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Gogo Olive - Zimbabwe


Gogo Olive was set up in late 2008 as a response to the huge unemployment problem in Zimbabwe (it currently stands at around 97%), at a time when conditions in the country were particularly difficult.  As well as creating employment for local women the aim is to give them hope as they have the opportunity to use their craft skills to build a future for themselves and their families.  Their vision is ‘to enable Zimbabwean women to journey into the fullness of life for which God created them’.

Knitting was chosen as it only requires basic materials and can be done anywhere and at any time, which suits the lifestyle of a Zimbabwean woman!

They began as a small group of six women and, following the success of this group, have expanded to involve more ladies and work alongside different groups to try and support as many women as possible.  There are now around 60 knitters from four different projects in three different areas of Zimbabwe.

Mutare Remand Prison.

Gogo Olive first became involved with prison through a friend who was involved with Prison Fellowship. While visiting the female prisoners she had seen them knitting using bits of wire, so they starting looking at how they could work together. They began by teaching a group of prison officers how to knit and they now teach the female inmates. This has become part of their rehabilitation as it gives them a positive focus and a way which they can continue to support their families while in prison. Many of the prisoners have since been released and have been able to continue their employment. It has been so encouraging to hear their testimonies of how Gogo Olive has helped them to reintegrate back into society. Each week Gogo Olive takes a team into the prison for a time of fellowship together, where they're able to build of good relationships with the prisoners and the guards.

Imba Children’s Home.

This was established to work with orphaned and abandoned children from Chitungwiza, the largest slum area in Zimbabwe, which is situated close to Harare. Their aim is to offer these children the best possible start in life by creating a secure home environment, which will encourage them to grow into independent individuals. One of Imba’s objectives is to encourage self-sufficiency in the home. It is in this area that they have partnered with Gogo Olive. The partnership with Imba began in February 2010 and Gogo Olive is just one of the income generating projects that have been established. The women are from the local community and are caring for orphans or vulnerable children in their own homes. This is obviously a strain on already struggling households so their involvement in the project assists them with the extra costs.

Simukai was initiated by the local community and a broad range of Churches in Mutare as a response to the plight of the children living on the streets of the city. Simukai is involved in a number of different areas such as street visits, counselling, life skills, temporary shelter, vocational training for the children as well as working alongside the families. It is in the area of ‘Family Upliftment’ that Gogo Olive got involved. Many of the ladies connected to Simukai are widows who have the sole responsibility for providing for their children and any other dependants they may have. Through offering training and employment to these mothers Gogo Olive helps enable them to support their families and make life easier.

Thank you for supporting GOGO OLIVE.

From our customers

  • EPHAS offers fantastic customer service, postage is reasonable and quick and the products are simply beautiful. It is easy to promote such gorgeous pieces when they have a story behind them like EPHAS does, and my customers appreciate my sourcing products that are Fair Trade and align with their beliefs. (So not only are the products amazing, but they also sell well.) Wouldn't hesitate to recommend purchasing EPHAS products

    Mel, Owner, Surya Gift Shop
  • I have been thinking about your products a lot. They have struck a cord with me. The story cards were very useful and helped me to clearly understand what Starfish Project does and the important work they are doing. I am really glad to have met EPHAS - thank you for introducing me to your products and giving me the opportunity to support such a meaningful cause.

    Yumi Director, One Village Shop
  • I am always really excited with the new jewellery designs that we order in from EPHAS. The entire range has been very popular with our customers and ever since it landed at One Village, it has been flying out of the shop! We have now increased our range of Starfish Project jewellery to keep up with the demands of our customers. We feel very fortunate to share in the journey with EPHAS to create a brighter future for the women who are behind the beautiful jewellery. Thank you for always providing us with excellent customer care.

    Yumi Director, One Village Shop