Local group’s Zimbabwe mission sees year of success
An organization dedicated to ending hunger in Zimbabwe recently hosted its annual dinner at the Lycoming Valley Baptist Church.
Christie Heimbach, co-founder of 2 Seconds or Less (2SOL), said the banquet raised over $10,000 and brought in about 130 people.
Heimbach, a graduate of Hughesville Junior-Senior High School, said she was pleased with the turnout. “This is our ‘go to’ church. This is our family and this church is pretty much the reason (2SOL) exists,” Heimbach said, adding that 2SOL was able to sign up “five new reoccurring donors.”
“It shows people are interested in a partnership with us (and) it is a good affirmation that they trust in the work we are doing,” she said.
The organization began in 2012 when Heimbach and Kelsey Hare traveled to Zimbabwe and met Patrick Makokoro, founder of Nhaka, another organization dedicated to empowering the people of Zimbabwe.
She explained that 2SOL’s name came from the fact that “approximately every two seconds, someone in the world dies of malnutrition.”
To prevent this, 2SOL works to “to break cycles of poverty through the creation of educational gardens at schools in Zimbabwe (and) … give U.S. students opportunities for global engagement that unifies and builds bridges between cultures, thus growing their capacity for intentional and emphatic leadership.”
Heimbach said since 2SOL’s 2017 banquet at Loyalsock Valley Baptist Church, the organization has helped build two gardens in two different schools that feed over a thousand students. It also build two wells and was able to take two teams from the United States to Zimbabwe.
“One group had 14 people and the another group had 23,” Heimbach said.
For the next year to come, Heimbach said the goal is to raise $90,000 for a rig to drill wells. She said this will allow wells to be dug in remote villages for far less cost.
A Doylestown-based pastor and Zimbabwe transplant, Pastor Rob Chifokoyo, praised 2SOL for its efforts in the past year. He said because of its vision, he joined the board of directors almost a year ago
“(It has) been a bridge builders to communities that are not normally reached by missionary organizations (and it has) made strides into going to more rural areas and empowering those communities and having a vision that says working with children who are tomorrow’s leaders,” Chifokoyo said.
He said one of the biggest challenges the organization faces is getting things accomplished in Zimbabwe’s political climate. In 2017, former leader Robert Mugabe resigned after having been in power since 1980. Since then, the country has been working to rebuild its government.
“For such a young organization to navigate the economic strife and get the money where it is needed, is a task in and of itself,” Chifokoyo said.
Yet the organization has persisted, because the mission is a much needed one, he said.
“I have seen a lot of well-meaning organizations come (to Africa) and give money and the project fails when the organizations pulls out. (With 2SOL) there is not a dependence model but rather an independent model,” Chifokoyo said.
He explained that 2SOL’s approach is to empower Zimbabwe locals.
“(The poor of Zimbabwe) do not have a lack of desire to lift themselves up and people. (The issue is) that they lack the tools and the means and relationships. (2SOL) asks, ‘What do you need?” Chifokyo said and added that 2SOL works to provide it.
Heimabach said it is important for the locals to be led by the locals.
“The locals are the heroes in this and we continue to support them,” Heimbach said. However, she said 2SOL is able to support the people in Zimbabwe thanks to people like the those who attend Loyalsock Valley Baptist Church.
For more information about 2SOL, visit 2SecondsorLess.org.