Project Love: A Bismarck man’s mission to help orphans in Africa

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From Bismarck to Zimbabwe, a 27-year-old man in the Capital City is going the distance. What began as a small project has turned into so much more. These student-athletes are making it their mission to help orphans live out their life’s purpose.

Tatenda Dzvokora, co-Founders of Project Love says, “They don’t have shoes, they don’t have clothes. So I wanted to do this to help them and to just empower them to fulfill their God-given purpose.”

Dzvokora started this project two years ago when he was running track at NDSU. After graduation he had quite a few pairs of shoes left, So he and the other student-athletes held a shoe drive. The purpose: to send the shoes to Zimbabwe where he was born and raised.

Dzvokora says, “Most people in need are orphans. Like people that don’t have parents. And I just realized that I have to continue doing because these are kids that don’t have anything. If they just find something to eat that’s good enough for them.”

The project has grown so much that it gained its official nonprofit status last year. Now, he and some friends hold shoe and clothing drives. The donated items are put into barrels that cost $25 a piece. Then, the barrels are shipped to Africa, which is not cheap.

Dzvokora adds, “We usually ship out six to seven barrels. So far I’ve shipped out over 20 barrels.
And it costs $500 to ship one of them to Zimbabwe.”

It takes an army of volunteers to do all this work. One of the volunteers is the co-founder of Project Love, Alex Zimmerman. She says the whole process puts a smile on her face.

Zimmerman says, “Just being able to see those people having fun participating in the drives and
then being able to put all the items together and then ship them out then see the smiles on the faces of the children receiving them.”

Project Love has six team members from Bismarck, Fargo, and the Twin Cities. And now, they’re gearing up to ship out more barrels to Zimbabwe. Despite the challenges, Dzvokora says it’s rewarding.

Dzvokora shares, “The process has been daunting, I’ve had to fll out a bunch of paperwork, but it’s amazing.”

As of right now, there’s not an exact date and time set for the next shipment to go out yet. For information on how you can help donate or help fill barrels go here.

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