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Zara's Center - 2019 Report

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Looking Forward Zara s Second Decade a progress report on Zara s Center October 2019

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Table of Contents 1 Executive Summary 2 Programs Services 4 Annual Update 2018 6 Community Outreach 8 Statistics Impact 12 Featured Alumni 14 Agriculture Program Overview and Update 17 Organizational History 18 Fundraising Development 20 Zara s Board of Directors 22 How to Donate CAPTIONS THIS PAGE from top 1 Front of Zara s Center 2 and 3 The recreation field adjacent to the building OPPOSITE clockwise from top left 1 Joy during group games 2 Sewing class 3 Computer instruction 4 Playing the marimbas takes intense focus

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Our mission is to help orphaned vulnerable and at risk children become confident self sufficient members of their community By providing a supportive environment where children feel safe and cared for the Center ensures that all of Zara s students can focus on their academics personal health and on simply being kids 1

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Executive Summary Zara s Center is an after school safe haven for AIDS orphans and vulnerable youth in Bulawayo Zimbabwe The Center was founded in 2007 to respond to an increase in children being orphaned due to AIDS and the deteriorating economic and political situation in Zimbabwe Since then the situation in Zimbabwe continues to make life difficult for low income at risk children Zimbabwe has experienced a sharp decline in the last decade access to education economic stability employment healthcare and overall life expectancy World Bank The country is ranked 109th out of 117 developing countries on the Global Hunger Index GHI 13 of adults have HIV AIDS making Zimbabwe one of the most impacted countries in the world AVERT As a result the country has one of the world s largest orphan populations BBC As of 2012 74 of Zimbabweans lived on less than 5 50 USD per day BBC Many Zimbabwean children do not consistently attend school as their guardians cannot afford mandatory public school fees Reuters A period of inflation that began in early 2019 has made life even more difficult as the value of the Zimbabwean currency decreases almost daily Reuters It is not an exaggeration to say that the situation is dire Over the past dozen years Zara s has grown from a small organization operating out of a church to a stand alone Center for over 125 children aged 5 18 65 of Zara s children have lost at least one parent most to HIV AIDS related complications and over half of Zara s children live with extended family Zara s staff visits every child s home periodically to assess the family s circumstances and discuss the child s well being At home many children sleep on the floor and lack electricity or running water Caregivers are mostly unemployed due to job scarcity and cannot afford food Zara s Center provides twice daily meals academic enrichment medical care work training recreation and artistic development Children come to Zara s Center for a good meal help with homework intervention for health wellness and structured activities in a safe place Zara s gives children the tools and confidence to become their own advocates The Center s guiding goal is that Zara s kids will grow up to be agents for positive change in their country Zara s outcome studies reveal that our children are thriving in measurable ways yet we know there is still more to be done To that end we have recently broken ground on a new agriculture program which will teach our children to grow their own food and to raise chickens The program will help Zara s become more sustainable both in terms of the welfare of the children and by creating an earned income stream for the Center This project will propel us forward into another exciting program year With a balanced budget and a growing number of donors around the world that believe in what we do our small but mighty international team is enthusiastic and determined to make this coming year Zara s very best ever Thank you for reading our Annual Report and for spreading the word about Zara s Center 2 11

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Programs Services The focus of Zara s programs is broad and varied with a mission driven one child at a time model Zara s Center offers a wide range of programs and services to help vulnerable children thrive Programs are implemented by an 11 person team led by Mr Gibson J Connick a veteran educational professional who joined Zara s team in 2014 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Nutritionally Balanced Meals Academic Enrichment Breakfast before school Tutoring A hot meal after school Computer instruction A hot meal each weekend day Internet access Recreation Supervised play Monthly birthday celebrations Sports instruction Library access 1500 titles School Fees Payment Payment of fees or facilitation of third party payment College guidance Periodic field days 2 CAPTIONS THIS PAGE from left 1 Washing up before lunch time 2 Learning to make beaded bracelets OPPOSITE from top 1 Masterpieces made in art class 2 Traditional dance

