2021 Year End Gratitude!

Thank you again for the continued support of Nhimbe for Progress through your positive thoughts, encouraging words and your generous donations, all of which have a direct affect on the future of the Mhondoro residents!

2021 is almost over and there is still time for fully tax-deductible donations. I’m moved on a regular basis by the larger spiritual backing, which keeps this all moving forward, because you and I, by ourselves, are not the bigger agenda.  When I’m troubled and can’t see the way forward, I keep turning it back to them, the Allies, whether that is all of our ancestors, the angels, the forces of Large Love emanating through God, or whatever (I work at not limiting this unlimited and indescribable grace). I remind them that they started this work, and they are responsible to keep it moving along nicely!  Its easy to get overwrought with concern when I put myself in someone else’s shoes, so just need to keep redirecting to clarify what is actually involved in transformation and change.  We just each do our part!

One of the incredible feats this year (among many) was your response when the villages were impacted by Cyclone Eloise.  At first, we thought we just needed to repair the Community Center so that school, MMC and other activities could continue.  But then, we realized that 22 families lost their wells due to the continued storms and pounding rain.  Through your assistance we were able to rebuild these wells in short order.  This is something great that ripples…it’s not just that they can get water for daily activities, but the health of each family member feels this lifestyle change.  Thank you for all the ways you contribute…Tatenda Chaizvo.

Isaac has introduced us to this resident whose family has benefited from Nhimbe for Progress services in Mhondoro, Zimbabwe since the beginning of our work there. Ancient Ways began this project in 2000, and has provided many programs to uplift the people since then.  In this video Tafanei Nyamainashe, from the Gore village, is explaining in Shona that he wants to thank Nhimbe for all of the assistance. His family started receiving help when huts were being built, school fees being paid for the children, along with uniforms for the students, and now, he has a well.  He wants to thank Nhimbe, and says “may you continue assisting us all!” 

We all appreciate that sentiment!  Thank you again for how you contribute to their lives, and to my life enriching the work into which I’ve chosen to put my creativity and Large Love.  I hope you know that thousands of people are all blessed by your generosity of spirit.  Each village resident’s life is enhanced in untold ways, which touches all of their extended family members throughout Zimbabwe and other places in the world. Watch for stories about these families, coming in 2022.

If you haven’t read the annual letters, here is a link to get you started, and if you haven’t yet donated  please feel free here!  Thank you all so much and have a wonderful and safe new year!

Preschool Graduates for Nhimbe 2021

Hoping you and yours are having a wonderful holiday season! 

If you haven’t checked out the last email from us, please do so now as it links you to all of the annual letter information!  Fully deductible donations can be made for 2021. Thank you to those who are reaching out during this busy time of year.  You do make the difference!  

Nhimbe for Progress Preschool is going into its 20th year and has been profoundly successful over the course of many challenges.  This year we found 37 preschoolers graduated, which is up from an average of 25, due to the convoluted school years since the beginning of Covid-19.  Many stops and starts have these children now ready to move on, ready for grade 1 at the schools nearby their homes. 

Boys and girls, by themselves, or with mother, or father, sharing in this big day!

We serve many surrounding villages beyond the core six that are primary to Nhimbe.  Any child who can get to our facilities is allowed to attend.  This may mean that the parents walk the child to and from school each morning and afternoon.  We are very grateful to be able to assist the entire population in the area with these services…and all because of your support!

The children always share what they are learning!

Here the child has a speech to give.

After introducing themselves, these three have a little dancing and singing routine to offer.

This next video feels very connected to the metaphoric nature of the culture and their language…Very creative story line about someone who has been mugged, and the good Samaritan who helps them get care.  The Shona children are always giving plays.

Another two children, each with demonstrated ability to share in public…very sweet. 

Fortunate Takaendesa has been at our school for many years.  She leads the children in much singing and dancing and does a great job.  Here she leads the children in reciting.  This video also gives an idea of the attendance, with parents on the ground, and the visiting official guests under the tent.  There was much competition this year for attendance, due to farming inputs being unexpectedly distributed by the government at the same time.

Isaac Maodzeka is our Building and Security manager.  Although he doesn’t work within the preschool program, he is always around supporting all activities.  You can see the new library and marimba huts being built in some picture backgrounds and it is his job to oversee that, as well as all well building.  He is here on behalf of the team, cheering them all on!

Febby Shava has been with us for 20 years as the head of the Nhimbe preschool.  Last year she also joined the ranks as the co-director of Nhimbe for Progress, handling all of the children and parent communication and support. She is doing a great job! Here she is encouraging the parents and emphasizing the foundational importance of early childhood development.  If you listen closely, you will hear her say “ECD” more than once.

