Help Feed Hungry Children in Zimbabwe

by Action Change (Formerly GVI Trust)
Help Feed Hungry Children in Zimbabwe
Help Feed Hungry Children in Zimbabwe
Help Feed Hungry Children in Zimbabwe
Help Feed Hungry Children in Zimbabwe
Help Feed Hungry Children in Zimbabwe
Help Feed Hungry Children in Zimbabwe
Help Feed Hungry Children in Zimbabwe
Help Feed Hungry Children in Zimbabwe
Help Feed Hungry Children in Zimbabwe
Help Feed Hungry Children in Zimbabwe
Help Feed Hungry Children in Zimbabwe
Help Feed Hungry Children in Zimbabwe
Help Feed Hungry Children in Zimbabwe
Help Feed Hungry Children in Zimbabwe
Help Feed Hungry Children in Zimbabwe
Help Feed Hungry Children in Zimbabwe

Introduction 

For years, Zimbabwe has been devastated by political instability, economic crises, drought, high unemployment and the spread of HIV. Our project, lying far away from the political hub of the country, has been particularly hard hit. Our community schools presently have 400-day scholars, most do not have access to food and come to school hungry. Studies show that students are not able to learn when hungry and therefore can't learn and become ambassadors to break the poverty cycle.

Report 

So far this year we have been giving food parcels back to day scholars as the school closed again for lockdown. The cost of basic essential items have gone through the roof and sadly there has been no support from the government, so families are struggling even more. School is looking to re-open in March.

Thank you for your support

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Dear Supporters,

 

Over the past three months our school in Zimbabwe has been closed as COVID-19 caused a national lockdown, forcing students to stay at home, study over the radio and try to stay motivated and safe in the middle of a pandemic. As for the residential students, they have continued to receive support and nourishment. Due to the halt in operations, and the increase in hunger across the country Action Change (formerly GVI Trust) has helped where possible to continue to feed hungry children in Zimbabwe.

 

In the start of lockdown, many of the families which were living hands to mouth went into extreme poverty during a very short and rapid period. Not only did they no longer have access to the market to do the trading for the day to be able to put food on the table, but children could no longer go to school to get the one meal per day which was normally guaranteed for them. This has resulted in mass hunger in Zimbabwe where 60% of the population are food-insecure. This means that 60% of the population either does not know where their next meal will come from, or that the food they will get will not meet the minimum nutrition required for the day and things are expected to get worse. 

 

As we continue to support our school and community we have to do more and help respond to this national state of emergency. The cost of living continued to rise and with more people left without work communities found themselves in extreme poverty. To address this we worked together with local partners on the ground which had the ability to reach students regardless of the school operations. Through this initiative, we were able to distribute food parcels which included anything from maize, beans, oil and salt to soap and intimate sanitation products. This was to ensure that the children, who are often those first neglected in a crisis, got the support they needed to remain healthy during this global health crisis. The parcels were to supply food for the entire family for a couple of months, keeping them afloat until lockdown restrictions eased. Because of your gifts and donations we have been able to feed 280 people daily for two months with the distribution of food parcels. 

 

Whilst the parcels met the immediate need of reducing hunger within the country, Zimbabwe is still facing several dilemmas, one worse than the other. The country’s inflation rate is now as high as 766%, making it the second highest inflation rate in the world after Venezuela. This means that the most basic commodities are unaffordable to the majority of the people, making it difficult to not only survive the day but to make plans for the future. 

 

The children at our school and their families need your help more than ever. Together we need to support children in Zimbabwe to access affordable, nutritious and quick food to make it through the year and give families the opportunity to breath and make it possible for them to again become self-sufficient.

 

It is with your continued support that we can make an impactful and long-lasting change in the community by tackling the crucial issue of hunger. We are grateful for your generosity and it goes without saying that Action Change and all its donors play a vital and essential role in making a sustainable and impacting difference to the lives in Zimbabwe, and the environment which we call home.

 

Your choice to support what we do in the field daily not only provides financial assistance to the projects but helps to bring hope to the community. We look forward to welcoming new and existing donors to join us on this remarkable journey.

