We See Hope in Oliver

A Story from SA Zimbabwe

Oliver* is a member of one of our Kids’ Clubs in Zimbabwe which was set up in September 2016 and is run by our local project partner, SA Zimbabwe.


Kids’ Clubs are safe places where children and young people like Oliver can learn, play and interact with other children without feeling isolated and stigmatised. They are run by trained local volunteers and are designed to give young people access to a support network, play and educational materials and therapy sessions.


Both of Oliver’s parents passed away when he was young, and as is common when a child is orphaned, he did not know his own birthday. So when the leaders of Oliver’s Kids’ Club were establishing the attendance register and he was asked for his date of birth, he did not know it. Oliver was upset and worried that if he did not have a birth certificate then he would not be able to attend his Kids’ Club.


The Kids’ Club leaders promised to help Oliver to secure a birth certificate, and so got in touch with local community counsellors who know how to deal with birth and death registration. The counsellors visited Oliver’s home and his guardian, his maternal grandmother, who explained that their had been a family dispute with his father’s side of the family, hence why she could not ask them for his birth certificate. The counsellors therefore engaged the village headman who brought the two families together, and they were able to visit the District registrar’s office to get Oliver his birth certificate.


Oliver now knows his birthday and has his certificate to prove it: “I am just like any other child as I now have a document that gives me identity.”


*Name has been changed to maintain confidentiality.