Our Story

How it all began...

Australians, Errol and Donna Spence founded VANA Ministries, in 2006 and since then has been helping orphaned and vulnerable children break the poverty cycle through programs that offer:


Nutrition and clean water

Educational opportunities

Medical / Health care

Loving community / Family support

VANA’s original Project was the VANA Centre in a township called Chivhu, however VANA now has 4 Projects Partners in Zimbabwe, assisting over 250 children. For more about VANA Projects go to OUR PROJECTS

Our Projects

VANA Childcare Centre (Chivhu)


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Harvest Family Village (Bulawayo)


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The Good Shepherd Centre


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Voice of Peace
(Chivhu)


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VANA is project-based and currently provides resources to four projects in Zimbabwe:

“Project-based” means that VANA serves the children’s needs by providing resources to larger projects aimed at breaking the poverty cycle. These projects are usually connected to a local church or ministry.

Our Mission & Values

"Building a future for the children of Zimbabwe"

VANA exists for the children of Zimbabwe, especially orphaned and vulnerable children. We believe that every child has a God-given right to a future full of hope and possibility


Our Christian Identity: The love of God the Father and the mission of Jesus Christ is our motivation.

Relationships: We know the best outcomes are achieved in the context of relationship with like-minded people and organisations.

Life: We believe every life is valuable and children need to have the opportunity to live life to their maximum potential.

Integrity: We are each accountable for our actions, our honesty and doing the right thing

Empowerment: We choose to empower others to move towards their hopes and dreams, goals and objectives.

Courage: We have the audacity to think courageously and find new ways to get things done.

Our Christian Identity

VANA Ministries is a non-denominational, Christian organisation that serves suffering humanity because of our Biblical Christian worldview.

We believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth to reveal the loving heart of Father God – including the Father’s heart towards orphaned and vulnerable children.

Psalm 82:3 (NLT) - Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.

We believe that God’s Word (the Bible) tells of the responsibility of every Christ Follower to share the burden of those less fortunate.

Matthew 25:35-36 (NIV)For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

Our Team

Errol and Donna Spence Founders & Treasurer

Errol and Donna Spence are the founders and heart of VANA Ministries. Errol is the board treasurer and assists with the practical aspects of VANA, including building and property needs in Zimbabwe. Donna is also a board member and is VANA's Relationship Manager. Along with their four sons they live on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Errol and Donna can be contacted at [email protected]

Peter Staines Chairman and CEO

Peter has given leadership to VANA Ministries for over 10 years and brings to the team his experience in team leadership and making vision reality. For over 25 years Peter has been a senior minister of local churches and now uses his skill to advance the work of VANA Ministries. Peter can be contacted at [email protected]

Paul Mergard Deputy Chairman

Originally trained as an Accountant, and working for KPMG, Paul has had senior management roles in leading Not for Profit organisations for the past decade. Paul is currently supporting people through the Investment Property journey, assisting clients to develop strategies to grow their investment portfolios.

Heinrich Wilsenach Secretary

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Brad Jen Board Member & Team Trips Coordinator

For over 20 year Brad has had a history with the continent of Africa. He has been part of missions to Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and along with his wife lived and worked in a Children’s Home in Lesotho for over three years. Currently a school teacher on the Sunshine Coast, Australia, Brad is a Board member of VANA Ministries and the Team Trips Coordinator, overseeing and taking Teams to visit the work done by VANA in Zimbabwe. ([email protected])

Daniel Hatton Board Member & Sustainability Coordinator

Daniel Hatton is a husband and father of four. A firefighter, wood machinist and surfer. He and his young family moved to the VANA Chivhu Project in Zimbabwe for a year in 2015 where his love for growing food and sustainability has helped set up several integral sustainability projects in Zimbabwe (eg. bee hives, water harvesting, sewing & food production). Daniel is the Sustainability Coordinator for VANA and a member of the board.

Jenyne Christie Child Sponsorship Coordinator

As VANA's Child Sponsorship Coordinator, Jenyne Christie combines her administrative skills and her love for children. When you receive communication from Jenyne about your sponsor child, you will immediately appreciate her passionate heart towards the work she does. Jenyne can be contacted at [email protected]

Ruth Chipomho Admin Assistant (based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe)

Based in the city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Ruth provides vital support for VANA through administration and coordination of our in-country project partner’s organizational needs. Ruth is married to Tinashi and has a beautiful baby daughter.

About Us

VANA Childcare Ministries is proud to be a project partner with Global Development Group – the DFAT approved NGO responsible for approved aid and development project J710N.


VANA Childcare Ministries
ABN 75576738867

PO Box 342
Woombye Qld 4559 Australia

P: 1300 592 481

E: [email protected]

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Copyright © VANA Childcare Ministries 2017