Hello and thank you to all our donors. With your assistance we continue to provide monthly food distributions (over $3,000/month) to our beneficiaries, medical assistance, as well as social, sports, and creative activities. We have several new programs at Zimkids.
We began an outreach program to the squatters at the city dump. The idea behind this was to impress upon our older children that assistance does not end with them, that it should continue with them assisting others in even greater need. The squatters at the dump lost their homes, everything they own and now live in squalor. Our Council of Elders (Zimkids ages 15-18) paid their first visit a month ago. Members of the Council are assigned to an individual at the dump to interview. To date they have interviewed over thirty people and voted to spend some of their money in their microcredit accounts to assist them with food aid. They are discovering the value of giving to others and are expressing gratitude for what they have. They also decided that each child in Zimkids make a special doll the proceeds from which will be dedicated to assisting the children of families who live in squatter villages.
We are now providing school fees for all children who score in the top ten of their class. We are unable to provide it for all our beneficiaries because it would cost us over $30,000 per year. So we decided to encourage them to work hard to get in the top ten of their class in order to get assistance.
Over the previous three months Zimkids trustees have conducted 134 home visits to assess need, evaluate our performance and further deepen the services we provide to our beneficiaries. We have finished more detailed and accurate biographies of the children, identified those with special medical requirements and taken them to doctors for treatment. We have provided 7 of our kids with glasses; treated worms, scabies, fungal infections, allergies, provided insulin and diagnosed two with heart disorders. We are almost finished with the biographies of our caregivers. They will be used to assist donors who may choose to help them with the tools needed to provide for their families. These biographies along with a photo of them and their Zimkids will be on our website in about 2 months.
The good news of the last three months is that none of our children have gotten seriously ill or died. But we lost three mothers ranging in age from 33 to 49 to complications from HIV/AIDS. As a result our child headed households increased to 6. As part of our effort to intensify medical oversight we are in the midst of conducting HIV tests for all Zimkids and any family members who wish to be tested. We have 14 previously diagnosed with HIV. To date we have discovered another three. We are also providing the households with guidance and assistance in dealing with their HIV infected child.
We have been unable to procure land from the City Council yet. The bureaucratic wheels have screeched to a halt. But we continue to prod.
We are continuing to film our activities as well the daily lives of some of Zimkids as part of an Israeli documentary project. We are also using that footage for a new film about Zimkids for our website and speaking engagement in the States.
We began a mentoring program for our Council of Elders matching them with people who work in the field they are interested in pursuing. They spent a day with their mentor at work. They will continue contacts as they pursue their education. We are bringing another 14 younger Zimkids on to be mentored in turn by the Council. We have conducted over 5 video Skype sessions with schools in New York, Florida and New Jersey and another with a school in Colorado in which a group of Zimkids and a group of American kids meet each other. Both groups benefit significantly from the exchange.
Finally we thank all our donors for their kindness, generosity and support. Should you have any questions, comments or suggestions please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. I am in Zimbabwe until the end of May when I return home to New York for 5 – 6 months. All Zimkids projects continue with the guidance and administration of out Trustees especially Tinashe Basa.
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Chair, Board of Trustees