Country: Zimbabwe 
Established: 1997 

Protecting orphans in the field

FOST supports and protects vulnerable children in Zimbabwe’s farm worker communities.

In 2010, 55% of Zimbabwe’s population were living below the poverty line and there were more than one million children who had been orphaned as a result of HIV and AIDS, in 2012 alone this number increased by 890,000.

Farming families and communities have lost significant income and support networks during land redistribution and migrant farm workers from neighbouring countries and have limited rights, and little access to social services.

FOST’s long-term goal is to achieve sustainable care for orphaned children by encouraging responses that emanate from the community.


FOST enables effective, community-based protection systems in remote areas and safeguarding children who are affected by HIV and AIDS, while also promoting kinship and informal community fostering for girls and boys whose parent(s) have died.

They work with a range of district governments to promote the rights of children and families. They ensure that children can grow up with their siblings in a familiar environment and provide access to education, food security, vocational training, psychosocial support, home-based care, self-help business groups and child-led protection committees.

FOST takes an inclusive approach with the communities it works with and actively promotes the participation of children in making decisions about their own protection.