Zimbabwe Victims’ Support Fund is a relief organisation, founded in 2002, for the support of some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the Matabeleland region of Zimbabwe. At the time, none of those involved envisaged that, more than 20 years later, the need is greater than ever.
Who We Are
Zimbabwe Victims' Support Fund is a UK-registered charity set up to bridge the gap between partners directly involved in the relief of hunger and extreme poverty in Matabeleland and UK-based supporters wanting to support some of those in the greatest need. Supporters and donors are now drawn from a wide range of individuals, groups and churches from across the UK and beyond.
What We Do
Zimbabwe Victims' Support Fund delivers both relief and sustainable feeding programmes through a dedicated team and partner organisations within Zimbabwe.
Read more below about our food distribution and community garden project.
With so much hunger in Zimbabwe, our team work in local communities such as Lupane to identify those in greatest need to distribute maize meal, known as mealie meal. As funds permit, we also distribute a highly nutritional food, e'Pap, to those who are severely malnourished, particularly among the children and the elderly.
In 2023, ZVSF have partnered with the City Presbyterian Church in Bulawayo and the Zimbabwe Democracy Development Trust (ZDDT) to provide funding for Intuthuko Nutritional Garden, with irrigated allotments of up to 12.5 acres in total. When complete, up to 125 families will benefit from this garden, which will be self-supporting and self-governing under a stakeholder management committee and constitution.
Meet our team
The ZVSF partner team in Bulawayo work closely with the UK Trustees and include trusted volunteers, pastors and community leaders working amongst the most disadvantaged communities in Matabeleland.
Meet the Trustees
Collectively, the UK Trustees represent considerable experience of living and working in Africa, and Zimbabwe in particular. Two of the Trustees have served as mission partners in the country, appointed by the Methodist Church in the UK.
Rev Graham Shaw
Graham was born and educated in Zimbabwe, returning to the country from Zambia as a mission partner of the Methodist Church in 1992. He served at All Souls Anglican-Methodist Church for just two years before being appointed to Hillside Methodist Church in Bulawayo where he remained for the next nine years. As Zimbabwe descended into lawlessness and the suffering increased he was closely involved, on the ground, with the setting up of ZVSF. In 2004 when the human rights situation was deteriorating Graham became engaged full-time in humanitarian and human rights’ work. In 2006 he moved to the UK and has retired to South Devon, hoping to devote more time to this and other transformative work in Zimbabwe.
Rev Graham Matthews
Graham was born in London and after leaving school joined the John Lewis Partnership. He worked for this organisation for 16yrs, mainly in Personnel Management. In 1981 with June and their son Simon they emigrated to Zimbabwe,. They were based in Bulawayo as he worked for Edgars. The family worshipped at Hillside Methodist Church. His call to ordained ministry meant that he reluctantly had to return to England in 1983 to candidate. His desire was to return as a Mission Partner but he remained on the English Stations. Serving 13yrs in Devon; 3yrs in Lancaster and his final appointment for 11yrs as a Prison Chaplain in Perth Scotland.
Now retired to Holbury in Hampshire looking after the grandchildren is number 1 priority. He also volunteers for the local hospice supporting neighbours who visit people in their homes.
He was able to return to Zimbabwe in 1989 and then for a three month sabbatical looking after Hillside Methodist Church in 1993.
Dr Christopher Sworn
Chris Sworn worked for the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe as District Auditor for two years from 1975 to 1977. Most of his time was spent in rural circuits and in the Church's schools and lay centres. Since retiring from industry in 2010, he returned to Southern Africa and, as a volunteer, ran a training centre in Namibia for two years; during this time, he returned to Zimbabwe on two occasions. He brings deep concern for justice and development among African people to the work of ZVSF.
Media & Communications
Chris grew up in Zimbabwe, living in both Harare and Bulawayo, before going to university in South Africa. He moved to the UK in 2007 but has retained his love for the people and places of Zimbabwe. For the last few years, Chris has volunteered as a Trustee for a small charity working in Kampala, Uganda, and hopes to bring some of his experience to the work of ZVSF.
Pastor Albert Chatindo
Pastor Chatindo was a key driver in setting up our work and ensuring that it reached some of those in the greatest need in Matabeleland. We relied heavily upon his wide experience and deep spiritual wisdom until his untimely death in September 2021.