Jessie’s House is named after Danny Smith’s beloved eldest daughter Jessica.
Jessica visited Zimbabwe while at university and was moved by the difficult and dangerous lives of young children. She wanted to help but wasn’t able to return.
Now in her loving memory her family and friends have decided to help the families and children in Africa who touched her heart.
Danny’s daughter Rachel has developed a passion to make Jessie’s House a success and is working on this very special project that is so close to our hearts.
Jessie’s House is a Day Care Centre that provides a nutritious daily meal and basic education for over 70 orphaned and vulnerable children, many from child-headed households, in Zimbabwe.
Jessie’s House is based in Muzondo, a remote village in deepest Africa. This village is hours away from the highway, has poor infrastructure, no schools, no supply of clean water, and many child-headed households, mainly due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and political/economic instability.
This was the biggest development in the history of the village and every person I met expressed their thanks for this wonderful gift. As a result, thousands of people in the local community within a three to four mile radius now benefit from this well.
The water pump at Jessie’s House is a popular spot. The village had no access to clean water before 2016. This investment in water and sanitation will reduce the threat of water-related diseases such as diarrhoea and skin and eye diseases.
I took some gifts for the children at Jessie’s House including 25 footballs and it was a joy to watch the children play. Jessie’s House gives them the opportunity to enjoy life and forget the troubles of the past.
Some of the children are orphans, others from child-headed households. For many, the meal they receive at Jessie’s House will be the only food they eat that day.
I read on the BBC website that Zimbabwe has more orphans per head of population than anywhere else in the world and this statistic shocked me. Much of Africa is in need, and we can’t help everyone. But we can make a difference to this village, and the special children we have met living within it.
There’s more work to do but everything I witnessed confirmed this to me – Jessie’s House is Changing Lives in Zimbabwe. I hope this report and my images will inspire people to get involved.