Thematic Components.

The Zimbabwe Homeless People’s Federation has organized and divided its work into eight thematic components. At the outset, these were seven and the surge in the HIV/AIDS scourge forced the Federation to respond to the related challenges. The thematic components are; Savings, Gungano (loan fund), Exchanges, Enumerations, Land, Health, Technical and Training. These components are therefore reflected at all the levels of the Federation from the savings scheme to the national structure. In practice, this means that each savings scheme has a representative for all these thematic components and this same applies to the other Federation structures. The significance of this set-up is that it  helps to organise Federation work and also ensures that the process has space for more members to assume responsibility and actively participate in the various thematic areas.

Zimbabwe Homeless People’s Federation’s Thematic Components Savings

Under this thematic component, the representative Federation member/s is/are responsible for monitoring savings progress or lack thereof. This also involves working closely with the treasurers and collectors using different strategies to present the savings records to the entire group membership. The savings component is also responsible for establishing new savings schemes and conducting programmes that aim to assist those groups that are weakening.  


This component deals with the loan fund which basically if the financing mechanism for bigger income generation projects, housing and infrastructure loans. Gungano representatives therefore monitor the loan activities and in particular issues to do with repayments. An important aspect that falls under the realm of this component is the issue of affordability which essentially entails checking whether members are managing to cope with the loans or not. Feedback from the gungano component helps to inform repayment periods, interest rates and loan amounts.


This thematic component constitute Federation teams that co-ordinate horizontal interactions between savings schemes or networks and even regions. In practice, this involves identifying learning needs and then organizing appropriate exchange visits that aim to address these issues. These interactions may even involve linking up with non-Federation institutions through strategic partnerships.


This main objective of this thematic area is to initiate and lead community-centred enumerations. The latter involve a number of processes beginning with profiling exercises then household surveys and mapping exercise. The main purpose of these processes is to generate information detailing community priorities through a process that is owned and controlled by the community itself. Therefore, through hands-on practice, exchange visits and technical support from Dialogue on Shelter, the Federation teams charged with this component acquires skills to conduct the enumerations, organize the findings and then use them to articulate the community’s development agenda.


This team is responsible for establishing the land needs through developing a land tenure register for the Federation membership. This exercise is critical for the savings scheme or network to know precisely its land needs. The team also participates in land identification exercises and land negotiations supported by the national leadership and the technical partner.


The health component was introduced after the realization that health in general and HIV/AIDS in particular were impacting on the Federation. It was also discovered just as the poor were facing challenges in accessing housing, a similar trend was also manifesting in other social services sectors such as health. Therefore, the focus of this  programme area is on different innovations that can assist the poor to access health services at a cost that is affordable. To this end, the Federation has set up community herbal gardens, community-based clinics, community-centred VCT programmes and engaging strategic partners in health so as to influence resource flows.

Technical and Training

These two components are closely linked and deal with developing and strengthening the Federation skills. These components are therefore responsible for identifying specific training needs and then through assistance from the national leadership and the technical partner, organize relevant training programmes. The training programmes range from health to business and artisans. Under these components, the aim is to ensure that eventually some Federation members end up being the trainers themselves.

ZW Office Contacts

Dialogue on Shelter for the Homeless in Zimbabwe Trust
Physical Address: 13 Harvey Brown, Milton Park
Harare, Zimbabwe

Telephone: (+263) 4 790935/(+263) 4 2600612-3
Fax: (+263)4 790935

SDI Offices Contacts

Slum Dwellers International (SDI)
Physical Address: 1st Floor, Campground Centre, Cnr. Surrey & Raapenberg Roads, Mowbray, 7700
Cape Town, South Africa
Telephone: (+27) 21 689 9408
Fax: (+27) 21 689 3912

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