The Organization of Rural Association for Progress (ORAP)

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The Organization of Rural Associations for Progress (ORAP) is an indigenous, culturally rooted movement founded in 1980 at Zimbabwe’s ascension to independence …

The Organization of Rural Associations for Progress (ORAP) is an indigenous, culturally rooted movement founded in 1980 at Zimbabwe’s ascension to independence and was registered in 1981 as a welfare (charitable) organization dedicated to the promotion of peaceful rural development of grassroots communities in the country. Currently, ORAP operates in four of Zimbabwe’s ten provinces, which are Matebeleland North, Matebeleland South, Bulawayo and Midlands. In these provinces the organization is building and strengthening the capacities of all women, men and youth that to effectively and sustainably promote positive peace and assuring them of suitable nutrition and freedom from hunger. It is envisaged that by 2022, ORAP will have widespread programmes that improve sustainable peace at household levels in targeted areas achieving the following impacts:

  1. Establish well-structured peace committees with reporting structures from family to village levels
  2. Improve access of nutritious foods at the local level
  3. Increase production to enable trade within communities and with strong access to markets
  4. Identify value chains and systems that strengthen groups and communities
  5. Achieve a measurable reduction in malnutrition amongst targeted groups and members

ORAP exists to promote peace by fighting all forms of poverty, principally among the rural communities of women, men and youth through the empowerment of people by facilitating their development in their cultural context. To date, ORAP has success fully established sustainable self-driven community groups and developed links with formal sectors of society. They have helped to make people see the link between peace and poverty and changed people’s perceptions of poverty and development and have managed to keep our projects and programs going, even where external funding has ceased.

ORAP’s presence and work program continued despite the country’s economic crisis (from 1999 to 2009) and the withdrawal of many international NGOs/Donors and other organizations, demonstrating the sustainability of organizations that are locally-driven and rooted in the community. ORAP envisions empowered grassroots communities of women, men and youth free of hunger and poverty, where the disadvantaged communities of women, men and youth should draw up their own plans and uplift themselves relying mainly on their own intellect and available resources. Their goal is to see rural communities of women, men and youth enabled to plan, implement and manage poverty alleviation strategies on a sustainable basis.


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