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

Project Report | Aug 31, 2018
Phumzile's Story of Hope

By Bookey Peak | Program Manager

Dear Supporters,

September in Matabeleland South. It’s dry and the hills are hazy with the smoke from wild fires. But there’s still water around – and the school now has a pump in the well that supplies three outside tanks, and a raised tank by the kitchen where they can store water from the local authority, when their pumps break down – which is frequently!

So, at last, we are facing the worst of the dry season with a good chance of a constant water supply.

The children have been on holiday for almost a month and sadly, during that time, they don’t receive their daily school lunch, as there is no way of organizing this. Still, the lorry full of supplies will be arriving in the next few days – and this will last them until the December holidays.  

Zimbabwe had its election – and despite the noises made by both sides, the result was inevitable. SOS, as they say, same old story – except that this time we have the army firmly ensconced behind the President. Nothing has improved since the “coup” – in fact, some things, like the supply of cash have become far worse. And the value of our “bond” money is being eroded away day after day, leading to runaway inflation.

Since there is no cash available, I have been unable to pay the two ladies who cook for the children at lunchtime. Some people can receive money via their phones, but since neither of the two ladies can afford a phone, the only way I could pay them was to go with them to the local store and buy them supplies.

As you may remember from past reports, we are hoping to use future donations to erect an outside kitchen, so they no longer have to spend hours every day choking on smoke in a small room. Unfortunately, they have to cook on open fires in enormous, three-legged cast iron pots, as there are so many mouths to feed.

A high spot was the visit to the school by Phumuzile – a 32 year old Wife and Mother of a two year old boy. She’s pictured here with a new girl to the school who was not all happy about it! Phumuzile was a village girl, and the village remains her rural home. There were nine children in her extended family, all raised and cared for by her mother, who laboured untiringly in the fields and seasonal gardens, while her husband worked in Bulawayo, many kilometres away – only managing to visit the family for one day on every second weekend.

The children helped with all the chores: laundry, field tilling and weeding, all the way through to harvesting, and Phumuzile says that through those skills, she learned the value of hard work.

The family could barely afford to send the children to the local rural primary school and if it had not been for the intervention of a new headmaster in Grade six, she would have gone no further than the local secondary school. But he recognized her talent, and managed to obtain funding for her to attend a Catholic boarding school. “It was strange,” she says. “Everything was new, electricity, stoves, toilets - everything. It was like starting a new life altogether, it wasn’t easy for me, I was so out of place.” But she soon settled in and, once again, excelled. This led to a degree in Forestry and Wildlife Management at the University of Science and Technology, and then to a Masters through Rhodes. She’s presently helping my husband, with a wide ranging project on Zimbabwe’s leopard population, and through that, she hopes to go on to to study for her PhD.  

But Phumzile’s real love is education and that is where she can make a huge contribution to this impoverished country. It’s all very well educating our children in Maths, Science, English and the like – but since only a very, very few of them will ever find a job, teaching them animal husbandry, land and wildlife management and all the associated practical skills will be of far greater use.  

“My greatest thrust is bridging the gap between research, management and education in natural resources conservation through the outreach and empowerment of the young generations and community involvement. Without the community, natural resources can only persist for so long. Looking back, I can just see the hand of God in my life, how he has brought people in and out, how he has put me in places I could only dream of. I have come this far because at some point someone believed in me, saw something in me and gave of themselves to see me move forward, even now. That has made me realise that I can do the same for others,” says Phumuzile.

With people of Phumuzile’s calibre working in our community, there is truly a reason for hope!

We would like to thank you for your continous support to our program and our mission! 

With Gratitude, 

Zimbabwe Feeding Program 

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Organization Information

Action Change (Formerly GVI Trust)

Location: London - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Tyrone Bennett
London , London United Kingdom

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