Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

ZOE: Helping Children Help Themselves

ZOE: Helping Children Help Themselves

Advance #982023

#982023 - Empowering vulnerable children to overcome poverty through a three-year empowerment program

Annual Goal:$700,000.00
YTD Gifts:$272,459.33
Location: Africa Regional Africa
Partner:The UMC, North Carolina Annual Conference


ZOE originally started in 2004 as a relief ministry in Zimbabwe. Since then, ZOE has transformed its outreach to orphans and vulnerable children to a group-based three-year empowerment program that provides the resources and skills children need to overcome poverty. Since 2007, over 30,000 orphans and vulnerable children have transformed their lives through the ZOE program. After graduation, these supportive groups continue to work together, often empowering additional orphans and passing along the skills, knowledge, and resources they have received to others. ZOE is now active in Rwanda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Malawi.

Goals & Objectives

ZOE's three-year empowerment program seeks to help vulnerable children: 1. Be Secure ZOE s social workers ensure children know about their rights, are free from abuse and exploitation, and can find a safe place to live. Children learn skills such as farming and animal husbandry at monthly meetings. Then, ZOE provides them tools, seeds and farm animals so they can grow and raise their own food. When children need a home, ZOE provides the necessary materials and their peer working group assists in construction. 2. Be Healthy ZOE s social workers teach children about ways to stay healthy, including boiling water before drinking, washing hands and dishes, and proper nutrition for a balanced diet. ZOE provides children with mosquito nets and blankets to keep them safe from insect-borne diseases. Children learn about the causes and prevention of HIV/AIDS, and how to care for those who are infected. Orphans often form anti-AIDS clubs and perform at local events to help educate their communities. 3. Be Connected When children first join the empowerment program, ZOE brings them together into a Working Group of 50-100 fellow orphans from their community. This group becomes a new family, able to support one another in many ways. ZOE connects children to their community leaders, and helps them connect to God through their local church. ZOE s social workers help children reunite with their relatives and siblings who have had to leave home. 4. Be Prepared When children graduate after three years in ZOE s program, they are prepared to care for themselves and their younger siblings. They have secure, dependable sources of food and income. Through ZOE, children have access to micro-grants, vocational training, and business start-up materials. Working Groups will frequently reach out to assist other orphans in their villages. These children are prepared to become leaders in their church and community. In three years or less, these children are so empowered that they no longer need our support. Children who have completed the program often reach out to other children in their community who are suffering. In this way, the program has a ripple effect, transforming lives beyond the original working group.

Activities Plan

For ZOE to offer its life-changing program to as many vulnerable children as possible, we must effectively raise funds and connect donors in meaningful ways to the orphans in Africa. We have a number of ways for churches and individuals to connect with ZOE. Hope Companion Partnership: Experience a different kind of mission and become a Hope Companion with a group of vulnerable children through their three-year journey from poverty to a transformed life of hope and self-reliance. This three-year financial commitment by individuals, groups or churches builds a true partnership by receiving regular progress updates via a personalized blog and traveling to visit the children in-country. Gifts that Help Alternative Giving: Gifts that Help is your way to help orphans and vulnerable children transform their lives through ZOE's three-year empowerment program. By "purchasing" Gifts that Help, you are empowering children with the animals, seeds, tools, and other items they need to leave behind a life of poverty. You can honor your friend or loved one with an attractive card and bookmark describing the gift you have bought and help orphans build a better life for themselves and their younger siblings. Mission Moments for Children: ZOE offers a free five-video series and accompanying resource guide designed to help introduce children to orphans in Africa who are transform their lives. Stories of Hope via Email: If you subscribe to our e-mail list online, you can receive monthly stories of children who are transforming their lives through ZOE, as well the latest news and happenings.

Budget and Financial Information


Annual Advance Financial Goal
Local Financial Support


Empowerment costs, Rwanda, Kenya, Malawi, Zimbabwe
International Mission Travel

Project Contact

Gaston Warner
(800) 951-0234

Global Ministries Contact

Kathleen T. Griffith
(212) 870-3869