2020 through a lens...

Mask distribution and hand washing guides for Grandmothers during covid-19 pandemic.


There is no escaping the pandemic, this past month has involved a lot of adaptation and improvisation. Lockdown in Zimbabwe has been a struggle, with no food stores, rise in domestic violence and continued closure of the informal sector we need mental health care now more than ever. 

Huge thank you to the Old Legs Cycle Tour for donation of masks for the FB Grandmothers, to African Threads for the miles of masks sewn and to The Rafiki Network for coordinating everything. 

Uni Friendship Bench Buddies taking part in the Colour Run

Bindura University

9 March 2020

Our University Friendship Bench Buddies spent their Saturday at Bindura University colour run.


We were invited there to talk about mental health & creating awareness about the free talk therapy FB offers on campus for all students needing a safe space to talk and find belonging.

We want students to know



Piloting a new CKT: Permaculture gardening




20-28 February 2020

Imagine you could grow, pick, eat and sell produce that will nourish, sustain and support you & your family... We want to provide people with the knowledge needed to bring this to life.


With the help of a passionate farmer, gardener, sustainable liver Linda Gabriel (IG page link) we have started to train a group of clients and LHW in the principles of sustainable gardening.


We believe problems can be fixed in gardens. 


Health System Strengthening


17-24 February 2020

FBplus, a collaborative research project between ASSET and ourselves had a busy month with all ASSET projects meeting for their annual meeting in Addis Ababa and then hosting a Theory of Change workshop here in Harare. 

Both produced some gems of information and best practices in going forward into the 2020 year.

find out more about ASSET and our research, funded by NIHR, in partnership with Kings Global Health KCL.


Welcome DRK Nathalie & Katie to FB!

3-7 February 2020

The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation was founded on a belief in the power of innovation and the conviction that with bold support, passionate individuals with great ideas can change the world.


With this in mind we are extremely honoured that they have come to visit the Friendship Bench and met with the Grandmothers at Hatcliff Clinic. There is a lot in the pipe line, watch this space for high impact at scale. 


We're making new friends around the world who are earnest drivers of change for good and this is encouraging. 

Find out more about the

DRK foundation

Refresher Course 

Seke North & South



One of the Friendship Bench values is 'continued learning'. So we have started to visit the Friendship Bench Clinics to carry out refresher courses with all community health workers and to share some findings of what the 2019 RE-AIM evaluation from team Optimise FB brought to light. 

It's great to see the Grandmothers still know their PST steps and they are open to new methods of data collection. It also great that they are sharing their experiences and suggestions of improvements to the system to get it as optimally working for quality mental health care as possible.

Youth Friendship Bench Student Supervision

Topic: SEX


9th JANUARY 2020

Dr. Ruth Verhey is back at it with the Youth Friendship Bench students. Supervision happens twice a month and is a time where the Dr engages the students in all that is taboo, stigmatised, discriminated against and in general would make for awkward conversation for many. Not on our watch, this is the generation of the future and the time for change is now.

For anyone wondering, the red object is a 3D printed clitoris! Find put more here

Follow the YouFB activities on Twitter

Matapi Flats new years greetings.


3rd JANUARY 2020

New decade, same strong resilient women raising their families in Matapi Flats, Mbare. 

With the bit of rain we got in December the Friendship Bench garden was full of green vegetables and egg plants. A great way to start the year was visiting the women of Matapi Flats. 


Majority of them are widows, now too old to work, many look after their grandchildren while their children go out and work or for some they they are now the parents of their grandchildren having lost their own children.

Clinic visits start.



Community building takes time, our plan for 2020 is to spend as much time as possible at clinics supporting the Grandmothers and ensuring they have the resources they need so they can deliver the best possible intervention.


The Grandmothers receive so much community respect because of the work they do, from being true to their beliefs and being non-judgemental to those around them. We don't believe this is rocket science, we believe this can be achieve in all communities with the right ingredients. 

They truly are our core.

​Find us: 

4 Weale Road

Milton Park

Harare, Zimbabwe

The Friendship Bench logo is a


All copy is subject to TERMS & CONDITIONS ©

Friendship Bench Zimbabwe 

2019 Copyright