Nomqhele comes from Payi in Ntepe area. She is a form three student who is looking after her grandmother (Cristina Nyathi, 78years old). Nomqhele’s father died in 1995 when Nomqhele was still being breastfed by her mother, who has since passed away, as well.
This small family received three goats from AFCA in late 2010. Since then, two goats have given birth and the family has seen an addition of four kids to their flock! The goat milk is used in their tea and to drink with dinner, which has improved their health and has filled their bellies. Manure is used in their vegetable plots, allowing Nomquele and her grandmother to eat better meals, complete with vegetables they grow themselves. Some of these veggies include tomatoes, pumpkins, peanuts, beans, peas, onions, and kale.
Besides their improved health, Nomqhele says her status in the community has improved as she is now regarded as the livestock owner by other members of the community. This is MASSIVE in a culture dominated by men and Nomqhele's future looks promising as she continues her training in husbandry (also part of what AFCA does) and basic veterinary skills.
Since Nomquele and her grandmother are not allowed to slaughter the goats until three years since their gift has passed, we supplement their diet by providing ATMIT - an oat based porridge. Together with ATMIT, the milk and the vegetables, Nomquele is doing well. Thank you for your part in this. Thank you for caring for children like Nomquele and for giving her a better life now and a chance of a future.
Happy New Year to you and your loved ones,
Day by day things are changing in Zimbabwe. While a difficult government is still in place, hope is seen in different sections of the country. One of the exciting ones is the fact that children are now being set up to be self-reliant, with sustainable food sources, thanks to you.
While you have been helping provide for the food needs of children, we've been hard at work donating goats, chickens and seeds so that children learn how to grow and maintain flocks of animals and vegetable gardens. The eggs and milk produced by their animals is of immediate relief for those who've been malnourished for too long. In fact, all the children in every one of the sustainability projects we've embarked on in Zimbabwe has gained weight and is now considered to be in the healthy weight zone. How exciting is that?
Check out the attached photos of some of the food we sent, along with a photo of one of our chicken beneficiaries (David is a head of household at 15 years of age).
During this holiday season I wish you all the best and much joy in your own lives,
I can't believe that it is time to plan my visit to Zimbabwe! As usual, I am so excited to get back there and to see, talk and play with the children whom we support. In fact, my family and I will move to Zimbabwe for three months next summer because I want my children to get to know the kids they've heard about all their lives.
Zimbabwe is one of my favorite places on earth, even though it might be a little sad and broken. When people ask me why I like Zimbabwe, I simply envision the people I've met there - their tenacity and will to move forward, no matter what is put in front of them. Hard working and with a smile on their face, they are a symbol of grace during a very difficult time in their history. I love hearing them sing in 6 part harmony - so effortless and so gorgeous! I like eating their food, hearing their stories, and traveling through their incredible land. What a beautiful country Zimbabwe is!
So, of course, it is with such joy that I can report that children are doing well - that they are eating the ATMIT we sent, that they are receiving the medicines they need, that girls are attending school thanks to the feminine products we've sent them, and that they are growing up. Yes, they are growing up and I can't wait to see them to hear their stories from the past year and to see how the goats and chickens we gave out are doing. I am excited to see lives changed!
Thank you all for making our work in Zimbabwe possible. If you can, please tell others about what we do there. We need many, many people to care for the children in that amazing country because we want all those children to dream of their futures, knowing they are possible.
On behalf of the children,
The four containers of ATMIT (easily digestible oat porridge loaded with vitamins and minerals) have arrived in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe! The week prior to arrival, it is always a nail-biting week because we simply don't ever know how the goverment of Zimbabwe will react to this humanitarian gift. But, thankfully, we've never lost a container, no matter how many hoops we have to jump through to make sure the food arrives.
Now, sitting in our partner ZOE's warehouse, we have food for 400 orphan families for 3 entire months. WHOO HOO! Really, what is better than knowing that little ones can have a warm, decent meal twice a day? Folks, please realize what you've done by donating to this project: you've assured these kids of one of the basic necessities of life - one that we take for granted in our corner of the world. We can eat as many times a day as we want to, even if it is something small, like a carrot or something decadent, like cheesecake. If we don't have time to cook, we have restaurants, fast food joints, supermarkets, and pizza shops to go to. Amazing, isn't it?
I am always reminded of how blessed we are when I visit the kids. Some of the kids had no food when I first met them. Some were literally mixing water and dirt to make little mud pies, which they'd wash down as dinner. Now. they are SO grateful for the nutritional support we send! They've gained weight, they are back in school and they have hope.
All that said, I want to thank each and everyone of you for your generosity and for your care for children who are so far away.
Four new containers, each containing 800 50-pound bags of ATMIT (easily digestible oat porridge, full of minerals and vitamins) have left our hands and are on their way to Bulawayo, for the orphan families. The containers should be arriving in Zimbabwe in a month or so and the food will be distributed by our friends from Zimbabwe Orphans Through Extended Hands (ZOE) to the kids.
It makes me very happy to know that even in this tough economy, we have kept our work and have sent the food these kids so desperately need. But, I would be remiss to say that i hasn't been hard and that we haven't had to fight for every penny it cost to get those containers out. There is never a question in my mind that we need to fulfill our promises and that our plans should always move forward, no matter how much we have to beg, plead, and move mountains. Thank God, each child is receiving what we said we'd send and they are able to take their medicine because they have food in their bellies.
Thanks to each of you for giving generously. Thank you for telling others about our kids and about our work, too!
On behalf of the kids,
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