also a school governor for a primary school. 


Our team

Blessing Rusike // Field Director

Blessing is the longest-standing member of our team. She has been investing in many of our families since we began in 2008. Blessing is passionate about helping families to understand each other and function better as a unit.

Kudzanayi Makoni // Self-sufficiency projects manager

Kudzanayi joined the team at the beginning of 2019. His desire and aim is to empower women and see families become self-sufficient. 

Ropafadzo Fombe // Discipleship and well-being manager

Ropafadzo joined the team at the beginning of 2019. She is passionate about walking alongside teenagers and young adults and enabling them to reach their full potential and know their worth. 

Pamela Mutambo // Education lead mentor

Pamela has been working with us since 2018. Her passion is enabling disadvantaged children to learn to read and write and she loves to encourage them to strive for more.


Leeroy Jawala // Social work officer

Amai Kuda // Farming instructor

Etina Washaya // Teacher trainer and special educational needs teacher

Clara Paradzai // Township mentor

Elizabeth Mtize // Township mentor

John & Linda Namaja // Developing Mutoko base



Lauren Powell // UK Fundraising Coordinator

Lauren visited Zimbabwe for the first time in 2006 and has been enthusiastically fundraising for the work ever since. Lauren manages our UK donors, events, volunteers, overseas visits and corporate sponsorships.

Helen Da Costa // UK Trust Fundraiser

Helen joined us in 2020 with a wealth of knowledge in Trust fundraising. We look forward to expanding our fundraising network in the UK and bringing in some additional funding with her expertise. 


Note: As we could not register locally under the name 'Zimkids' we registers as 'Simbarashe Trust' under the Masters of High Court.


Zimbabwe Trustees

John Chinyowa // Chair

John has led a children’s home in the town of Marondera for the past 20+ years. He has hands-on experience with dealing with vulnerable children and orphans, as well as working with the Social Welfare structures of the government of Zimbabwe. John and his family live in Marondera close to the orphanage, where John also pastors a local church.

John Pybus // Treasurer

John Pybus is a partner in a Harare accountancy firm. John has been of great help in assisting with advice and contacts in the business world. This helped set up a charitable trust in Zimbabwe, and ensuring we are compliant with changing tax laws. John serves on many boards of businesses in Zimbabwe.