Ezekiel’s Story


Just over two years ago, Ezekiel tragically lost both his parents. Although he is technically the second oldest of five siblings, his eldest brother’s special needs made Ezekiel responsible for the household after their parents passed. The family moved in with their grandma, and Ezekiel dropped out of school to find work. 

The family survived on one meal a day, usually sadza (cornmeal mixed with water) and sometimes, vegetables. If Ezekiel wasn’t able to find work that day, the family would scavenge for food in the community, searching trash bins and other waste dumping areas. “This was a low point for me,” said Ezekiel. “It was demoralizing.”

Ezekiel and his family joined Zoe Empowers Zimbabwe in October 2018. With approval from his empowerment group, Ezekiel received a grant and launched a broiler chicken business one month later. He used the profits from his broiler chickens to quickly diversify his business with the purchase of 50 layer chickens. By Spring 2019, Ezekiel had a steady stream of income, and he could afford nutrient dense meals for his family, including vegetables, beans and grains. He remembers thinking, ‘My life is changing for real’.

Regular meals gave Ezekiel the relief he craved as a provider. Once that basic need was met, he could shift his focus to obtaining better clothing, hygiene practices and other areas in which his family struggled. He went from making quarterly offerings at church, before Zoe, to giving weekly contributions twelve months later, an act that makes him “feel like he’s part of the community”. 

Becoming food secure not only gave Ezekiel physical strength, but it gave him the confidence to face other challenges that previously felt insurmountable. Today, he is grateful for his home, a place, he says, where he and his family “enjoy many spaghetti dinners”.

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380 million children living in extreme poverty will rely on charity forever. A monthly gift of $8 over 3 years empowers one orphan out of poverty. How many children like Ezekiel can you give lasting sustainable change?