For a change, I do have some good news! Thanks to the incredibly generous help from our donors, we will be able to feed our day scholars for the next term (three months from September to December).
Actually, that is about the only good news to come out Zimbabwe right now. Things are so chaotic and unpredictable on every front that I sometimes wonder if, coming as we do at the end of the alphabet, we might someday just drop off the planet altogether.
As a result of our not being able to control our own currency, we adopted the US$ around eight years ago. For a while all went well and the shops once again had food, though much of it was unavailable to the majority of our mostly unemployed populace. However, the temptation proved too much for our leaders who have managed to relieve the country of nearly all of its cash – to the point that banks have limited withdrawals to $100 per person per day, for those who have the time and the ability to stand in line for hours. Even then, this option is available only to those who live in the cities – not to rural people who have no access to banks. It is possible to move theoretical money around using mobile phones, but of course, many people do not have one, and although some rural outlets may accept that form of payment, they also demand a substantial purchase of goods before they will release even a minimal amount of cash (if indeed they have it).
The only people who are in a position to survive this situation, are those with foreign currency credit or debit cards, which are fortunately accepted by most outlets (with alacrity!)
Add the monetary disaster to the failure of the crops after last season’s drought, and you have a desperate and very hungry populace, who can see no end to their troubles.
Nothing is closer to Zimbabweans’ hearts than the education of their children, and they will sacrifice almost everything else to find school fees which, at $25 a term, are almost unaffordable for most of them. This is where the daily meal is so essential for their children, who not only have very little to eat at home but have to walk long distances to school and back every day.
So, that’s the update, and once again, very many thanks to all those who have given so generously so that these children can eat. What is more important than that?
The GVI Trust