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Zimbabwe

The big picture:

You might recognize one of the most popular games played by kids in Zimbabwe. It's called Mahumbwe and it's basically a different take on House. The village children get together, split off into pretend families and build homes from circles of stone. Girls act out traditional jobs for women, from collecting water to cooking. Boys go hunting or farming.

Where this game usually stops short is where the problems facing Zimbabwe's families start. In recent years, farming has been hard because droughts caused by global warming have made it nearly impossible to grow maize (corn), the main food people eat. More than three-quarters of adults are out of work, which make properly supporting their kids next to impossible. The rate of HIV and AIDS is the fourth highest in the world, orphaning more than one million children.

As a typical game of Mahumbwe shows, kids in Zimbabwe have high hopes for their own future families and the future of the whole country. With a little help and a lot of hard work, the ideal lives played out in their games can be a closer version of reality than the current situation.

What's Plan doing?

Plan runs workshops about HIV and AIDS for teenagers, encouraging them to educate others by starting their own awareness clubs. We send vulnerable children, especially AIDS orphans, to school. Our training programs for farmers help them grow crops that resist drought. When food is scarce we help with school feeding programmes. All this work clears a path for kids to achieve the best results possible.

Issues Plan works on in Zimbabwe:

Comparison on the Millennium Development Goals**

Country
Population living on less than $1 a day  
Enrolment in Primary Education88.4%99.5%
Ratio of girls to boys in primary education0.990.99
Under 5 mortality rate (per 1000 live births)1056
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births)8807
People 15-49 years old living with HIV15.3%0.4%
Population with access to improved drinking water81%100%
Internet Users per 100 people9.3276.77

**The eight Millennium Development Goals, agreed to by all of the world's countries and leading development institutions, form a blueprint to help meet the needs of the world's poorest people.

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Language(s):

English

Population:

12.9 million

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