Erna & Knut Eng's Children Foundation

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Home Projects The Sabona Project, Zimbabwe

The Sabona Project, Zimbabwe

Date Donations
2002-2009 $ 160.000

Erna & Knut Engs Childrens Foundation have contributed to great results in Zimbabwe. The foundation have followed Ynghild Solholm’s work from when she during the hunger catastrophy returned to Zimbabwe in 2002.

Ynghild had since 1999 been working as a teacher in the Dopota village. She is the founder of the Sabona organisation, which is working with help to self help projects, channeling the funds directly to the people, and achieving major results in Northern Matabeleland in Zimbabwe.

Erna & Knut Engs Childrens Foundation helped saving lives during the catastrophy. The village came through without one single death. Erna and Knut Eng have financed several of Sabona’s projects.



In 2004, the first primary school got electricity installed. Many more have installed electricity since, and this has been a great step in the right direction in developing the villages. An improved infrastructure gives the teachers the opportunity of working after sunset, they can teach in the evening, the students can get computer training and are able to compete in children related work in the cities. This leads to better educational programs and skillful teachers, as many more apply for schools with electricity and water, and stay in the villages in stead of moving into the major cities.


Building of sanitary construction and installing of water

During the period 2003 – 2004, a sanitary construction site was built at the Dopota school. Meanwhile, a Grundfos pump was installed, and this is pumping water from a 90 meter well, leading the water all the way up to the school. The water supplies teachers, the sanitary construction site and also the school’s vegetable garden. This is one of the most important steps of getting the good teachers to the village.


Schooling and a food station at the Dopota Primary School

Erna & Knut Engs Childrens Foundation has held the school open. The building got new roofing and new windows, and parts of the building was dilapidated and was being restored. Funds was also granted for a new teachers house.



In 2002, Southern Africa was struck by a horrific drought. In Matabeleland this caused many cattles death and a lack of water. The villagers wanted to find a new way to provide the cattle with water, without having to wander miles during drought. As a result of this, work was initiated to build a big lake in Dopota. Several hundred inhabitants were involved in building the dam. This has made a huge impact on the villagers, and has contributed to a large drop in the number of dying cattle. This ensures the livelihoods of the houses, in addition to the fact that they do not need to use all time in finding water for their animals. In general, the dam is being used as water supply for animals, irrigation for the gardens and for the production of brick tiles.


The aid foundation

Since 1999, Sabona has had an aid fund, where people have received help in vital medicines, operations, hospitalizations, advice and nutrition. The aid fund give advice to HIV/AIDS patients, distributing information about malaria, HIV/AIDS, and incest. As a result of the work with the aid fund, many have come forward as HIV positive, which has lead to the establishment of support groups, which are spreading information within the local society and working with food production. Both men and women have engaged in the work, and it has resulted in an awareness and change in attitude related to the illness, and the treatment options. The aid fund is an extremely important part of the Sabona work, and has improved the days of thousands of people since the establishment. In 2009, Erna & Knut Engs Childrens Foundation funded the weakest with vital opaerations, medicines and nutrition. 50.000 NOK was provided for this project in 2009.


A well

Erna & Knut Engs Childrens Foundation have contributed to clean water for several thousand people. This has great impact on the locals. Health wise, the death rate has dropped, and the spread of disease is prevented. It also gives the locals the opportunity of growing food.



In 2013, work was initiated in building a nursery at the Fatima clinic in Lupane. The nursery makes a great difference for local men and women, and has created safer frames for giving birth in a country where avery eight woman die in labour, according to the UN. Until the clinic was constructed, women had to give birth in the same rooms as other patients, lying on the floor, without toilets. Now they have their own birth room and waiting room, separated from the clinic, so that the women do not need to deal with the other patients during labour. They get their privacy, own beds, toilets, and the nurses have the necessary equipment available.


Erna & Knut Engs Childrens Foundation has also donated a car for Sabona in Zimbabwe. This has relieved work a great deal in the country.

Sabona is very greatful for all support Erna and Knut have given to the people in Zimbabwe. They have been great supporters, and these projects have improved lives for a large number of people.


Yngvild Solholm
Phone: +47 64 98 25 40