Innovation at home and abroad

IMG_4023Viva is blessed with so many dedicated and creative supporters.

This year, Patsy (a longstanding Viva enthusiast who was a Trustee for a number of years) had the vision to set up a pop-up second hand fashion boutique called Fashion with Compassion to raise money for a particular project in Zimbabwe – all about greenhouses!

Viva Network Zimbabwe (VNZ) support around 30,000 vulnerable children each year including through Learning Support Centres and finding foster care for orphaned children.

They say “We want children in Harare to live in safe, loving families and communities and have better opportunities in life.”

Life in Zimbabwe is not easy, and due to natural disaster and economic and political instability, it is not likely to get easier straight away. The economic climate has been tense for months, with people only being able to take between 20 and 50 dollars from the bank each day. The Government is due to begin issuing bond notes in an attempt to ease the crisis. Drought has destroyed harvest leading to 4.1 million people being food insecure. With the prospect of flooding, Eddie Rowe, country director for the World Food Programme speculates that 6 million people could be food insecure by January if La Nina floods have a large impact.

Despite these struggles, VNZ are determined20150918_134815 to develop their resources to become self-sufficient and reduce their reliance on external funding. This will lead to increased stability and the opportunity to plan for the future. That is why, with the help of Viva, they built not one, but two greenhouses.

Food from the greenhouses feed over 200 children every month whilst profits made are ensuring more children can be fed and educated at the Rugare Orphan Care (ROCO) SDC10964project in Harare, a member of Viva Network Zimbabwe. The profits made are also used to fund the costs of running the programmes and salaries for staff, which would previously have been funded by donors, creating dependency. Having two greenhouses allows for crop cycles, so whilst one greenhouse grows harvest, the other can be used for seeding which allows the income from sales to be almost continuous.


Patsy was inspired by this innovative way for VNZ to become self-sufficient – and rightly so!

This led her to rally a team of volunteers and put on Fashion with Compassion events to raise money for a new greenhouse to increase growing capacity and the opportunity for VNZ to raise funds to expand their work’s reach.IMG_0948

A huge amount of effort has gone into inviting people to attend three different fundraising events, collecting high-quality second hand clothes to sell, organising beauticians to pamper clients, beauty products for luxury surprise bags, cupcakes, canapés and even some champagne (who said fundraising couldn’t be glamorous?!)!

The results have been tremendous. By the IMG_4025end of the year (with one more event to go), Patsy is on track to have raised enough money for one new greenhouse (worth £2,500) – which will greatly increase the economic security of VNZ, allowing them to reach more vulnerable children in a time of great need.

Now Patsy is looking for new venues to host her pop-up fashion so more people can be inspired by the work in Zimbabwe and support this work. She has all the resources, decorations and clothes to sell so can bring the event to you!


If you think your church, friends, school would enjoy a day of pampering as part of Fashion with Compassion to raise money for Viva, please contact us on