Service to Society: Zimbabwe NOA chicken farm “has changed my life”

26 | 9 | 2017

The Zimbabwe National Olympian Association (ZNOA) has successfully launched its World Olympians Association (WOA) Service to Society Grant project, opening an Olympian-run chicken farm that is providing jobs for the local community and is helping fund life transition projects for the country’s Olympians.

The Olympians Education Fund project was officially launched on 6 June at Kellet Farm, just outside the capital city of Harare. An initial 300 chicks were used to start the enterprise, with the team purchasing another 200 on 28 June as they worked towards their goal of having 1,000 birds homed at the farm by the end of August this year. The project will see all profits made by the farm fed back into the ZNOA for the preparation of life after sport for the nation’s Olympians.

The first athlete to benefit from the project is Beijing 2008 Olympic marathon runner Tabitha Tsatsa, 44, who is using money generated from the farm to fund a coaching course to be held in September. Tsatsa is already working with three young female athletes from remote areas of Zimbabwe in order to develop their skills and realise their potential. The money from both the WOA Grant and the chicken farm will enable her to hone her own coaching abilities and, in turn, better assist the next generation of Zimbabwean Olympians.

The aim of the Olympians Education Fund project is to support the life transition and ongoing education of Zimbabwean Olympians as they move into their post-competition lives. The chicken farm is also creating jobs and providing much needed food for the local community, highlighting the power that sport and Olympians have to drive change and help build a better, more equitable society.

Tabitha Tsatsa, Olympic marathon runner, said:

“Thanks to the World Olympians Association and the dedication of the ZNOA, I am able to achieve my coaching dreams and in turn inspire Olympism and professionalism in the next generation of Zimbabwean athletes.

“The chicken farm has changed my life and the lives of three aspirational female athletes, and it is my hope that it can go on to help improve the lives of many more people in Zimbabwe.”

Chimukoko Abel, President of the ZNOA, added:

“This scheme has been incredibly beneficial, not only for the people of the village but for the whole of Zimbabwe. It is offering inspiration to Olympians who want to extend their career, and it is creating an integral opportunity for work for the local community.

“We want to thank the WOA for all of their support in our endeavours, and in assisting us in developing sport in our great nation – without them much of this would not be possible.”

Olympian Tabitha Tsatsa

The Service to Society Grant scheme, first launched by WOA in 2016, was established to help fund Olympian-led, sustainable community projects that align with the promotion of the Olympic values, Olympic Agenda 2020 and the activities of the Olympic Movement. 

Six recipients were awarded grants in the inaugural round of funding this year. The successful projects span all five continents, and will see Olympians across the world work to better society through sport.

The full list of inaugural grant recipients is as follows:

  • Australian Olympians Association
  • Colombia Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission and Colombian Olympians Association
  • Estonian Olympians Association
  • Olympians Association of India
  • Malaysian Olympians Association
  • Zimbabwe Olympians Association

To apply for the 2018 Service to Society grant scheme please submit your application here: 

The deadline for applications is: 13 October 2017.