The Higherlife Foundation Celebrates
20 Years of Impacting Lives

 

The year 2016 marks a milestone year in the history of Higherlife Foundation.
Across all countries of operation, the Higherlife Foundation family celebrates 20
years of impacting lives.

Where Everything Started


In 1990 Mr. Strive Masiyiwa, ran a construction business and began losing staff to HIV/Aids and was led to fend for the staff's orphaned children. Faced with such challenges, Mrs. Tsitsi Masiyiwa, his wife, realized that for her to really understand the plight of orphaned children, she needed to spend time, "going where they were", "eating what they ate", "sleeping where they slept" and "listening to their stories"; It is this effort invested into knowing orphaned children through visiting a children's home in Gokwe – Zimbabwe, that sparked the work Higherlife Foundation is doing today.

During her stay at this children's home she discovered that most of the children in children's home were abandoned in their infancy, had never received visitors in their life at the home, had the bare minimum for a meal and rarely had meat with their meals. They had no time to play and spent most of their time performing household chores and agricultural tasks. Many of these children also struggled with finding school fees and of those who went to school, they struggled to match the academic performance of children that came from two parent families. This experience brought to life Higherlife foundation.

Transforming Mindsets

Higherlife Foundation is a philanthropic organisation with a mission to
provide a platform for people to fulfill their God given purpose.


Founded in 1996 out of the personal convictions and heartfelt compassion of the patrons Mr. and Mrs. Masiyiwa, as well as their personal experiences of orphan hood, Higherlife Foundation operated as Capernaum Trust, offering primary, secondary and University scholarships to orphaned and vulnerable children. Once a child became a Capernaum Scholarship beneficiary they stopped being called orphans and were affectionately known as History Makers. This new name was intended to help in transforming their mindset to become young responsible leaders with a global mindset. We are proud to say that we are seeing this unfold in the children today, 20 years later.

Founded on Christian values and beliefs Higherlife Foundation entrenched a culture of prayer and a strong conviction that everything is possible through GOD in all its beneficiaries. This transformation of peoples’ Spirit, Body and Soul using the Word of God is important to the Foundation and is at the core of its operations.
This spiritual work was largely carried out by another trust founded by Mr. and Mrs. Masiyiwa in 2007 to support the church in promoting the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In 2008 Higherlife Foundation ventured into health and crisis relief through launching the National Health Care Trust following growing concerns about the state of Zimbabwe’s healthcare delivery system and the emergence of a health crisis worsened by an unprecedented cholera epidemic. That same year 200 scholarships were awarded to junior doctors in the University of Zimbabwe Medical School to help beef up manpower which was desperately needed to improve Zimbabwe’s health situation.

Through years of successfully running the Capernaum Scholarship the Trust realized that there were also talented and gifted children, not orphaned or vulnerable, who were failing to reach their full potential due to lack of funding. This realization gave birth to the Joshua Nkomo Scholarship fund for the talented and gifted in 2005. The first group of scholarships were awarded in 2006.

Key Milestones

 

In the following years lives were touched and communities were changed. However, this was not enough. In response to a rising HIV/Aids prevalence in Lesotho and growing civil unrest in Burundi Higherlife Foundation crossed Zimbabwean boarders and spread its footprint to Lesotho and Burundi in 2010. In the period 2010 - 2014 the Foundation experienced exponential growth in these 3 countries and beyond and milestones to note include:

A $6.4 million investment was made to sponsor 40 international scholarships at Morehouse and Spelmen College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Launch of an international scholarship fund to give 30 scholarships every year to academically gifted children to Waterford Kamhlaba in Swaziland to position them for the prestigious Fulbright Scholarships in USA

The launch of 30 learning hubs in partnership with rural and urban schools, equipped with state of the art computers and furniture, to-date.

The birth of the Ruzivo learning platform, which is an online learning platform, which seeks to improve access to quality education through online technologies.

The launch of a Technology hub and idea incubation center called Muzinda Hub.

Partnership with Econet Wireless to distribute vaccines in rural areas of Zimbabwe through The Energize The Chain initiative.

Providing food, shelter and medical supplies to thousands

A Brief History Of Higherlife Foundation

1996

Founded as Capernaum Trust

Founded in 1996 out of the christian convictions and heartfelt compassion of the patrons Mr. and Mrs. Masiyiwa, as well as their personal experiences of orphan hood, Higherlife foundation operated as Capernaum Trust, offering primary, secondary and University scholarships to orphaned and vulnerable children. Capernaum Trust paid schools fees for students left behind by employees, friends and reletives of the Masiyiwa’s. Once a child became a Capernaum Scholarship beneficiary they stopped being called orphans and were affectionately known as History Makers. This new name would help transform their mindset to become young responsible leaders with a global mindset.

2005

Launch of Joshua Nkomo Scholarship Fund

Through years of successfully running the Capernaum Scholarship the founders realized that there were also talented and gifted children, not orphaned or vulnerable, who were failing to reach their full potential due to lack of funding. This realization gave birth to the Joshua Nkomo Scholarship fund for the talented and gifted. In 2005 the first group of scholarships were awarded in 2006 and over 1000 scholarships have been awarded to-date.

