Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission


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Since the 1980s, The United Methodist Church has been a powerful agent of change and hope in Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans are facing challenging political and human rights abuse, a ruined economy, and limited access to medicine, education, and utilities. People struggle to secure basic needs for their survival on a daily basis. Women, children, and the elderly are the most vulnerable.

The Zimbabwe United Methodist Church continues to respond to the spiritual and physical needs of the people of Zimbabwe by sharing the gospel and empowering local communities through education, healthcare, and agricultural development. With help from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the Nyadire, Mutambara, and Old Mutare Hospitals are being revitalized, HIV/AIDS programs are being instituted, malaria prevention and care are offered, and orphans are being educated. UMCOR and Global Ministries collaborates with the East and West Zimbabwe Annual Conferences to support schools, develop income-generating activities, work with women, orphans and vulnerable groups, and train pastors and laity.

Africa University, the largest Pan Africa UMC-related institution, is based in Mutare, Zimbabwe, and the conference participates in the decisions and operations of the institution. Global Ministries and the conference have collaborated on several programs at Africa University.

UMCOR in Zimbabwe

In the past decade, Zimbabwe has experienced political instability, economic collapse, food and fuel shortages, and cholera outbreaks. The United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index, which examines indicators such as health, education, income, income inequality, and life expectancy, ranks Zimbabwe 173 out of 187 nations studied.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) opened a country office in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, in 2009 to develop programs in its four core sectors of expertise:

  • Emergency response
  • Livelihoods
  • Social and community development, and
  • Health.

Since then, UMCOR has worked to improve the lives of more than 380,000 people in the country through a combination of programs that specifically address:

  • Food security
  • Health
  • Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), and Education.

UMCOR is the international humanitarian and development arm of The United Methodist Church. It seeks to alleviate human suffering by providing practical, proactive support to the most vulnerable survivors of chronic or temporary emergencies brought on by natural or human-caused events. UMCOR delivers aid to people in need without regard to race, religion, politics, or gender, and does not tie its relief and development activities to any political or religious viewpoint.

UMCOR works alongside local communities to identify needs and solutions, and collaborates with local and international partners, community groups, governments, and faith-based organizations, to respond to those needs in sectors such as livelihoods, health, shelter, and community development.

In Zimbabwe, UMCOR has focused its work to date in the provinces of Manicaland and Mashonaland East. UMCOR’s memorandum of understanding with the Government of Zimbabwe also covers communities in the provinces of Bulawayo, Midlands, and Masvingo, with scope for expansion.

Read more about projects in Zimbabwe as well as contact information for the UMCOR office.

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Missionaries in Zimbabwe

Kies, Jane
#10739Z - Jane Kies teaches Intensive English to students from non-English countries at Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe.
Kies, Larry
#09572Z - Larry Kies is a technical advisor to the Africa University Farm at Mutare, Zimbabwe.
Mefor, Emmanuel Ufonna
#13990Z - Emmanuel Mefor is a medical doctor in Mutambara, Zimbabwe.
Mefor, Florence Ogugua
#13991Z - Florence Mefor is serving in Mutambara, Zimbabwe as a nurse mid-wife.
Musuka, Grace
#3021521 - Grace Musuka is a regional missionary of The United Methodist Church serving as coordinator of women’s work in Central Africa.