Despite the obvious challenges caused by the global pandemic, 2020 actually turned out to be one of the most successful years ever for Africa AHEAD. With an annual budget of almost USD 3 million, approximately one million beneficiaries were supported by AA-Z at an average per-capita cost of just USD 3.00
Clearly this past year has been a remarkable success by any measure but especially when one takes into account the difficulty of operating under severe lock-down restrictions combined with critical fuel shortages and the over-arching challenges being faced by the failing economy and infrastructure. But despite these many vicissitudes AA-Z, under the very capable leadership of Regis Matimati our Executive Director, was able to expand total compliment of staff by some 50% to 42 staff which is the highest it has been for the past two decades!
What is clear from the thirteen individual project reports that were being implemented over these past twelve months; all of which are here detailed in this Annual Report, the organisation has been operating across vast swathes of Zimbabwe from Manicaland to Masvingo as well as both Bulawayo and Harare. There is a familiar saying that ‘success builds success’ and this now clearly appears to be what is happening with AA-Z. With ever increasing confidence in AA’s capacity to respond quickly and professionally to emergency scenarios, fresh funding has been forthcoming from the likes of UNICEF as well as from major INGOs like Christian Aid, ACF, SIDA, ECHO, OFDA & SKAT Foundation. It is also most encouraging that there is the likelihood of renewal of past partnerships with CARE and Oxfam as well. All of these important relationships with international organisations helps to disseminate the AHEAD ethos of Applied Health, Education, Agriculture and Development with the CHC model at the core as has always been our objective ever since we started AA 25 years ago.
What is also noteworthy is the way AA-Z is achieving increasing levels of sector integration of all implementation activities. In other words, a far more comprehensive approach is being achieved that encompasses Nutrition/Agriculture, enhanced WASH as well as Education. AA-Z is also gaining a solid reputation for being able to respond quickly, professionally and effectively in Emergency situations of which Zimbabwe has been inundated of late what with droughts, floods and cyclones as well as the ongoing Covid pandemic and frequent cholera outbreaks.
While AA-Z has been busy implementing the numerous projects across the country Regis and his team were also able to offer useful contributions to the Zoom CHC Training courses that have been organised by Africa AHEAD Associates (AAA) from Cape Town. The CHC modules attracted around sixty participants from 18 countries and resulted in CHC projects being disseminated to various new organisations and countries around the world. This complimentary relationship between AA-Z and AAA has got off to a very good start during the course of this past year. Dissemination of the AHEAD / CHC approach is finally beginning to happen at scale and Zimbabwe, where it all began 25 years ago, continues to provide the bed-rock experience based on first-hand engagement with communities.
Anthony & Juliet Waterkeyn
Founders of Africa AHEAD.