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Coalition for Courage

CoalitionforCourageThumbOur background

In January 2000, three graduate students, Amy Carroll, Alison Phillips, and Arden O'Donnell spent a semester working at an agency called Tsungirirai. This grassroots organization is located in Norton, Zimbabwe and works with orphans and vulnerable children who are affected by and infected with HIV. This small organization is a ray of light in a very dark sky. The agency provides much needed support to some of the poorest children in one of the poorest countries in the world.

In the winter of 2000, Arden and Liz Berges made the decision to move to Zimbabwe and volunteer at the agency for a year. Arden helped with project management and administration and Liz focused on strengthening the educational program at the agency. Arden and Liz began fundraising to build a library and to provide the children with a building that was a place of their own. Within 6 months Liz and Arden began "Friends of Tsungirirai" and raised over $8,000 to build the library. Many wonderful people sent money for this library and even more sent boxes of books to Zimbabwe. Key donors included sisters Taryn Vian and Leslie Zalweski, the library was named the "Joseph Vian Library" in honour of their father.

When Arden and Liz arrived in August of 2001, the building was complete and filled with boxes of books! The children were amazed and eagerly awaiting opening of the library. The year in Zimbabwe was life changing for both Arden and Liz. They sent home weekly e-mail updates to family and friends. Through these updates many people gained insight into the lives of individual children and learned of the work being done at Tsungirirai. The e-mails began to get forwarded and slowly readers began to donate funds. Funds were funneled into amazing projects and programs to help fill the gaps that Arden and Liz were identifying at the agency and with individual children. Key projects undertaken were a supplementary feeding program for HIV positive children, a sponsorship program that helps provide basic needs to all the children and a scholarship program for a few exceptional children to go to boarding school.

Upon their return home, Arden and Liz continued to raise money to support the programs they started and supported at the agency. In April of 2005 after much work, "Friends of Tsungirirai" gained 501c3 status and the name was changed to Coalition for Courage, Inc. All of the money we raise supports Tsungirirai and children associated with the agency.

We thank our friends and family as well as our many generous donors for their support of us and for the children we love and support.

If you would like to make a donation please contact

Arden O'Donnell at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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