Advice about starting a Zimbabwe nonprofit from the beginning?
Hello! My name is Caitie and I am VERY new around here, but because of the work I am doing it was suggested to me to join your group and address you all. I am helping my friend Belinda, a native Zimbabwean whom I met when we studied together in England, start up her own non-profit in Zimbabwe. [You can get more background on the work she's doing here: http://ruvhenekotrust.wordpress.com] Basically she began with small-scale projects using funds donated by friends we went to school with, including building the foundation of a church, raising chickens, and hosting a "Christmas party" for school children where she distributed "gifts" of stationary and other necessities. She has also worked hard the past 6 months to develop a project proposal and recently completed the nonprofit registration process. She does most of the work; I simply support her and maintain communication with our friends around the world. I have the reliable internet and some background in nonprofit management; she is the visionary while I am the organizer. We make a good team!
But here is where I find myself way over my head. I have never been to Zimbabwe (though I hope to go soon), and Belinda has returned to her village of Sanyati after living in Harare the past 6 months in order to find land to purchase that she can develop into a community center. Buying land, getting approval from the local rural council, buying residential stands, opening bank accounts, and all the legal aspects of getting a nonprofit up and running, all in a country I've never even been to, leaves me feeling pretty useless.
Therefore I would LOVE it if anyone has ANY advice, insight, experience or encouragement for me and for Belinda, especially if you live or have worked in Zimbabwe. Anything would help! Helpful things to do, things we might have forgotten, things I can do from America to help her out. I'm very excited about the PulseWire community, sharing my story and getting to know all of you! Thank you so much!