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Arts Programs Music Marimbas Piano Choir Dance Modern Traditional Beading Instruction Visual Arts painting drawing Drama Mental Physical Healthcare Annual Medical Check ups by Certified Nurses Psycho Social Support Spiritual enrichment activities Case Management Quarterly home visits Oral hygiene Instruction Supplies Feminine care products Life Skills Gardening Sewing Post graduation Employment Assistance Meet Zara s Director Mr Gibson Connick Executive Director joined the Zara s Center team in 2014 He came to Zara after a successful career as an educational leader in traditional academic settings Most recently he served as Principal at one of the most respected private schools in Bulawayo Zimbabwe Petra Primary School 3

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Annual Update 2018 Milestones and Impact Provided 28 000 meals Impact We ve saved lives improved the school performance of our kids and lessened the personal and fiscal burdens of the adults and extended community that care for them Continued to measure our children s real time educational performance Impact Ensured that Zara s children perform and provide intervention for improvement We re proud that Zara s students consistently perform better on national pre secondary school exams than the national average see section five Assisting with college tuition and fees allows Zara s Alumni to lift themselves out of poverty and provides role models for younger children Provided school fees for 100 of children in need and university support for three graduates Impact Covering school fees guarantees that our children can attend school We re happy to report that for the first time in Zara s history 100 of our kids are enrolled in school in a country where 25 of the poorest lower secondary school age children are out of school due to personal or financial hardship Historically a handful of our children had been refused enrollment due to a lack of birth certificate Through the efforts of our staff we have been able to work with families and schools to ensure every child is enrolled Expanded our partnership with Lalela based in South Africa to provide art instruction to all of our children Impact Created new outlets for self expression for our children provided instruction and training for our staff in a program that is deeply impactful for participants and the entire community Made significant progress on the development of our new land and the progress is visible to the children In 2017 Zara s Center leased a five acre plot of land from the City of Bulawayo Zimbabwe adjacent to the current facility owned by the center Since January 2018 we have successfully drilled two additional boreholes wells installed pumps and solar panels to allow us to pump water without electricity and fenced the property We have also planted over 70 trees that beautify not only our discreet area but the entire community 4

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CAPTIONS clockwise from top 1 Youngest kids enjoying sewing class 2 Working on art 3 Older girls modeling the uniforms they made for themselves in sewing class 4 Watering the newly planted vegetables

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Community Outreach Zara s Center has become an important institution in Emganwini and wider Bulawayo communities In addition to serving children the Center regularly shares resources and invites community members to visit for periodic events _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Resource Sharing Water The Center has one of the only boreholes in the area and provides water to community members during shortages In 2019 we added two more boreholes on our newly leased land adjacent to our existing facility Electricity Zara has the only generator in the area providing electricity during almost daily blackouts In 2020 the Center will convert to 100 solar power eliminating the need for generator fuel and ensuring consistent electricity Tree Planting Zara s Center is committed to making the community more beautiful and plants trees on the grounds and around the neighborhood each quarter Agriculture when our forthcoming agriculture program see page 14 is fully operational we plan to share surplus fruits and vegetables with the surrounding community 6 to learn more see page 15

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Enrichment Library Community members have access to Zara s extensive library with over 1 500 titles including current public school textbooks and a copier so children can make copies for reference at home Internet Access The Center offers the only free internet and computer access in the area A technology overhaul in late 2019 will replace outdated computers for staff and children Sharing Space Zara s Center shares its space with local community members as needed Recently a teacher used the space to prepare students for O level exams when the school where he taught suddenly closed Outreach Zara s staff members regularly meet with caregivers to discuss ways to improve the children s lives The meetings provide guidance in wide ranging topics including school registration birth certificate acquisition and basic hygiene CAPTIONS OPPOSITE from top 1 and 2 Community members line up for water from Zara s borehole during routine municipal water shortages 3 Trees ready for planting THIS PAGE from top 1 Zara s library is available for children and community members to use 2 Exec Director Gibson Connick leads a caregivers meeting 3 Staff member Gayle Mhlope meets with a caregiver during a home visit 7

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Statistics and Impact Age Groups Children at Zara s Center are broken into age groups in order to optimize programs and ensure all activities are age appropriate Most children are in Group B which includes children from 8 12 years old The staff has found that the youngest children ages 5 7 thrive best in a smaller group separate from the older kids and Zara s has a dedicated staff member for Group A children Zara s Center tries to keep the female to male ratio as close to 1 1 as possible while still allowing siblings from the same family to attend together Monthly Attendance The Center is open seven days a week to all registered children all who are able to attend are welcomed and encouraged to do so Some children are unable to come everyday usually due to school demands or family obligations The Center offers breakfast before school on weekdays a hot supper and programs on weekday afternoons and a hot meal on both weekend days Below is the total number of unique children served each month from October 2018 April 2019 The totals increase in 2019 due to the fact that the Center holds an annual Graduation of older kids in September A new group of children are registered and start attending in January December was omitted due to the two week closure for the holidays 8