Hope you have enjoyed the Nhimbe Preschool graduation story for 2021. This year, it has taken much more effort for them to send videos and pictures. There has been a combination of increased network difficulties due to the cyclone damage, continuing family business since Cosmas’ passing, as well as the normal challenges of working in rural Zimbabwe. For anyone who has been camping, you get the idea of what daily life entails. Rough, but doable ;*))

Thank you again for your ongoing support! Please click here to go to the website for immediate gratification!  We are doing our best to support them through some of the most intense times in their history.  Its because of you that we are able to do that!  Tatenda Chaizvo from all of those involved!

Your Annual Ancient Ways Letter is in your Inbox!

We are happy to share our annual report with you for 2021, as well as our plans for 2022. 

Many thanks to all of you who are part of the incredible team, which makes this wheel of progress move…We, throughout North America, and those in Zimbabwe, are so appreciative!

Please take a moment and catch up on the latest about our collaboration with the residents in Mhondoro.  If you need to come back another time to read in more depth, you can also go to the website and find “2022 Focus” on the menu bar.  Let us know if you would like hard copies to share – we have plenty available.  Our printer gave us a spectacular deal at 5 cents a page!  

With your help, we can do it!  It does take a village to raise a child, and a community to hold a vision for change and transformation.  You do make the difference!

Thank you for your time and attention.  Always feel free to reach out and talk to me about whatever is on your mind.  Be safe. Be well.  And, have a wonderful holiday season!

Jaiaen

Many Thanks for the Aid!

From the Nhimbe volunteers on the ground, to our board, and all involved, we are enormously grateful for the rapid response to our plea!

You have softened the blow of this harsh reality for them.  And of course, a lower stress level will certainly ripple into better care of the preschoolers and MMC youth, as well as the Community Center itself and how they provide services to the region.  Your generosity is amazing and has calculated out to give us the capacity to provide all 11 volunteers plus our two directors with one bucket a week from November 17th, next week, to carry them to the end of March!

Photo Credit-Lynne Swift

That implementation schedule is based on being able to locally source the maize at $6 a bucket, so purchasing without having to use petrol, and getting a better price for the bulk buy. We hope it unfolds in that manner, since working in Zimbabwe always brings surprises.

Green mealies will be coming by mid-March, which doesn’t sustain like sadza but is truly delicious with a touch of lime and salt.  The real maize will be coming out of the field in June, and we hope for a bountiful harvest for all. That crop carries them until 2023!

As always, you are incredible.  And, if some of you were still considering donating and are just a little slower to do so, please do so now! Go to: Volunteer’s Food Aid under 2021 and Early 2022 Urgency. – any further funds can be put towards extending the date, for example, another week or more?  In Zimbabwe, this kind of assistance means a great deal.  Their government will not be providing food, in all likelihood.  They are currently providing villagers some farming “inputs” as two bags of fertilizer and 20 kg of seed, at least in our local area.

Muda says, “A big thank you on behalf of the Mhondoro Nhimbe community to all who are assisting during this difficult period globally. Your love is most appreciated. May the spirits continue to guide you and your families in all you do. Tatenda chaizvo for all the Benevolence!!!!”

His heart-felt appreciation was felt through the network waves as he spoke from the other side of the earth.  Not only knowing that this side of the planet cares, I’m also imagining him having relief as the co-director, that those he is obligated to look out for will be in a better way, and that everything turns out okay, when one has the courage to speak. You can know that I’m relieved as well.  ;*))

This is the real-meal-deal and you are truly making a difference!  Tatenda Chaizvo! We thank you very much!

Food Aid for Nhimbe Volunteers!

(We’re sorry for the mis-post last night…working out the MailChimp interface ;*))

Today the villagers are facing another unusual hardship.  Due to the heavy rains last year at this time, as well as the pelting storms of Cyclone Eloise January 2021, crops were destroyed.  This translates into the average resident being unable to feed their families without purchasing maize, which costs around $6-7 per bucket.  A normal family uses about 1 bucket a week as it is the Zimbabwean staple.  In 4 months, by March/April (their autumn), they can harvest what they call “green mealies”, which is close to our corn-on-the-cob.  Those once left in the field become maize.

Photo Credit-Lynne Swift

The volunteers at Nhimbe are committed to spend more than half their day working at the Center, and so they really have no alternative income sources. They are given a stipend for their time. Other local residents can work their fields, sew, build and then barter.  Don’t get me wrong, our people are always busy looking for ways to make ends meet!  This food shortage has just stretched the proverbial rubber band beyond safety zones.

