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