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Academic Outcomes Our children s academic success is only partly due to school fees coverage Our nutrition program is also a huge factor in our children s academic performance Indeed school attendance is directly related to a child s general health and well being Attendance increases when children are receiving adequate nutrition at home or school By providing reliable nutrition and academic enrichment Zara s Center helps children to feel well enough to go to school Zara s impact is made clear when comparing our outcomes with average trends in Zimbabwe For example we are proud to report that 100 of our graduates have completed lower secondary school in a country where only 36 of the poorest children do so ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________ Sandefur Justin and Divyanshi Wadhwa Schools Are Full of Hungry Kids Who Aren t Learning Anything Why Don t We Feed Them Center For Global Development 16 Oct 2017 www cgdev org blog schools are full hungry kids who arent learning anything why dont we feed them All statistics taken from the World Inequality Database on Education WIDE www education inequalities org countries zimbabwe 9

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School Performance Pre Secondary School Exams Children in Zimbabwe take national exams in grade 7 the year before they enter secondary school Zara s Center began tracking exam performance in 2017 Zara s students have surpassed the national average and performed well in both 2017 and 2018 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 10 In 2017 Zara s received exam results from 50 of the 7th graders 6 of 12 total students In 2018 Zara s received results from 75 of the 7th graders 12 of 16 total students National exam results 2017 www herald co zw latest grade 7 results out and 2018 www herald co zw 2018 grade seven results out

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CAPTIONS clockwise from top left 1 End of year awards ceremony 2018 2 Children entering the end of year event where they performed for their caregivers 3 Doing research for homework 4 Soccer time 5 Best friends

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Featured Alumni Sandra Moyo age 22 I started attending Zara in 2012 When the Center was officially opened I started going there every day We were taught many things there like how to sew and I remember I did sew my very own school uniform We learnt how to do beadwork and had computer lessons Well I enjoyed every single day at Zara playing games with others and I even made friends there In 2015 I wrote my O Level exam and passed 4 subjects I went back to Zara s Center showed them my results and told them I wanted to supplement the other three subjects I had failed I was now very determined to study hard and pass those subjects If it wasn t for Zara s Center and the encouragement and love from the staff there I don t know where I would be Zara s Director organised for three teachers to teach me outside of school and registered me for the end of year examinations I wrote those three subjects and I passed At the same time I was applying at Teacher s Colleges so that I could be enrolled and study to be a teacher To gain work experience The Director put my friend and I in touch with Econet and we were engaged as sales persons for their products It was hard work and at times I felt like crying especially when you came across silly and difficult customers I am grateful for that work because I learned a lot about people and I guess I sort of Grew Up In September of 2018 I got a place at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic to train as a teacher It was very difficult at first as I had to move to Gwanda and find my own accommodation and food Zara continued to support me with the payment of the fees Currently I am at Stanmore school near Mbalabala doing my first Teaching Practice Internship If it wasn t for Zara s Center and the encouragement and love from the staff there I don t know where I would be May God Bless Zara s Center and all its works Sandra Moyo 2019 12

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Peacemaker Ncube age 21 One of the greatest feelings and most humbling moments is the fact that I am the first child in my family to go to university and will be the first one to be graduating with an Honors Degree So this is such an awesome feeling knowing that the story in my family will change for the better I will say being an orphan a double orphan for that matter is not easy especially in this harsh world and harsh economy that we have in Zimbabwe Very few orphans are making it in life Some end up becoming dropouts because of many various reasons for example lack of funds some mistreatments from guardians and some lack of support family love I am grateful to the Lord for His Grace Mercy and Love I am so thankful to Zara Center Trust for making the world a better place for me to live in When I entered National University of Science and Technology NUST I was so worried about how I will manage transport laptop or desktop costs because I never thought I will get a new one in the near future Even if I wanted it my family could not afford it Then Zara s Center remembered me in a way I never thought or imagined ever When they heard about my situation and since they already knew me as I was a Zara s beneficiary before I graduated they came to my rescue They bought a brand new ASUS laptop for me to help me during my studies and have been paying my bus fare from the day I started varsity They have also managed to place me under a scholarship called Capernaum Trust which is the one paying my school fees I am so thankful both to Zara Center Trust as well as Capernaum Trust for making the world a better place for me to live in My dream is to be an inspiration I want to leave a mark in this world and make sure I live a life of no regrets I believe that we are blessed and favored so that we make the world a better place not just for us but for the entire human race regardless of background or skin color Peacemaker Ncube 2019 13