 

Every gift no matter how big or small is special to someone and really does save lives! 

 

Thank you, 

 

Tilda, Tyrone, Carly, Daniel, Chelsea and the whole Action Change Family! 

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Your Donations, New Kitchen = Happy Faces
Your Donations, New Kitchen = Happy Faces

Dear Supporters,

 

In October 2019 Carmela and Ronnie Pignatelli Foundation generously donated £2,500 to our Zimbabwe project. Our team is very grateful for this support and have been hard at working tackling global issues within their community with these funds. This report has specially been put together to showcase the difference these funds have made to our project.

 

The Project

GVI Trust with the support of our team have been working in Marula, Zimbabwe for a number of years. Marula is a very small rural town located south of Bulawayo near Plumtree. The local primary school has very limited resources and offers boarding and day scholars to 720 students in total. Government teachers are paid a government salary of $1,000 Bond per month which is around $37 USD a month and even with such a low salary the staff are dedicated to teaching the children to help break the cycle of poverty.

 

What we have done so far

Thank you to Carmela and Ronnie Pignatelli Foundation and our regular donors our local community had a smile on their face recently. At long last the school got a much needed kitchen for the day scholars, the school employed two local cooks that prepare and cook lunch for all 270 day schools each day of the school year. This task takes them hours - they cook in four huge cast iron three legged pots, stirring massive amounts of sticky maize meal porridge with their special sadza sticks; the children line up to serve according to age, starting with the youngest, and then finally they clean up and go home with often the only meal of the day. For years these cooks have been working in extremely unhygienic conditions, holed up in a tiny room with blackened walls, choking on smoke from an open fire.

 

With the support of the donations we have been able to fund the new kitchen being built and put into action. Complete with doors to keep the goats out and proper ventilation we have one very happy and safe team. This is not the only good news. Thanks to your donations, the pantry is full of provisions that should last the children for the next 2-3 months - soya chucks, sugar beans, soup, salt and oil and 1.5 tonnes of mealie meal (ground maize) the staple diet of Zimbabwe.

 

Zimbabwe is battling it’s worst drought in 40 years, and is in the midst of an economic collapse pre COVID-19. Before lockdown about 8 million people, or more than half the population, in need of food aid, the majority of them in our province, the driest of them all.

 

What is next...

We continue to support our community and students through COVID-19 and are preparing for accelerated learning requirements for our day scholars as they return to school. We predict a much higher rise in price for food supplies in the future and with the drought having no signs to improve we are preparing for a need of more vital resources for our school as well as a request for support from our newly opened secondary school.

 

Thank you! 

From all our day scholars, teachers, community team and the staff at GVI Trust we would like to thank you for your continued support to our project. Every donation really is making a huge impact in Marula!

 

Zimbabwe Education

Your Donations, New Kitchen = Happy Faces
Your Donations, New Kitchen = Happy Faces
New Kitchen
New Kitchen
Old Kitchen
Old Kitchen
Old Kitchen
Old Kitchen

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Marula pantry
Marula pantry

Dear Supporters,

 

We’re all fed up with bad news. Zimbabwe used to be a leader in matters of Gloom and Doom - but that was long ago.  Now so much of the rest of the world is in turmoil, we barely rate a mention in the press. And that’s why we’re so grateful that our donors still care about one little school in faraway Matabeleland south.

 

So here’s the good news – at last we have a kitchen for the ladies who this term are cooking lunch for upwards of 270 day scholars every day of the school year.   This takes them hours – they cook in four huge cast iron three legged pots, stirring massive amounts of sticky maize meal porridge with their special sadza sticks;  the children line up to be served according to age, starting with the youngest, and then finally they clean up and go home.  And for years, the two ladies have been working under seriously unhygienic conditions, holed up in a tiny room with blackened walls, choking on smoke from the open fire.

 

Until yesterday, when the new kitchen, brick with a corrugated iron roof, open on all sides, complete with a door to keep the goats out, officially went into action.   