2006

Launch of Christian Community Partnership Trust

2006 also ushered in a new era of spirituality in the foundation when the Christian Community Partnership Trust was launched, to help transform lives in local communities through the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Christian Community Partnership Trust worked with Pastors in Zimbabwe’s least evangelised communities to help spread the gospel. Beneficiaries of the programme were also taught Christian values and moral conduct through pastoral care run under the Christian Community Partnership Trust.

2008

Launch of the Waterford Kamhlaba Scholarship

In a bid to offer first class education to beneficiaries on the Joshua Nkoma scholarship the Waterford Kamhlaba scholarship was launched in 2008. This was to take bright Capernaum Trust beneficiaries to Waterford, Swaziland to prepare for College in the United States. This scholarship kicked off by taking 7 History makers to learn at the prestigious Waterford Kamhlaba College in Swaziland.

2008

National Healthcare Trust of Zimbabwe launched

The National Healthcare Trust Zimbabwe was formed in December 2008 following concerns raised about the state of Zimbabwe’s healthcare delivery system and the emergence of a health crisis worsened by an unprecedented cholera epidemic. The National Health Care Trust awarded 200 medical studentsscholarships at the University of Zimbabwe in an effort to build capacity in Zimbabwes health care sector. The trust also refurbished clinics and built a state of the art virtual learning resource centre at the University of Zimbabwe which allowed students to participate in lectures at USA Universities online. National Health care Trust of Zimbabwe was also at the fore front in responding to the Tokwe Mkosi disaster in Zimbabwe as well as in mobilizing resources in the fight against Ebola in Africa.

2010

Expanded operations to Lesotho & Burundi

In response to a rising HIV/Aids prevalence in Lesotho and growing civil unrest in Burundi Higherlife Foundation crossed Zimbabwean boarders and spread its footprint to Lesotho and Burundi in 2010. The foundation currently has operating offices in Maseru Lesotho and in Bunjumbura, Burundi.

2012

Launch of the Andrew Young Scholarship at Morehouse & Spellman College

The first group comprising of ten students from Burundi and Zimbabwe was part of an overall program introduced by the Higherlife Foundation patrons, Mr. Strive and Mrs. Tsitsi Masiyiwa, in 2012 to fund forty students, through Higherlife Foundation, to study at Morehouse College and its sister college, Spelman College in Atlanta Georgia. In 2015 the first 9 of the 10 students graduated from Morehouse College with the remaining one staying to complete a dual degree program in Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. One of our graduates Prince Abudu also earned the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to study his PHD at Oxford University.

2015

Launch of Ruzivo Smart Learning

In 2015 Higherlife Foundation and Econet Wireless launched Ruzivo Samrt learning, an online interactive digital learning platform targeted at primary and secondary students in Zimbabwe. The platform reinforces the use of blended learning models in class and leverages innovative technology to ensure quality education to a larger group of students without access to education. Todate over 200 000 students have been registered and Higherlife Foundation has built over 50 learning hubs in Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Burundi. Learning hubs are computer labs fully kitted with computers and internet access in childrens homes and community centres which can be accessed by students free of charge.

2014

Launch of Muzinda

But how do you educate thousands and watch them graduate knowing there are no jobs? In 2014 higherlife Foundation innovated and founded Muzinda hub, a technology hub and incubation center for youths. Muzinda provides young Zimbabweans with access to globally competitive digital skills training, to further cultivate employment opportunities and effect positive social transformation within the country. To-date over 1000 web developers have been trained and are actively sourcing jobs from abroad.

2015

Higherlife Foundation merges 4 trusts

In 2015, in a drive to streamline operations and maximize impact, Higherlife Foundation repositioned its self to focus on education. This led to the merging of all four Trusts into one foundation, a new and revamped Higherlife Foundation.

2015

Higherlife Foundation partners with Yale University in the Yale Young African Scholars Programme

With its new direction to focus on educationHigherlife Foundation partnered with YYAS to give nine hundred African students a chance to study at USA Universities over a three-year period. This program will nurture young talent and connect students to US colleges as well as support them during the application process.

2016

Launch of the Higherlife Foundation’s strategy

In 2016 Higherlife Foundations leadership committed to invest in the future of Africa through Education in a new strategy thay focused on providing Access to Education, improving Quality of Education and providing Lifelong development. To-date Higherlife Foundation has directly and indirectly impacted more than 250 000 children across Africa and through this new strategy the foundation intends to impact 2 million African scholars with education support by 2020.

2016

Higherlife Foundation partners with Education Matters

In 2016 Higherlife Foundation went into partnership with Education Matters which officially launched with an affirming event in the garden of our offices on 11 March 2016. Education Matters is an organisation that seeks to match talent with opportunity from the belief that the youth holds the keys to the future and can realize their dreams through education. Education Matters has several programs such as USAP, YYAS, Career Connect, Students Athlete Cohort and the Hali Indaba.This partnership seeks to assist in maintaining a long term relationship and connection with the YYAS students.All these programs aim to provide African students with support to go to the best schools in the world, become highly skilled and return to the continent to become future leaders with skills and abilities required to take Africa higher.