An A-maizing Opportunity to Join Us!

With the rain here in the Northwest its hard to imagine a drought in Zimbabwe, but it is pushing hard on the residents to put food on the table. Besides the lack of maize, produce, and grains, a scarcity of rains and rising heat in many parts of Zimbabwe (including Hwange National Park, closer to Victoria Falls) has caused a crisis for elephants and other animals. I’m not including any of those links here because it’s just too graphic and heartbreaking.

Our villagers are seeing the challenges, and are currently asking for our help. El Niño is receiving credit for this lack of rainfall since October, reducing maize harvests country-wide by half. Here are some general links from last week:

SABC NEWS video in a region that looks much like Mhondoro landscape

To translate this to Mhondoro circumstances and our Nhimbe preschool and staff, we look at the cost of a bucket of maize. A bucket has been $6 and suddenly it became $12, and that is expected only to rise over the next year. This is devastating to the average resident. Reaching all of the Nhimbe villagers is outside of our reach, at least for the moment, but addressing the needs of the preschool and staff is within reason.

Our preschool uses 3 buckets a week to feed the 75 or so young ones. We had pre-purchased enough maize in December to get us through last week, and now suddenly we are in an urgent situation to find and buy maize to get us through March of 2025. We are hoping to get a reduced rate of $10/bucket because of buying by the ton. If successful, we will be overbudget, but happily able to feed the children.

Listen in to the children chillin’ on the porch.

124 buckets for the 13 months should have been $744 and instead would be $1,488. This is only the maize, which is the staple. The prices of other foods that go into the children’s varied preschool diet are also on a steep incline.An average family consumes 3 buckets a month. Our initial goal is to buy the 13 staff members 2 of those 3 buckets at a bulk discount so that they can purchase from Nhimbe over the next 13 months at a reduced rate. We are offering the leverage of the bulk purchasing power to them as a group. During the last 2 drought years we purchased thestaff maize, and you helped us cover the bill completely! This is a generous-sounding proposition to tackle for another year.

Once we completely secure the maize it will be 8 tons in 50 kg bags, to store at the Community Center (which is why we have guards) costing $4,800 for both the preschool and staff. Right now, we are waiting to hear confirmation that the money sent last week is finding the seller well-equipped to help us answer the concern.


If you are able to assist us in speaking to the needs of the preschool students and staff, everyone would be tremendously grateful. Besides offsetting the preschool purchasing (only $500 more costly than expected if we buy in bulk) you have the power to help the staff. With your donations:

  • we could eliminate the need for them to purchase the maize at all, if entirely gifted
  • they buy at an even more reduced rate
  • or they could be given some maize intermittently.

We are also researching whether we can locate some of the special drip hoses to set up more growing power for all concerned. Maize growing season is next November and we pray for rains. These drip hoses would be for produce of various sorts to help carry them through these hard times using their wells. For sure, they can grow more greens than currently is plausible. They are heading into winter, which will be cold and dry.

Whatever we might be able to do can carry a big impact. A drought on the edge of famine hits deep. Besides just plain going hungry, and the complete discomfort of that, malnutrition is actually a leading cause of death, and also how various diseases get a foothold in the first place.

The government isn’t set up to be able to reach the population with adequate help. The aid workers visited a month or so ago, requiring everyone to attend the meeting, and gave 4 people from each village something to take home (like beans and oil). 4 people?! A small village like Magaya’s used to be 30 families, and 130 families made up the largest village in Nhimbe, to give you an idea of what that means. Clearly the government is also feeling this pinch, and is quite overwhelmed.

Check out how well they are reciting!

Thank you so much for your continued support! We are doing our best to walk this path conservatively since the need is so great, and it’s only the beginning…we need to get through to 2025 harvest time next April when green mealies (green maize) can be roasted and enjoyed. Please always feel free to call or write with questions. 

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