Operation Zimbabwe commenced in Summer 1996 when a vision was established for a Christian Training Centre in Kuwadzana, a high density urban suburb of Harare. In the next 2 years training began, a reading room was housed in a local Church and plans were drawn up for a school building. Land was then purchased, the site prepared , funds raised and a building was erected, much of this done by local people. The site was officially opened in September 2001. Since then there have been other developments on site including the construction of a community hall, a pre-school, a dormitory to house people coming in for training from the rural areas and a water facility provided through our own bore hole and water storage tank to service the needs of the centre .
We have also sponsored a small garden known affectionately as Gerald's garden; we have added a small computer room and classrooms to house Paraclete Presbyterian College (a secondary school for children in Kuwadzana) and Kuwadzana Paraclete Bible School.
Currently, the daily activities of the centre include:
Superkids pre-school for approximately 25 young children.
Paraclete College secondary school catering for approximately 140 students studying up to A level standard. PCNI is supported in this work by supporters offering scholarships for needy students in the school. (A scholarship costs approximately £400 per annum).
Bible School offering Certificate, Diploma and Advanced Diploma studies for lay leaders in the local churches. The courses offer modules in Christian discipleship and personal spiritual development, Biblical studies, Christian doctrine, leadership, evangelism, pastoral care and preaching and communication at different levels.
The library/reading room is used by the centre students but also students from the community and from other educational establishments. The same is true for the computer room.
In addition, the training centre welcomes people in need of fresh water from the bore hole and also houses several different churches who meet there mid-week and on Sundays. People from the community hire the facilities for weddings etc.
This site is now a wonderful asset in a very poor, rundown urban community and is well managed, maintaining high standards in all respects. However due to the situation in the country PCNI is facing increasing financial pressures to maintain the centre and continue with its vision for on-going development and expansion.
Beyond the centre, PCNI offers some support to families in material need by the provision of food parcels and money for medical assistance. It also supports the work of Batsirai special needs school nearby via fund raising projects.
The Leadership Team
Rev Jonah Masaka - Director of the Training Centre and Retired Minister of Kuwadzana Presbyterian Church. Mr James Ndhlovu - Co-ordinator and Lecturer Rev. Lynda Hulcoop - Director of Studies, Executive Director PCNI, Minister SCCC
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries on earth, boasting magnificent natural beauty, a profusion of wildlife and spectacular scenery including one of the world’s greatest natural wonders - the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls.
The tourist brochure description is now far from reality. Recent years of political unrest, social destruction and economic decline have brought this country to its knees. Inflation is now under control after the introduction of the US dollar but prices are very high - beyond the reach of most of the poor people. Life for many Zimbabweans is a desperate struggle for survival. The undoubted scenic beauty stands in stark contrast to the vast array of human need: poverty, malnutrition , widespread HIV/Aids, unemployment, political repression and more. Life expectancy in Zimbabwe is around 59 years
The church clearly has a role to play both in serving the needs of the people now and in preparing for rebuilding and reconstruction in the future. Currently, the churches are full as people seek God to meet their needs. There is great response to evangelistic ministry. But there is a great need for clear and effective Bible teaching and the training of current and potential lay leaders for the future at all levels.
In the current climate in Zimbabwe, there are increasing challenges in maintaining and developing the training school.
1. Our annual budget for is now higher than ever due to the very hign prices after the introduction of the US dollar. We wish to pay our staff an adequate salary to feed their families. Costs amount to over £10,000 per year to run the school.
2. We would love to provide bursaries to the poorest students unable to travel to courses from outlying areas. Training such potential community leaders is vital for the future when the country and will rebuild morally, socially and spiritually.
3. We need to add to the books in our reading room - the only one in the township - especially for the many school age children who come to read for their academic studies.
4. ‘Many childrens parents cannot afford to pay the school fees, which amount to around £400 per annum. Some of our supporters provide bursaries to help particularly needy families in this way.
5. Alongside all this, PCNI seek to raise funds to support HIV/AIDS Ophans and destitute people in need of basic food supplies.