Still in lockdown, semi-lockdown or just social distancing? So much controversy about what we, our neighbors, community, government and world should be doing to protect, treat and rid ourselves of this pandemic. One moment ‘this’ seems sensible, and the next moment ‘that’ makes more sense. Reports from Zimbabwe are vague and many citizens don’t trust the reports, as our government seem to be using the virus as an excuse to control the distress that the lockdowns have caused. While we are still in South Africa with no easy access to returning home yet, we are thankful for our church community back home, who have helped us with sourcing and delivering necessary items and salaries for the staff, on the farm, who are holding things together until we can get back.
Meanwhile things are moving forward on the farm and many of last year’s ‘babies’ are now ready to produce babies of their own and be re-homed into the community. We are hoping to re-home 7 or 8 in the next month. Diamond, Thando and Talent (our chat group is called ‘The Three Amigos’!) have been watching for suitable homes as they move around the community and evaluate those that may ‘fit the bill’. From our original beneficiaries we are starting to receive the required 3 goats back onto the farm that will then release beneficiaries from their contract with AFCA. The does will meet one of the bucks and as soon as they are pregnant will also be re-homed. It is a busy time and the Three Amigos are being stretched – and enjoying the challenge! Nine kids have been born on the farm since we left in February for the USA, and many more in the beneficiary homes. It has been hard missing all the new arrivals! Fortunately the ‘Amigos’ send me regular updates and photos of how they are growing and developing.
Our sewing club was sponsored through our website to make hundreds of masks from donated fabric, which we have received over the years, a lot from visiting AFCA groups. What an amazing way to use up scraps as well as larger pieces of fabric. It has been a blessing for the club, as their usual small income has been affected this year with the cancellation of all our visiting teams. The club’s main sales are from these groups. So when we saw the window open for the opportunity to make masks for the community we leapt through it. They made masks and gave them out in the community, to their neighbors and friends who had no money to buy masks when the government made the wearing of masks compulsory. Thank you to those people who follow us and made a donation towards this project.
Harvesting of our one bee-hive had to happen and Talent bravely donned the bee-suit and successfully harvested the hive. We are hoping to introduce a bee project in the community in the near future and ran a workshop some months ago to see the interest people might have. It was popular and Talent has been to a couple of further workshops. He is showing a natural ‘talent’ for it.
Gardening has been continuing despite the bad drought. Not a drop of water is wasted in the whole community. It is too early for the hope of rain, but we are already praying for a good season this year. Diamond shows a small crop of potatoes that he harvested from imported seed; the very tasty purple potato that Tanya introduced to us a few years ago.
Before we sign off, we would like to say thanks again to AFCA and all the generous donors who are enriching the lives of the vulnerable families in the Matobo community.
Everyone here at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS, and our partners in Africa, thank you for your continued support of this important project. If you would like to learn even more about this project and others, please contact Tanya Weaver at tweaver@AFCAids.org.