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The Agriculture Program With a vision to expand programming in the areas of health nutrition and practical life skills Zara s Center has leased a five acre 20 000 sq meters parcel of land adjacent our existing facility where we re poised to develop a new agriculturally based program The program will allow us to better serve the children at Zara s Center By providing hands on agricultural experience the children will be better prepared to sustain themselves and find work upon departure from the Center Since January 2018 we have successfully sunk two additional boreholes wells installed pumps and solar panels to allow us to pump water without electricity begun planting fruit trees and vegetables and fenced the property Below is an outline of the forthcoming program with development updates ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Goal 1 Teach Sustainable Agriculture How we ll do it Plant a fruit orchard along the perimeter of the new land To start Zara s will plant approximately ten of each of the following fruit trees Avocado mango lemon orange peach guava and mulberry Young trees will be purchased to ensure a harvest within 1 2 years from planting Sept 2019 Update Over 72 fruit trees have been planted and avocado trees have already begun bearing fruit Teach children to grow fruits and vegetables using a solar powered drip irrigation system Plant an extensive vegetable garden that will be operational year round via continuous soil rotation Staff and children will plant the following vegetables carrots peppers cabbages kale beetroot green beans spinach and butter beans Sept 2019 Update we have planted harvested spinach beetroot tomatoes and carrots The drip irrigation system has not yet been installed Establish a small poultry raising operation to produce meat and eggs Sept 2019 Update We have applied for approval from the City of Bulawayo and hope to construct coops and begin raising laying hens in the next six months Desired Outcomes The children will develop marketable and practical skills for adulthood while providing nutritious food for themselves and the wider community The Center will become more sustainable as additional food will offset monthly food costs and surplus crops could be sold for extra funds 14

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Goal 2 Improved Health Nutrition How we ll do it Teach children about optimal nutrition using fruit and vegetables they helped to grow Develop a curriculum for the agriculture program that focuses on using fruit and vegetables to optimize nutrition and overall wellness Desired Outcomes The children will learn how to maximize health in an environment where quality healthcare is not always accessible and food is not always plentiful Involvement in the farming process will help Zara s young people feel ownership over their personal health even after they leave the Center Goal 3 Community Involvement How we ll do it Involve the Emganwini community in the development and maintenance of our new land and provide periodic educational opportunities Invite community members to help with maintenance of the garden orchard and farming area Volunteers will receive food from the garden orchard as a thank you Host nutrition and wellness days for caregivers friends and family Desired Outcomes The children will build confidence as they demonstrate what they ve learned to their families The agriculture program will have a positive impact on the health outcomes of the larger community 15

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CAPTIONS clockwise from top 1 Children watering newly planted vegetables on the new land 2 Planting a tree 3 The team who drilled the boreholes on our new land 4 The new land see page 15 where we have begun growing vegetables The water is pumped via solar power and is stored in the tank pictured

