African Self Help Assistance Program Africa Self Help Assistance Program (hereon ASAP) was established in 1994 but formally registered in 2000. Although ASAP is a Non-Governmental Organization and is registered as a Private Voluntary Organization (PVO), it identifies as a Community Based Organization (CBO) because it is known in the communities at grassroots level and has community development structures therein. The organization currently operates in Manicaland only although it also operated in Matabeleland in its early days. It focuses on Manicaland’s seven districts which are Nyanga, Mutare (urban and rural), Chipinge, Chimanimani, Makoni, Buhera and Mutasa.
ASAP BRIEF HISTORY
The African Self-Help Assistance Programme (ASAP) is a Mutare based local NGO registered as a private voluntary organization with the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) (Registration # PVO: 37/05). ASAP started operating in Manicaland Province in 1994 under a technical cooperation agreement with GoZ. With a full time staff compliment of 8 and over 100 community based volunteers in the districts where we work, ASAP has a specific purpose to strengthen communities through capacity development, social accountability and sustainable livelihoods programs. ASAP has successfully managed to uniquely intertwine our social accountability programs with our livelihoods programs that include economic empowerment, education improvement and health and nutrition initiatives. ASAP has worked in Mutare Rural, Mutare Urban, Nyanga, Mutasa, Chimanimani and Chipinge Districts in Manicaland Province of Zimbabwe.
The ASAP programme model also ensures mainstreaming of contemporary cross-cutting issues such as HIV/AIDS awareness, child protection, psycho–social support, sexual and reproductive health and nutrition.
For sustainability, ASAP supports the establishment of strong community structures such as Internal Saving and Lending Groups (ISALs) as well as Self Help Groups (SHGs) by engaging with grassroots community leaders, training committees on community dynamics and promoting a well-defined local community volunteer management system
ASAP works closely with programme stakeholders and maintains good communication with local and national government. Among other boundary partners, ASAP works with Members of Parliament, Councilors, and Government Line Ministries such as the Ministry of Women Affairs, Rural District Councils, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth, the National AIDS Council, other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)and the Ministry of Small to Medium Enterprises and AGRITEX.
ASAP projects have been implemented in Nyanga, Mutasa, Mutare, Chimanimani and Chipinge Districts in Manicaland Province of Zimbabwe.
The ASAP mission is to improve livelihoods working with communities and vulnerable groups including women and children in their efforts to improve their own lives through relevant life skills training and capacity development using participatory approaches.
:To empower poor and vulnerable communities in Zimbabwe and effect fundamental and sustainable improvements in their own lives.
Ester Mutendeudzwa, TAPIWA GROUP (Chishakwe village, Mutare, Zimbabwe
I first participated in Self-Help Group Project (informal savings club) in 2016; and quickly learnt how beneficial it is. The group taught how we can become independent and provide for our needs.
Clara Takasimba, TAMUKA Self Help Chishakwe Village, Mutare Zimbabwe
Our Self-Help Group was formed in 2016, introduced by Mr. Mwarera from Africa Self Help Assistance Programme (ASAP). I became interested and joined a group of 15 saving $2 every week.
I joined a Self Help group consisting of 18 women. It was very hard for me at the start but, with determination and hard work I overcame the challenges.
Joining a Self-Help Group has been one of the greatest decisions that I ever made. I had several ideas that I was about to bury but through this project, some have been resurrected.
I first participated in the savings and internal club) in 2015. It helped cover the cost of my 3 children. They all completed their O’ level education and they are now doing vocational courses.
I joined the Start 4 Girls Savings and lending group on May the 13th 2022 and we contribute $10 per member per month.