Dear Friends of Zimkids,
As summer approaches in the States and winter is making its way to Zimbabwe my wife Elli and I are returning to New York for six months. I leave Zimkids in the hands or our extremely capable team of local trustees, Sipho, Tinashe and Prosper and our Council of Elders. All activities, distributions and medical monitoring continue. On June 8th I begin meeting with our friends in the States with a visit to Ramaz School in New York City. We have a pen pal project with some of their students and Zimkids. I plan on visiting many locations throughout the States including Alaska for fundraising. I begin in earnest in September with occasional meetings over the summer. Please note I do not use donated funds for travel. If your school, club, church or synagogue is interested in hosting us or establishing a connection with Zimkids please contact me at email@example.com or call me at home at 607-326-3301 after June 1 and we can make arrangements.
A few quick updates:
· We are continuing our monthly outreach to the squatters living at the city dump. Our last visit included our Council of Elders and their mentees - 28 Zimkids in all.
· We have added beef to our monthly food distribution. Depending on the number of beneficiaries in a family we provide 20 – 30 KG mealie meal, 2 – 3 kg beef, 1 liter peanut butter, 2 -3 kg dried beans, 1 liter cooking oil and fruit and vegetables per month.
· The school term ended in early April. Following examination of the children’s report cards 21 Zimkids qualified for payment of their school fees. They had to be in the top five of their class. Of the 21, 12 had never scored that high.
· Mpilo Hospital, which is where children go to be tested for HIV, had agreed come to Zimkids to test all our beneficiaries. When we went to pick up the nurse they cited jurisdictional problems and declined to test unless we transported all the kids to them – an arduous, lengthy and expensive process. So we purchased the HIV testing kits (45 cents each) and Dr. Sashka Macsimovic, our volunteer physician, agreed to come and conduct the tests. We tested 102 children. Two were found to be positive for HIV. We are now assisting those two as well as those previously testing positive with transport and assistance with treatment.
· We met with an official of the city land department and with his assistance have selected a plot of land large enough for a community garden and activities field with access to adjoining land (rent with option to buy). It now heads through the city’s departments for approval a long and arduous process. We have been told all will be finalized by the end of August.
· Our new video will be ready by mid-June and up on our website soon thereafter. The guardian bios and photos will be posted on our website by the beginning of July thanks to Hezvo Mpunga, our wonderful volunteer web designer in Toronto Canada.
· Should you wish to send packages to Zimkids send in care of Tinashe Basa, 14 Chapman Road, P O Burnside, Burnside Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Mailing time takes at least six weeks.
Finally we thank all our donors for their kindness, generosity and support.