History of the Zimbabwe Partnership
The Zimbabwe Partnership officially was formed on June 11, 2010, when Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa of the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area (ZEA) and then Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference (WPAUMC) signed a covenant agreement in the spirit of Chabadza, a Shona word that describes a community spirit of helping someone you know who is already at work.
On July 7, 2019 Bishop Eben K Nhiwatiwa and current WPAUMC Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi reaffirmed the partnership with a new covenant agreement.
Building on the history of WPAUMC support for Zimbabwe through development of Africa University in Mutare and efforts of The Nyadire Connection, the agreement provided that the two episcopal areas will work together to:
- Partnering with the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area by offering the following experiences:
- Collaborative Lay Leadership Schools in both Western Pennsylvania and Zimbabwe.
- A Zimbabwe Immersion Program for adults from Western PA to experience Zimbabwean culture and to enable participants to learn from Zimbabweans best practices in ministry and church.
- ZimCamp, a journey that affords Western PA youth the opportunity to visit and fellowship with young people in Zimbabwe while fostering relationships.
- Assisting in the strategic funding and/or construction of churches, parsonages, clinics, and other facilities to make the good news of God’s love real in Zimbabwe.
- Assisting with young people's empowerment programs
- Assisting in the provision of safe water by drilling boreholes within health facilities.
- Working with the UMC-Zimbabwe Health Board to achieve their goals and objectives for a healthier Zimbabwe.
- Partnering and assisting with the Albinism ministry in Zimbabwe