POVOAfrika Trust was registered in 2015, and its primary mandate is to improve arts, culture, and social development in Zimbabwe. The Trust is also proactively involved in sustainability initiatives to address the ever-dynamic climate and environmental changes through support from various technical development partners, including the Government, Civil Society, and the Corporate Sector. To push the sustainable development agenda through virtual spaces, POVOAfrika started an online newspaper known as the SustainZim in 2017, and it has had 14 Issues to date. The SustainZIm paper has been a resounding success over the years as it has seen exponential growth in terms of readership.

The problem
During these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has had to adjust to the new normal. The education sector has seen a significant deterioration in students’ performance due to the disruption of classes. Students in most private schools have been carrying on with their studies online, while their counterparts in public schools do not have the same privileges due to inequalities in access to online services. POVOAfrika introduced a project that seeks to address this challenge by supporting marginalized and vulnerable communities by ensuring that people living in those areas can access current information. The ease of information dissemination provides the sensitization of the general public on their roles and the constitutional rights they are entitled to.

Leveraging on Technology
The project utilizes technology, considering that virtual spaces are now taking centre stage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea involves the development of a two-pronged information toolkit with both online and offline interfaces. The toolkit is made in a shockwave flash (SWF) format that will be used on computers and for mobile devices to bring about the interactive aspect. Additionally, Additionally, POVOAfrika will also develop an android application for enhanced accessibility. The project will also involve overhead projectors and other supporting gadgets to modernize learning and information dissemination.

Project Achievements
The project's inception phase has impacted an excess of 3000 people in different geographical locations and social classes in Zimbabwe. About 60 local focal persons have been trained to rectify any challenges using the technology. The trained people ensure an ongoing link between the implementing agent and the target beneficiaries of the proposed project. The project has the distributed of 500 fact sheets written in English and vernacular languages, mainly Shona and Ndebele. Through the funding from I4C AH, POVOAfrica has completed the development of the Sustain-Zim Knowledge Toolkit and Mobile Application, uploading of Data, design, and printing of Fact Sheets. The following toolkits have been developed:

  • Sustain-Zim Knowledge Toolkit in shockwave file (SWF) format
  • Sustain-Zim Knowledge Toolkit mobile application in android package kit (APK) format
  • Developed 500 fact sheets