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Organizational History The PG Family Foundation serves as the primary fiscal conduit Zara s Center and employs one full time US based Program Director As of 2019 Zara s Center employs a full compliment of professional and support staff all based in Zimbabwe The team is supervised by an Executive Director with an extensive background in education Each staff member specializes in a specific area that corresponds to areas of program delivery 2007 2010 Zara s Center first opened its doors and began serving over 100 children per week Soon after political instability forced all American NGOs to be closed resulting in the need to relocate The Center entered into an agreement with a local church and shared their space During this period the Center remained 100 open yet due to space limitations fewer children were able to attend 2010 Zara s International Board of Directors set a three year goal of acquiring land and space in order to grow and refine programs to better meet the needs the children served 2012 2013 Zara s Center successfully found land and began building a new permanent home in Emganwini Township Zara s moved to its new home and quickly registered 80 children A further facility expansion allowed the Center to include more children 2014 Zara s hired Mr Gibson Connick former director of a private school to serve as Executive Director 2015 Programs were audited under the new leadership of Gibson Connick New data collection and performance tracking efforts were put into place to empirically assess student outcomes to focus on continuous improvement 2016 A new agriculture initiative addresses the need for institutional self sufficiency rising prices difficulty accessing money through previously open channels chronic insufficiencies in food availability and compromised students health and welfare Focus during this period was on identifying nearby land that also had access to water 2017 In late 2017 after confirmation of active wells on this new tract of land City Managers approved Zara s Center s lease suitable for fulfilling our vision to create an agriculture program at Zara s Center 2018 In 2018 we successfully fenced the new property began plating fruit trees and formulated a detailed agriculture plan As of early 2019 Zara s provides services to over 125 children The Emganwini community has embraced Zara s Center and there is an extensive waiting list for registration We have broken ground on the agriculture project and have established two solar powered wells We plan to begin planting fruit and vegetables before the end of 2019 We anticipate that the design of buildings and ground breaking for the build will take place in early 2020 17

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Fundraising Development Zara s Center began with initial funding from the PG Family Foundation Since Zara s inception in 2007 The PG Family Foundation has broadened Zara s donor base from seed funders to a diversified base that includes individuals private foundations and corporations This was achieved by cultivating existing relationships hosting events presentations and engaging in a yearly crowdfunding campaign as part of the NYC Marathon Charity Team program Zara s US team is focused on growing the base of foundation and corporate donors in 2019 2020 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2018 Trust and Foundation Donors Frank Tracy Collins Charitable Foundation The Octavia Foundation Joseph Diane Steinberg 1992 Char Trust The PG Family Foundation Lewis GVC Trust The Ressler Gertz Family Foundation The Kirsh Foundation Spector Family Foundation Jewish Community Foundation of Central NY Sapire 2002 Revocable Trust The Jewish Communal Fund William P Goldman and Brothers The Miami Foundation Foundation Inc 2018 Corporate Donors African Portfolio Guggenheim Partners Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price Axelrod LLP JA Uniforms Cooper Company Accountants Ropes and Gray LLP CustomInk LLC The Betsy South Beach Greensledge Capital Markets LLC Alexander Aronson Finning CPAs Denotes Pro Bono Support Denotes donation made to the Miami Foundation Donor advised Fund 18

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2018 Donations from Individuals Zara s Center received 369 donations from 2018 Sources of Funding individuals in 2018 85 of individual donations were below 500 47 under 100 Individuals 36 9 38 100 to 499 Foundations 55 4 9 500 to 999 5 1 000 to 4 999 1 5 000 to 9 999 Corporate Donors 7 8

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CAPTIONS clockwise from top 1 All smiles 2 Playing marimba 3 Chatting during lunch 4 Drama class outside

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Zara s Center Board of Directors In the USA Lesley Goldwasser Co Founder Board Chair Zara s Center Partner Greensledge Capital Jonathan Plutzik Chairman and Co President PG Family Foundation Chairman of the Board Fannie Mae Deborah Plutzik Briggs Board Member Ex Officio Executive Director PG Family Foundation Dalia Cohen Former CEO Cassava Connect Dirk Goldwasser Entrepreneur Fred Terrell Vice Chairman Credit Suisse Caron Sapire Licensed Psychologist Colin Sapire Founder Capital Brands LLC In Zimbabwe Tapiwa Chizana Chief Risk Officer Deloitte Central Africa David Cooper Founder Cooper Co Accountants Valda Cohen Board Member Emeritus 21

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How to Donate Via PayPal or Check Visit www zarascenter org make a donation For alternative donation methods please email our US Program Director at JessicaSBriggs gmail com Zara s Center receives ongoing fiscal support from the PG Family Foundation in New York NY USA The Foundation is a designated charitable entity as described in U S Tax Code Section 501 c 3 with EIN 710927327 22 The Center is a registered Charitable Trust in Zimbabwe as Zara s Centre Trust Registered Trust MA137 2007

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www ZarasCenter org www PGFamilyFoundation com Copyright 2019 PG Family Foundation