Love Zimbabwe Grows

Summary of events during 2014

It has been a very busy year so far for David and Martha Holman and their charity Love Zimbabwe. David and Martha moved to Gilwern, Wales in April and have been busy planting lots of organic vegetables!


Fair Trade Wales Award for Inspiring the Nation.

The charity raises money for essential projects in rural areas of Zimbabwe such as boreholes for fresh water, improving medical services at their local clinic in Domboshawa and establishing an area of community land where local people can grow food and work in the workshop built there last year. The workshop was constructed by David and Martha last November with funding from the Castle Street Methodist Church. It has been used primarily by the mothers of disabled children group to make batiks.

In June the couple were guests at the Fairtrade Wales conference in Swansea where Martha was given an award for ‘Inspiring the Nation’ for her work with Fairtrade Wales.


Martha with her awards at Glastonbury.

Following this they took their 2 year old daughter, Tanaka, to Glastonbury where they set up a large stall selling fairly traded arts & crafts from Zimbabwe. Fortunately the weather was fine and a good amount of money was raised. Another award was presented here for sustainability and the people’s choice for the best stall at Glastonbury.



Dave & Martha with Jeremy Vine and ZimVoices, Gilwern, Wales.

Soon after this Martha received a phone call from BBC Radio 2 asking whether she would like to tell her life story as part of a new series on the Jeremy Vine show which comes out at the end of September. Jeremy Vine visited David and Martha at their home and spent all day there recording the programme.


Wales Fair Trade Fair moves forward

Celebrating diversity and inclusion

This year’s 9th annual Wales Fair Trade Fair, the largest in Wales is in Brecon Guild Hall on Saturday 3rd October and Abergavenny Market Hall and Borough Theatre on Sunday 4th October. Building on last year’s success , which saw some 2,500 people attending, this year will once again provide a great weekend with fabulous fair trade and community stalls, dancing and musical entertainment and delicious world cuisine. Ever keen to create more community links, this year’s fair is promoting local diversity and inclusion with workshops and information stands about local and global initiatives. Organisers, David and Martha Holman are working in partnership with Monmouthshire Voices and Monmouthshire County Council to celebrate the diverse and inclusive nature of Monmouthshire.

The Mayor of Brecon will open the event on Saturday, and Pippa Bortolotti, leader of the Green Party in Wales with the Lady Mayor of Abergavenny, Councillor Maureen Powell will  open the Fair on Sunday. Pupils from Llantilio Pertholey primary school will perform their winning Fairtrade song.

Love Zimbabwe has won European funding enabling them to bring Taurai Sinaro (manager of the community centre) and Mrs Katsande (manager of the mothers of disabled children group) to Wales. They will visit schools and community groups to talk about their experiences of running their organisations in Zimbabwe and why Love Zimbabwe’s help has made a difference. They will also be guest speakers on 4th October.

Selling fairly traded goods from around the world, stalls include Love Zimbabwe, Fair Grounds, Fair and Fabulous, Siwok Crafts, Liberation Nuts, Ananuca, Hempish, Zimele, Yirgacheffe,Dragon’s Garden, Equality Ethical, Kitan, and African Baskets. Charity and information stalls include Tools For Self Reliance, Brecon Rotary Club, Shared Interest, Health Help International, VSO, Send a Cow, Palestine goods and also Fairtrade groups from Abergavenny, Crickhowell and Usk.

Musical entertainment on Sunday features the Blaenavon Ladies Voice Choir, Zim Voices, Chrys Blanchard’s Abercapella, African drumming.

Food will be provided by Taste Zimbabwe and a selection of other world foods. There will be plenty for children to do in the children’s area including face painting, willow weaving and soap making. There’s even sheep racing!

Local charity, Homemakers are providing a ‘chill out zone’ with comfortable sofas and chairs where you can drink Yirgacheffe fairly traded coffee and enjoy a home-made cake whilst browsing African arts and crafts books.

Saturday 3rd October, Brecon Guild Hall, Brecon  (10am to 5pm)

Sunday 4th October, Market Hall, Abergavenny (10am-5pm). Admission by a suggested donation of £1. Under 12’s free.

Contact David and Martha on 07774 608 215 or on

Follow us on facebook: Wales Fair Trade Fair.


Fancy a festive fundraiser?

Zimbabwean Christmas

You can get involved and have some fun as well.

