About Us

All about us?  Here goes!  Gogo Olive was set up in late 2008 as a response to the huge unemployment problem in Zimbabwe (it currently stands at around 97%), at a time when conditions in the country were particularly difficult.  As well as creating employment for local women the aim is to give them hope as they have the opportunity to use their craft skills to build a future for themselves and their families.  Our vision is to enable Zimbabwean women to journey into the fullness of life for which God created them.

Knitting was chosen as it only requires basic materials and can be done anywhere and at anytime, which suits the lifestyle of a Zimbabwean woman!

We began as a small group of 6 women and following the success of this group we have expanded to involve more ladies and work alongside different groups to try and support as many women as possible.  We aim to identify those who are most in need.  There are now around 60 knitters from four different projects in 3 different areas of Zimbabwe.

Gogo Olive has recently developed into 2 sections – Gogo Olive KNITS - the income generating knitting business and Gogo Olive CARES – looking at how we can holistically meet the needs of the ladies.  More information about how these work can be found below.



Gogo Olive started as a simple vision of a group of women singing and laughing together while creating things with their hands – this vision is fulfilled every time we meet together!  I was living in Zimbabwe working alongside a local Church and I kept meeting with ladies who were making beautiful products but with no way of marketing them or knowing what would sell well outside of Zimbabwe.  I had some basic experience or working for some friends of mine as they built up their craft business on the island of Westray in Orkney, Scotland and I’ve always loved design and making things with my hands so the idea started to form that maybe there was an opportunity to work with some of these ladies.


GOGO knits

Gogo Olive KNITS recognises the sense of purpose and worth that having employment brings as well as the obvious financial benefits.  Being a part of Gogo Olive gives our ladies the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families and to experience the independence that comes with this.  AND we believe that a lot of fun can be had along the way.



Ruth says: My first introduction to Zimbabwe came in 1999 when I got an opportunity to do my Occupational Therapy university placement at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare. I fell in love with Africa.  I don’t think I was expecting Zimbabwe to be so beautiful or the real sense of community and family that I experienced.  Over the years since my first visit, I have followed the news of the many injustices that this country has had to suffer and I suppose I have felt frustrated at not knowing how to fight against the wrongs that have been done.  This is why I love what Julie has achieved with Gogo Olive.  Gogo Olive is actively making a difference in many lives in Zimbabwe, bringing a real hope for the future.


GOGO projects


The Gogo Olive ladies come from 4 different projects in 3 different areas of Zimbabwe.  Enter the projects section to find out more about these projects and the impact they are having on their communities