The African Self-Help Assistance Programme (ASAP) started operating in Manicaland Province in 1994 under a technical cooperation agreement with the government. With a full time staff of 8 and over 100 community based volunteers in the districts where it operates, ASAP has a specific purpose to strengthen communities through gender sensitive peace building, conflict management, conflict transformation, capacity development, social accountability, sustainable livelihoods and human rights programmes.
ASAP has successfully managed to uniquely intertwine its peace building, conflict transformation and human rights programme with its livelihoods programmes, which include economic empowerment, education improvement and health and nutrition initiatives. ASAP has worked in Mutare, Nyanga, Mutasa and Chimanimani Districts in Manicaland Province.
The organisation’s funding partners have included USAID through Pact, Hivos, UNICEF, Plan International, CARE Zimbabwe, Concern Worldwide, NZAid, Solon Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Banyan Tree Foundation and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) among others.
ASAP provides pro-poor development-focused peace building, capacity development and sustainable livelihoods interventions to promote and protect constitutionalism, promote peace and tolerance, empower local communities and fend off “dependency syndrome”.
In its programmes, ASAP also promotes inclusive stakeholder involvement at all levels of the project cycle. 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 by engaging with grassroots community leaders, training committees on community dynamics and promoting a well-defined local volunteer management system through community level advocacy groups.
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, Councillors, Government Line Ministries such as the Ministry of Women Affairs, Rural District Councils, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth, the National AIDS Council, the Ministry of Small to Medium Enterprises and AGRITEX.