In 2004, a small group of people from the Washington DC area calling themselves "TeamAfrica" went to Zimbabwe, Africa with hands ready to help in any way necessary. We didn't know what we'd find as the "greatest need", but we were open to anything. What we found was an up-close and personal look at needs like we've never seen before: poverty, starvation, crumbling facilities, LACK OF facilities. What we didn't see was a people content with or resigned to these conditions. We found a people who were ready, willing, and able to make a change. The only thing missing was (and is) money to make it happen. Granted, this is often the case world-wide; and money talks, right? Well, we're applying that principal to a third world country in Africa, and let me tell you, it's working to dramatically change the face of this nation. Here's how...
The need that tugged at our hearts instantly was that of the children. Besides living in abject poverty without the basic necessities of life, there were no schools with suitable conditions for learning. There was no "education" - school supplies were not available, there were no bathroom facilities, and certainly no hot lunches. In fact, no lunches at all. But the villages were doing the best they could and they weren't giving up. We set out to partner with our new friends, to be actively involved in helping them build schools. We knew that meeting this immediate need would positively affect their long-term needs as well.
However, this was not a "quick-fix" in the sense of quick. We've spent 8 years laying the foundation (pun intended), forming bonds of friendship based on love, trust, and mutual respect. "TeamAfrica" literally became a team of us and our friends in Zimbabwe, Africa.
We are BuyaBrickFoundation www.TeamAfrica.com a non-profit NGO working in Africa.
In that time, we've made 9 trips, working to meet other needs. We've distributed over 1000 pairs of reading glasses and sunglasses; delivered thousands of pounds of food to starving people in town and in the bush; sponsored school fees and purchased school supplies for hundreds of children. We've built multiple toilets on village school grounds; repaired and installed water well pumps; and restored power to village schools that had been without power for almost a year.
In addition, we have been the catalyst that has enabled a number of familys and individuals to start small businesses and become a self-sufficient people. We've started a taxi cab company which now has 6 vehicles in its fleet. We've empowered people to start chicken farms, raising chicks to broilers. These farmers sell eggs and chickens which creates an environment that says "Yes we can, if given the chance". We established a Women's Fabric Supply Business which is run solely by the local women selling to other local women creating a small economic engine. We've established a go between for the people and local Butcher Shops so the people can create a source of income.
As you can see, we do more than just erect buildings.