Asina Dube a 75 year old guardian from the village of Sizeze. She was all smiles when she received her fortified porridge because she knows exactly what it means. You see, she takes care of three grandchildren:
Asina Dube has seen hardship and sorrow since watching hopelessly as her children died from cholera, hunger and HIV. She says she was encouraged by the gift of food when she received her portion of porridge. She kept saying over and over ‘May God bless His servants who sent this porridge’.
The best part was watching her laugh and dance all over the grounds, singing her made up song "since God’s servants came from far, the hunger has gone away’. She narrated how she was very worried about her small grandchild who needs food which builds his body. When we explained that this porridge had all the vitamins and all the goodness the little one needs, tears of joy rolled down her face. “Don’t worry my children, these are tears of joy. I had nothing to give my grandchildren, especially the little one. We are so grateful for this gift.
The grandchildren of Asina had received 3 goats last year and now, they have five goats including 2 kids born late last year. She and the older children have been caring for the goats and they milk them to feed her youngest grandchild. She adds that even the older ones get to have milk in their tea, which helps with the hunger pains. She says’ I want to meet these people who have saved my life and my grandchildren’s lives by sending this porridge and these goats’.
Note: AFCA requires that orphans and guardians sign a contract which states that they will not sell, barter or eat their goats for three years, giving the animals a chance to grow and reproduce, establishing a herd. This is a very difficult thing to accomplish in times of hunger, so this family was gifted with porridge to help them meet their goal of becoming farmers who can fend for themselves, even in times of famine. Thanks to your donations, they are going to do it because their goats are alive and everyone should make it through this difficult time of hunger.
If you'd like to learn more about what we do, you want to volunteer or you are looking for other ways to help more people like Asina and her kids, please contact me at tweaver@AFCAids.org. We need you!
In 1984, a group of renown musicians got together to sing. It wasn't just any song they sang and they didn't sing it for a particular audience. No, they sang to raise awareness and funds for the people of Ethiopia because millions there were in danger of starvation. Click here if you want to listen. Now, don't laugh when you see the hairstyles, makeup and outfits worn in the 1980's!
Now, in 2013, there is a hunger that is stalking another country: Zimbabwe. Thankfully, the situation isn't as severe as it was in Ethiopia in 1984, but it IS severe and children no longer can walk to school because they are too weak to do so. Children and elderly people are dying because they just don't have enough food to carry them through another day. My heart breaks for them and I pray for rain and for hope for them.
During this holiday season we can all get together and do something to help others. While we celebrate with food, family and friends, we can also celebrate the giving of life to others who just don't have what they need to survive for much longer. Will you join us in giving hope?
For $1500, we can deliver enough food to feed 256 children and guardians for an entire month. Surely, together, we can do this...we can share of our riches so that children in our programs can make it though this terrible time. When they come out on the other side of it, we'll be there with seeds and livestock, ready to teach them how to grow veggies with little/no water so that next time the rains don't come, they are able to eat and survive without external help.
If you have questions or want to do more with our organization, write me at tweaver@AFCAids.org. I am here to help.
Happy Holidays, all,
It is with deep sadness that I read a report about the food situation in Zimbabwe. Here it is: http://www.trust.org/item/20130906111437-9zysp/?source=shem I have a hard time understanding how some of us have so much and others have so little. It is hard to wrap my head around the fact that children will be hungry while we throw food away and complain because we want more choices.
But, there is a silver lining around my thoughts - because of you and of AFCA, there are 628 orphaned families who are eating this season and they are eating balanced meals, at that. That means, there are over 3100 children and guardians that get up in the morning to milk their goats, gather eggs from under their chickens and who gather vegetables from their gardens. Yes, times will be tough for them with little water, but, with planning and proper mulching and water conservation, I trust they will all get through this next drought healthfully and full.