If you are able to donate even $25-30, that amount would sustain a family for 1 month.  Our goal is specifically to supplement this situation for those who are working at Nhimbe, due to their dedicated daytime hours, hence their outside available time is restricted.  $100 would take one of our volunteers through the hardest months.  We have 11 volunteer staff not counting our co-directors, Febby and Muda. That makes our minimum goal $1,100.

This is a rock-and-a-hard-place for us to request this aid, because our annual letter is forthcoming, just around the corner, where we share our 2021 progress as well as our hopes and budget for next year.  I ask that if you are limited on funds to offer at this time, please make our 2022 operations your priority.  And, if you can contribute something for this food shortage dilemma, we will send you a photo of the family you have sponsored! Please do so now! Go to: Volunteer’s Food Aid under 2021 and Early 2022 Urgency.

I know that this is an untimely request.  Our mission isn’t normally the same as famine relief organizations.  We have crossed that line in the sand three times in 20-plus years, twice with a variety of foods during famine, and once with mahewu, a maize-based drink for the children during a long drought.

We are looking to you for solutions – whatever is donated under this special food relief link (above) will determine their next 4 months.  Our coffers are at their lowest this time of year, just before we reach out again with next year’s plans.  We hope some of you have something extra to contribute, even $10.

My friends and family, as well as the folks on the ground there, are giving me courage to reach out to you today under these distressing circumstances.  And, I’m sure that with all of us, we will be able to make a difference!

Thank you again for your time reading this, and for whatever way you can help out!  Many blessings your way!

Many Thanks to Your Generosity!

Since we were awarded additional Community Center land by Chief Nherera, we are now blessed to have a space for the children’s outside activities. We knew it would cost $6,400 to cover the fence and equipment for this space, and now with only just over $300 we will have met the goal! Thank you!

I am amazed and touched by how you have come through for us, time and time again! The wild fire was so unexpected and left us all with our heads spinning…we’ve never had such a challenge before. Everyone is so grateful that we are on the mend!

Rolls and rolls…

If you were hoping to help us with this, now is a great time. We have allocated all unexpected funds received since the fire, which were identified as “greatest need” or specifically for the preschool, and would love to finish this fundraising step, so that our annual budget can stay firmly intact for running the regular programs.

Muda is in Mhondoro working overtime to take care of Nhimbe business as well as being with the family as they prepare for Cosmas’ special ceremony, the kurova guva, coming up next weekend. We will have more Nhimbe updates forthcoming, but for now I wanted to share our simple rolls-of-fencing photo. It’s very exciting growth!

Just prior to the fire, in our June board meeting, we had agreed to build two new huts, one for marimba, and one for the library to grow. Cement was purchased in Harare, bricks were delivered by the local donkey cart, and the foundation started. These huts were first held up by the COVID lock-down, and then by the penetrating attention that the fire had imposed.

After Cosmas’ ceremony we will be able to share more about all of the work being done, as well as get an update about the routine school and MMC activities going on with the youth and their well-being. The children and staff are both elated to be back to their educational focus...everyone there really understands that education equals empowerment. I’m a big advocate for more and complete information in every way with a vision that it would stop all war…simplistic. Thank you for your commitment as we work through the process of bringing you the latest…your support is greatly appreciated.

We are within close reach of our required target so please, if you are able, we are grateful. Either the side bar donation box, or the store link works well (we have done website repairs and are extremely happy to share that it is now a frustration-FREE operation). Accolades to our new tech volunteer from Cincinnati!

Thank you!

Exciting News for the Mask Tribe!

Please join us as we celebrate our work in Zimbabwe for yet another year!

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An amazing assortment of new African fabrics have been donated, as well as the efforts of two lovely women volunteers with superb sewing skills and artistic love for their work. Your decision to get a mask from us brings all of this together. 

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Here we are with the holidays budding, and thoughts of sharing love buzzing...how can we help you? 

123.TGO - The Teal and Orange Medallions?

Please check out the latest in the "Store" HERE.  The new 3-D style as well as the familiar pleated and fitted designs are clearly shown and easy to navigate with the shopping cart (rather than the old google sheet that we started last spring on a whim of "oh heck, lets give it a go...;*)) 

125.OYB - Something a little more dramatic for you?

We are uploading more pictures as they are finished, and until then there are fabric swatches ... you can see how incredible these turn out ... please reach out with any questions.

121.LB - Some of us can't resist the nuances of purple!

