Zimkids News - May 2016
Overseas Volunteers and Wacky Sponsored Events
Earlier this month a Mum and Daughter team from Morden flew out to Zimbabwe to help us on the ground. They were a real asset to the team and are keen to go back when they can raise the funds again! Here's a short article from Ruth where she shares her experiences...
My visit to Zimbabwe
Overall I found Zimbabwe to be a beautiful country with stark contrasts between the few very rich and the many very poor. Unemployment is at 90% and as all schools charge fees the majority of children can’t afford to attend. Where possible, Zimkids will partially fund a child through school.
Mornings were spent in some of the township schools which have been set up by Zimkids. Facilities varied from one which had a room and a blackboard to another where the children just gathered under a tree. Lessons were of the most basic; reading, writing and counting, learning the days of the week and months of the year. Zimkids trains women in these areas to teach and oversee the education programmes. As there are so few resources it can sometimes be a challenge to do this. One of our goals in the fortnight was to teach them 'right' and 'left'. We taught them the hokey cokey and they loved it!
Mid-morning a peanut butter sandwich and drink of squash is provided. Most of these children are malnourished and small for their age. Their diet consists mainly of vegetables so peanut butter is a good source of protein. There are no bathrooms so hand washing is very basic. (You really don’t want to know about the toilet arrangements!)
Some afternoons we spent gardening. Families are given the seeds, loaned an area of land and taught farming methods. The vegetables are then sold and the families given a percentage of the profits. They are then encouraged to start growing their own crops and become self-sufficient.
Other afternoons were spent on home visits. This is Memory who lives with her brother, grandmother and uncle in a small 2 room house. There is no furniture beyond one blanket, a stool and a few storage boxes. Cooking is done outside on a fire. Zimkids have helped them plant a vegetable garden containing tomatoes, beans and spring onions. What they don’t eat they can then sell. The 2 children attend one of the Zimkids schools.
The best experience of the time there was hearing the children sing, loudly and enthusiastically, “There’s no one, there’s no one like Jesus” Having read that morning Psalm 8:3, “Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies.” And on our last day there the children gathered round us and prayed for us. They spoke in Shona, we couldn’t understand a word but it didn’t matter. We felt really blessed. These kids have so very little but their enthusiasm for Zimkids and God can sometimes be overwhelming.
Meanwhile in Jordan...
Also this month one of our fabulous Shamwaris, Ginny, crossed deserts, climbed mountains, swam in the Dead and Red Seas, edged round Wadis on narrow ledges with sheer drops to rocks below, struggled over boulders and slipped down scree in Jordan! Ginny did all of this to raise funds for Zimkids.
She says "The trip was a real challenge physically and psychologically but I had a real sense of achievement - especially doing it for for Zimkids - it kept me going when the going got (really) tough.
We love you Ginny, thank you :)
So, if you fancy a trip out to Zimbabwe or you feel inspired to get involved in some kind of sponsored event....get in touch!
Until next month...
Lauren and the UK team