Our Story

Zimbabwe is an African nation devastated by poverty, a ruined economy, and AIDS. Creating hope in the midst of all this strife is Heather Chimhoga Orphan Care (HCOC), an organization founded and nurtured by Ralph and Roberta Pippitt, a retired couple from Colorado.


ZMP is...

A partnership of 10 Colorado churches that have banded together to support the work of HCOC. Volunteers from the churches comprise a stateside board of directors seeking to raise funds and help facilitate ongoing progress toward self-sufficiency at HCOC. 


HCOC is…

A locally staffed operation working to feed, pay school fees, provide medical support and other vital services for orphans and vulnerable children, as well as develop the infrastructure, agricultural capabilities and income-producing enterprises needed to become self sustaining.  For some background on the founding and progress of HCOC, from a January 2020 article in Newsday Zimbabwe, click here.


HCOC now serves… 

About 800 children, most of them orphans, and the communities where they live.

Be's story

We’d like to introduce you to Be (face blocked and name changed for privacy), a former orphan succeeding through the hands of Heather Chimhoga Orphan Care not only once, but twice. Here is her story as told through a Zimbabwe Mission Partnership member in July 2019.


"My name is Be, I, along with my younger sister were found by HCOC founders Ralph and Roberta Pippitt in 2002. But allow me to start my story a few years prior to being saved for the first time.


"I lost my father when I was in Grade 1 in 1997. I then lost my mother in 2000 when I was in Grade 4. I do not remember my father very well for I was young and only remember my mother through photos. At the time of my mother’s death, I had two sisters, however one passed away in 2001. It was very hard losing three out of five family members within four year and being so young myself. I became head of the family and responsible for my younger sister. I was only in Grade 5. We were sent to live with my Grandmother. During this time, we suffered sexual and mental abuse from men in the Village. My Grandmother was too old to protect us.

 

"There were many days when I would just sit and cry the whole day. We did try and make it to school but, unable to pay school fees, would be sent home. It was through our school that the Pippett’s found us a year later. They took us into the HCOC system providing us with food, clothing, medical needs, school fees and school uniforms. Beauty Mukondwa, the Nurse at HCOC, was so kind to us. She began to heal us. Through the aid of HCOC, I was able to take my School Exams in 2007 for which I passed.


"In 2008, I got married. It was nice at first but became difficult as my husband struggled to find employment. We moved to South Africa for work in 2013 leaving our first born child with my mother in-law and our youngest child with my younger sister’s mother in-law in Zimbabwe. I found work as a house maid in South Africa. My husband took another wife and was abusive to me. Hearing that my mother in-law no longer wanted to take care of our child, I returned to Zimbabwe.


"Upon returning to Zimbabwe, I had nothing. I began working in peace jobs on other people’s farms just to be able to provide for my two children and pay their school fees, for my husband was no longer supporting us.


"In September 2018, I went to HCOC to purchase vegetables since I was living back in the area. I found Nurse Beauty from so long ago and shared my story with her of what had happened to me since I left the area in 2008 to be married. Roberta Pippitt happened to be there working on the Moringa project. Beauty told me they were getting ready to have interviews and training to hire for workers in the Moringa processing building. She invited me to come and train. Once again HCOC came to my rescue for I was picked as one of the ladies to have full time work with the Moringa project. Since that time, things have changed for the better. I am able to provide for my children with the allowance received from my job. My children now have enough. I am slowly constructing a small house and to honor my parents, I am building a grave for them as is a tradition in Zimbabwe. It’s been 22 years since my father died and they have no memorial.


"I would not be able to do any of these things if it was not for The Pippitts, Beauty and HCOC. To Roberta I would like to say: I do not have enough words to thank you, but God knows."

 

(Above picture taken of Be in front of the Moringa Processing Building in July of 2019)



OTHER STORIES OF HOPE  >