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Zimbabwe - Kuda Vana

To provide, love, and educate the kids spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Kuda Vana is a children’s home just outside of Mutare, Zimbabwe. The children’s home accommodates about 50 children ranging from 0 to 16 years old. There are five group homes where one is designated as the nursery (0 to 2.5 years old) and the other four group homes have kids (3 to 16 years old) living together to provide a family environment each with a mama. Missionaries’ roles are flexible and can include supporting the teachers of the home-school in varied ways, playing with and helping to feed in the nursery, taking photographs, writing interesting stories to use for Newsletters and Blog Posts, helping with Social Media, and simply loving the kids and being their friend.

More Info
  • Average Fundraising Goal: ~$4500. Prices may vary. See Student Missions Office.
  • Timeline: Full year and semester options available. The school year in Zimbabwe is continuous throughout the year. Their term is three months on and one month of break all year long. SMs often arrive late August or early September and leave in May, but timing is flexible. If you are going to be at Kuda Vana for more than 6 months, you will need to plan to leave the country for at least 5 days and return through the Harare airport to receive a new visa.
  • Location: Mutare is a small town on the eastern side of Zimbabwe. Kuda Vana is about 30 minutes outside of town in a more isolated area. However, it’s one of the most beautiful locations. We are a quick 3-minute walk to a large dam where we often go swimming with the kids to cool off. We are surrounded by hills and mountains where  you can watch beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Check out the location on Google Maps!
  • Living Accommodations: Student missionaries (SMs) stay at the volunteer flat. There are two rooms and a bathroom designated for SMs. There are more bedrooms on the other side of the house that may be used by SMs or other volunteers. There is a kitchen that is shared by everyone in the flat.
  • Language: It’s recommended to speak English to the kids so they can learn. However, their native language is Shona and the kids love talking and teaching it to you.
  • Food: Missionaries are in charge of cooking for themselves. Often times, SMs decide to eat at one of the group homes every night to spend more quality time with the kids. In this case, only breakfast and lunch will need to be prepared by yourself. Most of the food consists of rice, sadza, pasta, beans, lentils, and cabbage. However, when it’s avocado or mango season, you’re in for a treat!
  • Requirements: Visa 
Position Info
  • School Helper - There is already a hired main teacher. SMs often help the students with their work, read with the younger kids, and help in extracurricular activities like art and sports.
  • Nursery care - There’s always help needed to care for the babies (feeding, bathing, and playing) and spending quality time.
  • Photography/Videography - To keep the Kuda Vana newsletters and website up to date, there are never enough pictures and videos. This helps the organization immensely to help people stay connected.
  • Gardening/Maintenance - Kuda Vana does the best they can to stay self-sufficient. They are currently expanding their gardens to plant more vegetables. There is always help needed to keep this project moving forward. There is always handy work and maintenance to be done around Kuda Vana.
  • Friend - This is the most important position. The main purpose at Kuda Vana is to love the kids. SMs spend as much time as they can to be with the kids playing, talking, and being their friend.

Kuda Vana's Website


Amber with one of the orphans
Amber ('19) with one of the orphans
Girls sitting on the front porch of their home
Girls sitting on the front porch of their home
Going for a swim
Going for a swim

What makes Kuda Vana “Not Your Typical Orphanage”?

Kuda Vana 360 Video

Interested in Zimbabwe?

Apply for your preferred position at least four months before you plan to serve, though spots may be available up until a month before departure.