The latest news as well, is that you can request a child's size! Just email and you'll be in touch with the seamstress, who is adaptable and experienced with grandchildren, neighbors and the like, fitting those sweet little faces.

Thank you again for your continued support and encouragement!  All proceeds from these donations join our efforts to intervene in the lives of those in Mhondoro specifically with protocol for Covid-19.  If you haven't yet read about our vision, HERE is the overview, and HERE is the progress to date

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We are all enormously grateful for your interest in our particular products and services ... you choose the donation amount that fits your budget

(remember that online payments and mailing spend close to $5 of your precious contribution)

and its a bit like being a kid in a candy store...enjoy running up and down the aisle! 

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Your recurring generosity, friendship, and kindness has made all of this possible.  Tatenda Chaizvo!

PS Please watch for our annual letter in your inbox, giving you a snapshot of 2020-2021.

PPS Looking forward to pictures, video, and the story from Mhondoro? We hope so! Those on the ground are elated at what they have been able to do because of YOU!

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Candy Store?

Mhondoro Update and New 3-D Masks!

The new 3-D mask has been extremely well received, with a sense of more air available (less confining), better facial fit around the edges with a nice nose piece, beautiful craftsmanship, as well as a lovely array of designs woven into high-quality cloth.  Newly donated and purchased fabrics have found their way to the volunteers to wash, and then sew, sew, sew. They are available very soon in many fresh African patterns and colors!  Same unbelievable deal ... these masks, all yours on a donation basis, help us to raise awareness, funds to continue work in Mhondoro, and help you stay safe too! Thank you! 

We remain working in Zimbabwe…detailed updates are forthcoming, but for now, the quick report:

  • Our Nhimbe for Progress Team is fully in place, engaged, and brain-cracking to pull together the nuts, bolts, and washers from 20 years of experience in just over one month.  You may remember that Patricia left Nhimbe to follow her soul’s calling at the beginning of October.  Now, our renovated, renewed and revamped Nhimbe ship has left the harbor with an incredible new team, and we are underway!
  • School has reopened in Zimbabwe, and our MMC program officially started on 11/6 with almost half the girls in attendance, after a 7-month hiatus.  Again, we will be teaching about their bodies, providing supplies, but this time also learning about Covid-19. 
  • On 11/9 the Nhimbe for Progress preschool reopened its doors with similar numbers of about half the norm in attendance, also learning about masks and social distancing.  We are encouraging a healthy discussion with the Ministry’s health inspector, because World Health Organization protocol does not require those under 5 years-old to wear masks, but our staff was trying to implement stringent requirements, as they are for MMC.  Guidelines are unclear in the country, and our staff is doing everything they can for safety, including using two new infrared thermometers as part of our protocols, as well as giving all children masks.  We hope to get this sorted in the next few days.
  • After completing well deepenings for 43 families so far this year, the outcry is for more help! We just approved a budget for another 29 or so wells, to be deepened before the end of the year. Today we bought over $1,000 of cement, 14,000 bricks, and hired those with the shovels to help all of the families, since the depth is far beyond anything seen before. The rain is slowly coming, so that is letting them get digging.  Water levels have plummeted particularly in the last 2 years, so water availability has become the most pressing issue of the day.

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Thank you for your dedicated support!  We continue to operate the preschool per our normal high standards, as well as MMC with the addition of teaching mask-making for their current craft project.  We also are pushing hard and fast to get the wells deepened now, before the impending summer rains fall.  The 7 elderly without water have become the priority.  This is the immediate focus with the other 22 or so to follow. 

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We remain grateful and optimistic as you reach out, and continue to remember us! We all very much appreciate whatever you have been able to do, either financially to assist, or with your time.  There are 3 essential areas needing volunteers - please email Jaiaen

  • We have a real need for technical website and higher-end computer assistance, either on a one-time project basis or for the longer term. There are some exciting opportunities here.  Do get in touch!
  • Also, someone who can offer general office expertise using the computer and Microsoft would also help return some sanity to the nature of reality, since many extra functions have multiplied, much like rabbits, particularly over the last several months, with the loss of Cosmas, as well as the introduction of Covid-19.
  • Locally in the mid-valley, we really would love for someone to oversee the masks, which are being sewn by a couple of lovely ladies, as they find their way into your home (the masks, not the seamstresses)  ;*))

You do make the difference!  Tatenda Chaizvo!

Special Orders for the Holidays!