 

That’s not the only good news.  Thanks to our donors, the pantry is full of provisions that should last the children for at least two months – soya chunks, sugar beans, soup, salt and oil.  And once again, Nigel Weller of National Foods, has provided 1.5 tonnes of mealie meal (ground maize) the staple diet of Zimbabweans, free of charge. Right now, this is nothing short of a miracle.  

 

Zimbabwe is battling its worst drought in 40 years, and is in the midst of an economic collapse. That’s left about 8 million people, or more than half the population, in need of food aid, the majority of them in our province, the driest of them all. Some maize has been imported but right now, the supermarket shelves are empty, due to the Government cutting supplies to local millers by almost half.   

 

The reason given is “funding restraints” which is rather hard to understand since only a few months ago, the President (while constantly admonishing his people to tighten their belts), flew to the United States to attend the UN General Assembly.  As always, he chartered a luxury jet from Switzerland. His wife, keen to get there first for a spot of shopping and to promote her private charity, arrived a few days earlier with a state sponsored media team.

 

The cost of hiring the luxury jet was in excess of US$1.5 million, but for some reason it was nearly empty, as the President sent dozens of his aides on commercial flights.  All in all an estimated 75 to 90 hangers-on attended at a cost of around US$7000 each to the taxpayer.

 

But Government has its own methods of creative accounting.   Last week they published the Financial Adjustment Bill HB19 of 2019 in an attempt to offload US$10,6 billion onto taxpayers to cover borrowings that have been made without Parliamentary consent.

 

“How does a government blow $8 billion in just two years and preach austerity at the same time?” asked the Leader of the Opposition. It’s a fair question.  

 

The teachers at Marula school receive a monthly government salary of $900 local currency, the equivalent of US$36 a month, but they are still in their classrooms doing the best they can with no support and few materials. They and the rest of the courageous people of this country are its strongest asset and they deserve all the help they can get.

 

Thank you for taking care of their children.

 

With Gratitude,

 

Zimbabwe Education

Marula Kitchen
Marula Kitchen
Marula Kitchen
Marula Kitchen
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Dear Supporters,

 

In July, the Trust team went on a site visit to Marula School!

 

Driving up to the school, we could see the new gate in all its glory! If you can recall, the old gate was reversed into by an army truck and had to be removed, allowing all the local goats to come roaming in, and feast on the school’s vegetable garden. Thanks to you, and your generous donations, the new gate had been erected - and boy does it look great!

 

We were warmly welcomed by Mrs Dube, the principle of Marula, who took us on a tour around the school. We visited each classroom, greeted by the happiest little faces - Despite their circumstances, the kids of Marula are such little rays of light, with the most impeccable manners.

 

We were then taken to see the new kitchen, at this stage it was just a foundation in the ground, but this allowed us to see first hand just how terrible the current working conditions were - a two meter by two meter room, no windows and one door. The fire is set up on the floor in the middle of the room with two big pots over it - you can only imagine the heat and smoke that bellowed out. The two cooks were mixing ‘pap’ (a tasty traditional African meal) with a giant wooden spoon, sounds easy right? Wrong.. The strength it takes whip the pap around fast enough before it burns at the bottom of the pot, is unbelievable!

 

We then visited the vegetable garden that the teachers, and children have been working very hard at growing. When available, the veggies are used for lunchtime meals, which was exciting for everyone! The day scholars walk miles in the early hours of the morning to get to school, and the meals provided at lunch are often the only time these children will get to fill their tummies with a nutritious meal.

 

To top off a great (but very eye opening) day, we were spoilt by the school choir, who sang a few songs for us. It truly made us incredibly proud to be involved in such a driven school, despite their hardships, pulling together in every way they can to make Marula the school it is.

 

A lot of this is thanks to your continued support and without you, we would not be able to support such a deserving school.

 

So with a full heart, Thank you!

 

Zimbabwe Education

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Organization Information

Action Change (Formerly GVI Trust)

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
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Project Leader:
Tyrone Bennett
London, London United Kingdom
$160,493 raised of $200,000 goal
 
5,900 donations
$39,507 to go
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