Why not hold your own fundraiser during December and have your mates round for mulled wine and mince pies (we like alliteration)? It’s an easy way to make a huge difference to Love Zimbabwe during the festive season.

That’s just one idea, maybe you have some more. Please let us know what fundraising you’re doing for us, and send us your pictures on Facebook or Twitter.

Come back soon for some more of our fundraising ideas – we’ll show you how to put together your own African themed evening with recipes, music playlists, plus traditional outfits for men and women.

Donations of Medical Supplies & Clothes

During our annual visits to Zimbabwe between 2007 and 2010, we have donated medical supplies, water purifying tablets, a large number of wheelchairs and numerous suitcases of clothes and shoes. British Airways have supported us by waiving the extra baggage charges when we’ve flown with them to Lusaka, Zambia, so we were able to take these essential goods for the community.

In 2009 we delivered 400 kilograms of medical supplies to the area during the cholera epidemic, which claimed many lives. This medication helped to save many more lives during that period. In addition the clinic and a locally based doctor, were able to hand out condoms and antibiotic drugs to individuals, ensuring that they are able to protect themselves against the threat of HIV and Aids and this has prevented many premature deaths.

We continue to collect medical equipment, clothes and basic sanitary essentials and send them all year round by post.

What our work means for the people

“I’m so grateful to the work of Love Zimbabwe which has served lives for the people in this community. I was seeking to emigrate from this country, but because of the support that I have received from Love Zimbabwe, I shall stay and serve my people. Thank you Love Zimbabwe.”

Dr Mbambe, St James Clinic, Chinamhora.

Water is essential

Bore water hole

A key project that was sponsored by the charity in 2009, was the drilling of a bore hole – the community’s only water supply  – which is essential to everyone.  It meant that the clinic was able to operate, saving lives and the whole village has water to survive. The charity still relies on funds to maintain all water projects in Zimbabwe. We are keen to find volunteers to sponsor and fundraise for water projects specifically.

During our annual visit in 2012, we funded the work to lay water pipes so another part of the Chinamhora community can be connected to the municipal water supply.  This is quite a distance from the borehole and was essential to provide a basic human resource to more remote parts of Zimbabwe.

Clinic facilities

Between September 2009 and November 2012, Love Zimbabwe Charity completed a sanitation project  to put flushing toilets and bathrooms into the nurses homess and the maternity room for Chinamhora Clinic. Prior to this, there were no washing facilities at all.

Building the Workshop

Our main project has been the building of a workshop for the arts and crafts producers in the community. They need space to work, access to running water and space to store their products.

The site was completed in 2012 and has now been painted with murals. This is a huge step forward for the community producers and is already in full use. The great thing about our centre is that everyone accesses it. The community spirit is incredible and we rely on the mothers of disabled children to hoe the grass and maintain the landscape.

Taurai Sinaro, our charity trustee based in Zimbabwe, is now temporarily occupying one small room in the workshop for security, and to manage the use of the workshop with our producers. He will also be managing various food-growing projects on the land. If you wish to see our projects first hand please contact us and we can arrange a tour of the centre.

Wales Fair Trade Fair 2014

Wales Fair Trade Fair 2014

Siyaya entertaining at the Wales Fair Trade Fair, Abergavenny.

Thank you to everyone who helped us create another successful Fairtrade weekend.

This was our eighth year and the event is growing as a cultural, fair trade event in Wales.

We started the weekend off in Brecon at the Guildhall, on a warm, sunny Saturday (in October)!

We were fortunate to have Bevin Magama, a storyteller and performer from Zimbabwe, playing traditional African instruments as people entered the fairtrade market, creating a wonderful atmosphere.

The market was well attended – we raised awareness and collected lots of donations for the charity with a raffle, which was drawn in Abergavenny on the Sunday.

On Saturday evening, The Zim Voices, a women’s song and dance group, supported by Mr Magama entertained us with ‘A Day In The Life of a Zimbabwean Village’, incorporating traditional music and dance. The performance was funny and very enjoyable.

On Sunday in Abergavenny Market Hall we had more Fairtrade stalls and a huge amount of entertainment, the highlights of which were lots of  Zimbabwean music and dancing from Siyaya and a wonderful performance by over very own Abercapella, from the area.  We met lots of new people as the event was very well attended again.  Thank you to all.

We look forward to welcoming you next year for more Fairtrade stalls, singing and dancing and FUN!

Our annual Fairtrade event usually takes place on the first weekend in October each year.