What about the other children, though? There are 1,800,000 orphans in Zimbabwe and all of them should eat. None of them should perish due to lack of food. Now is the time to do more, to dig deeper and to help out the others. AFCA is expanding our programs to include two more villages in Zimbabwe, but we need your help (and that of your friends) to make it possible. We'd like to purchase and deliver more goats, chickens, guinea fowl, seeds, and hope. Will you help us? Let's rally together during this last part of the year and do more for more children. This will be the cry of my heart as we march into the holiday season - let's give kids on the other side of the world the chance to celebrate life, too.
We are taking our first volunteer team to Zimbabwe in June 2014. We'll be finishing the construction of a school and will be building arborloos. Come join us, visiting this magnificent country and see what you've helped us accomplish. If you are interested in being part of a Volunteer with a Purpose team, email me at tweaver@AFCAids.org and check out our website (VWP tab) to find out more. We have space for 16 people - why not be one of them? Families welcome.
She is 15 years old and has a dream. She dreams of continuing her education so that she can, one day, provide for her 3 younger siblings and her grandma. She dreams of one day moving to the big city of Bulawayo so she can attend the university there and become a doctor. She dreams of getting married one day and of becoming a mom.
Not so long ago, Fatima dreamed of eating enough food and not going to bed hungry.
While not all her dreams have come true yet, by all signs we see, Fatima will be able to accomplish some of the goals she's laid out before her in the very near future. As the proud owner of a herd of goats which she's taken care of thoughout the last year, she is well on her way of accomplishing her dream of eating well - she couldn't believe how good milk is when she first tried it! With the veggie garden her family is growing, thanks to the seeds we sent them. Fatima and her siblings and grandma have added kale, beans, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, and onions to their diet, as well. This makes her happy, as she no longer goes to bed hungry and she doesn't hear her siblings complaining of stomachs that are painful in their emptyness.
She is learning how to save seeds for next year's garden and knows that as long as she is careful, they won't lack for vegetables again. With training in conservation farming behind her, she is a wiz at mulching and fertilizing her small garden, showing me how it is done. I am so proud of her. I am so proud of these kids who, against all odds, are moving ahead, providing for themselves and getting out of the cycle of poverty.
While visiting her last week, I asked to see her goats and she showed them to me with a small smile of satisfaction on her lips. I did the happy dance which is translatable in any language without the need for words. We danced together and together, we continue to dream big for Fatima and her loved ones.
Mduduzi Ngwenya is 15 years old. When he was six months old his father died. Soon thereafter, his mother died, leaving him in the care of Shadreck Ngwenya, his grandfather, who is now 84. They live in a the small village of Sizeze, which is not too far from Bulawayo, a major city in Zimbabwe. Being relatively close to a big city has been of no advantage to this small family, as it might as well be a million miles away - they have no transportation or money to get there.
Mduduzi wants to be a businessman and dreams of helping his grandfather. With little money and no income, this family was selected to be part of our Livelihoods Program and they received three female goats. One goat has given birth to a very healthy kid who is three months old. The family is milking the goat and they are getting an average of 350mls of milk per day, which was only a dream a few months ago. The milk volume will increase with the improvement of range and forage since the start of the rainy season, which is fabulous! They can sell any additioanl milk they can't drink, earning some money to pay for other things, like soap, blankets, school fees, and meat. They are using the manure in their maize plot with very good crop stand, making them hopeful that the yield will be enough to sustain them through the upcoming winter.
Their other two goats are at advanced stages of pregnancy, which will help to grow their flock. Since they are not allowed to butcher, sell, trade, or barter their animals for three years, they should have a decent sized flock growing by that time. When asked what this gift of goats meant ot him, Mduduzi said “the goats have made a great difference in my life. We drink milk now, which gives me strength, as well as to my grandfather. Now my friends respect me as a livestock owner. In the next few years, from the way things are going, I will soon be the proud owner of a big flock.” For a 15 year old, what could be better than respect from his peers? Thank you for helping us give this boy exactly what he needs, right now, to have hope in the future, friends!
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