The Lynde Francis Trust was registered in 2002 to work with support groups of women and disadvantaged children and orphans to mitigate poverty and promote sound health through education and sustainable livelihood projects. The Trust facilitates linkages for these vulnerable groups with trainers, artists, craftspeople, designers and corporate partners to design and produce items for local and international markets.
An important part of the Trust’s work is a programme to sponsor children to attend school. Education in Zimbabwe is no longer universal or free. An estimated 6% of children of primary school age and 45% of girls and 37% of boys of secondary school age were estimated to be out of school in 2010.
Working with women’s groups in Harare’s high-density suburbs of Mbare, Tafara, Mabvuku and Chitungwiza, the Trust identifies out-of-school children and adolescents and pays for their tuition and, occasionally, their uniforms. The aim is to sponsor the child’s schooling until the group becomes responsible for the fees.
The Trust has targeted 400 children for sponsorship. All of them are beneficiaries of the support groups LFT works with and many we have known since they were born.