For the Faith and in the Service of Humanity

St John Association of Zimbabwe

Who we are

The St John Association of Zimbabwe dates from 1920 when two members of the National Railways staff began teaching first aid from St John manuals.  The first St John Centre was formed in 1925 in Bulawayo to meet the needs of railway staff for such training.  Units of St John were set up in Bulawayo and Hwange during 1936 followed in time by the establishment of centres and divisions in Harare, Gweru and Mutare. The National Council of St John Zimbabwe was established in 1981 following independence.

Over the years, St John Zimbabwe has developed cordial and deep relations with firms in commerce and industry and chief among them is the National Railways of Zimbabwe.

The St John Association is registered as an NGO under welfare number 1/68.

Our mission is to prevent and relieve sickness and injury and to act to enhance the health and well being of people of all races and creeds in Zimbabwe.

The head office of St John Zimbabwe is in Harare.  Two functioning centres operate from Bulawayo and Mutare.

As of 2010, St John Zimbabwe has 396 active adult volunteers, 503 youth volunteers and 248 below the age of 15 who collectively gave 19,454 hours of service throughout the year.

Zimbabwe at a glance

Zimbabwe, officially the Republic of Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in the southern part of the continent of Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It borders South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east. The name Zimbabwe derives from "dzimba dzemabwe" meaning "houses of stone" in the Shona language. Its use as the country's name is a tribute to Great Zimbabwe. The capital of Zimbabwe is Harare.

As of 2012, Zimbabwe has an estimated population of 12,619,600 of which 1.2 million are living with HIV/AIDs (2009); 14.3% of the population (2009). Zimbabwe's economy is growing despite continuing political uncertainty. Following a decade of contraction from 1998 to 2008, Zimbabwe's economy recorded real growth of 6% in 2011. However, the government of Zimbabwe still faces a number of difficult economic problems, including infrastructure and regulatory deficiencies, ongoing indigenization pressure, policy uncertainty, a large external debt burden, and insufficient formal employment. As of 2011, the country ranks 173 out of 187 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index. 

What we do

Ambulance Services:

St John Zimbabwe operates a subsidized and therefore affordable ambulance service in Greater Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare.  We have agreements in place with medical aid societies and also with several companies to cater for the needs of their sick or injured employees day or night. As of 2010, St John Zimbabwe has 4 ambulances which offers a Patient Transfer Service and Emergency Ambulance Service.  In 2010, St John Zimbabwe treated 408 patients.

First Aid Training: We run weekly first aid courses from our modern training centre for individual members of the public and for members of industry in Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare.  The courses are in great demand and there is often a waiting list.  We have plans to expand our training centres to other parts of the country.

In 2010, St John Zimbabwe trained 2,088 adults in First Aid as well as 254 children and young people. The association ran the following course:

  • Emergency First Aid
  • First Aid Caring for Babies and Children
  • Lifesaver International First Aid (LIFAC)
  • First Aid for School Children

Training in Home Based Care:Our courses in Home Based Care are equally very popular.  In view of the HIV and AIDS pandemic, many families register for this course to help them in looking after their loved ones who are infected and affected by this deadly disease. In 2010, 848 people were trained in Home-Based Care.

Public First Aid Duties: This service by our uniformed volunteers complements the training side of our work. Uniformed St John members operate from their centres around the country. They are unpaid volunteers who give many hours of their time in the service of humanity. You will probably see them at football matches, school sporting events and company sporting functions. The volunteers are trained to give first aid to any injured person or rush an injured or sick person to the nearest hospital for medical attention.

Schools Programme: St John Zimbabwe is proud to run this unique programme in Africa. We teach First Aid to students from the age of 8 onwards and after their qualification we provide further training in related subjects. We also train the teachers who in turn train their students.  The syllabus is especially tailored to meet the needs of schools and their students.


As well as the above, in 2009 St John Zimbabwe assisted in the Cholera Epidemic by providing Cholera Treatment Centres and a Cholera Education Programme and ran:

  • A Health Education Programme
  • Hygiene and Sanitation Projects

Links with other organisations

St John Zimbabwe has enjoyed an active link with St John in the county of Buckinghamshire in the Priory of England for a number of years.

The Priory for South Africa has recently assisted St John Zimbabwe with additional training in Home Based Care.