A man from Morden is fundraising to help fund essential items to Zimbabwe in a bid to help them tackle the pandemic.

Billy Katyio, founder of B-ARK charity, is trying to raise money to give back to his home town, Harare, where he was born.

The charity aims to provide orphaned children with better opportunities to fulfil their potential through scholarship programmes.

B-ARK currently provides 80 children with education facilities and enrichment programmes in marginalised neighbourhoods.

18-months-ago, a team of volunteers from the UK travelled to Harare for 10 days to promote the charity’s objectives and projects.

Wimbledon Times:

Volunteers visited local schools to donate sporting equipment and help community groups to construct education shelters.

The charity which relies heavily on help from the public, says they have seen a decline in donations since the pandemic.

Trustee, Richard Forster, said: "Billy has considered himself fortunate to have circumvented that country's economic mismanagement and consequent hyperinflation in recent times.

"As the recipient of some breaks and acts of kindness himself - his motivation is now to try and give something back to his community, however small.

"We are trying to gain momentum by raising funds for various projects, such as, most recently sending a minibus to Zimbabwe."

Billy Katyio, said: “The impact of the virus has been extremely acute and any aid is vital so the delay has been a major setback.

"Although our situation is far from unique, like many others we are now targeting the same shrinking pool.

"Education in Africa is still the best pathway to a better life.

"Yet, many in Zimbabwe are denied this basic teaching because they are orphaned or whose families cannot afford to pay school fees.

"BARK works to benefit and enrich these children's academic experience through the power of sponsorship to drive change that ripples throughout their lives, their families and their surrounding communities."

B-ARK has most recently helped acquire a mini-bus which they plan to send to Zimbabwe after the pandemic.

For more information regarding the charity, or to donate, please visit https://barkcharity.org/