We have an unusual opportunity to pre-order holiday gifts that will return to the US on 12-13-19 with our team (which is leaving in a couple of weeks)! If that works for your holiday shopping schedule, we will be bringing back some nicely carved wooden spoons ($8), intricately woven baskets ($10), and beautiful handmade purses (three color choices) with inside pockets ($26). Here are some samples:

The embroidery is random patterns. The sizes are consistently the same. She includes an inner pocket. The fabric bolt swatch shows the colors the best. They are approximately 10" x 10" with a 2" gusset in the bottom. They are extremely well-made. Easy to carry a thermos, keys, phone, plus other assorted items...very roomy but not bulky...the perfect size.

There has been no reliable electricity for quite some time in Harare and so the seamstress is often found at her machine after 10 pm when the electricity comes on, sewing into the wee hours.

This last year Winfilda lost her sister due to a sudden health issue. She is now responsible for her sister's three children, as well as her own. These purses she makes will help her pay school fees for the children as well as put food on the table. She doesn't sell these locally but primarily to us. She is a trained tailor and does an excellent job!

Thank you for helping us help them!

Please email gogreen@ancient-ways.org or call 541-259-4673 or 877-TATENDA with any product or shipping/delivery questions! We leave on 11-11 and must have orders before that date.

Thank you so much for your support of these craftspeople!

May Announcements – Here and in Zimbabwe!

Thank you for your incredible support again this year as we remain focused on our work in rural Zimbabwe.  Second term brings much activity:

  • The preschool re-opens with purchases of supplies and food for another 13 weeks,  There are 59 little ones, with more coming each day, all being fed a nutritious meal (often their main meal).  These children are being supported in early childhood development as well as being prepared for 1st grade in the Zimbabwean educational system. The preschool staff includes teachers, cooks, housekeeping, grounds-keeping and guards to assure the children's space provides a safe, clean and nurturing learning environment. The government officials consider Nhimbe a model preschool!
  • The Mhandara Monthly Care (MMC) program continues to manufacture and distribute start-up kits in 2019 for all the new maturing girls.  Each kit's cost of buckets and underwear has increased since our estimate last fall when we wrote the year-end letter.  We never know when the economy will be stable and when not, but we hold the vision and keep making headway!  We have just produced 30 kits for our first 2 batches, which will be distributed very soon at the upcoming Teen Care Camp.
  • The MMC Teen Care Camp is planned for May 24th-26th.  260 girls are expected and arriving on foot from quite some distances.  We provide a vehicle to pickup their bed roll and other gear at their various schools, where they all congregate before leaving.  Arriving Friday, they are able to stay at the Nhimbe Community Center (with those great solar lights!) until Sunday, when they hoof it back home after the incredibly unprecedented opportunity for learning, healing and growing.  There are a minimum of 11 adults that are present to keep everything moving smoothly.  The girls are involved in every step of food prep and cleanup, as well as participating in many activities, including music, mentoring by the elders, and much in the way of interpersonal discussions of intimate teen care.
  • The MMC program (the Start-up kits, the Teen Care Camp and weekly meetings) are helping to keep these girls in school each month, and making a huge difference in their lives.  For example, they learn about personal hygiene and the difficult subjects of dealing with boys and peers.  The girls learn crafts, such as sewing, to be able to make their own monthly care supplies someday.
  • Both the preschool and the MMC program need soccer balls!  We hold strong in the belief that the Right to Play is of enormous value in children's "normal" development, physically, emotionally, mentally and socially.  Research has found that play is the key to children surviving the hardships of chronic economic issues and the displacement and relocation of continual transient populations.  Please consider a special donation towards this unique need.  Typically because of the rough terrain a normal ball doesn't last, but we have had help locating one for $25.  Shipping is another issue, particularly if we can send more than one.  With this number of children playing together, one ball would not suffice.  Thank you in advance if you have an interest in encouraging play!
  • Thank you for any ways you might be able to help us with these heartening and supportive efforts, as we intervene in these children's lives.  We remain consistent and faithful to the task at hand and ask for your assistance once again to reach out across the planet to our Zimbabwean neighbors.

Our music ensembles here in the mid-Willamette Valley are playing their part in fund raising, as they hit the streets earlier this year than normal, beginning in March.  They are out there raising money for the Nhimbe youth programs and are enjoying watching the summer fill up with play.

Please join us at our next event in Alsea, Oregon, Sunday the 12th, as we make our annual pilgrimage to the Thyme Garden for their Mother's Day weekend.  Find us engaged in the music near the herb nursery, where there is a huge selection of plants for sale. We offer the uplifting marimba music from Zimbabwe and South Africa, as well as original tunes:

  • Chipindura plays from 12:30 to 2 pm
  • Tashinga plays from 3:30 to 5 pm

The Mother's Day venue is particularly delightful with exquisite food and unique crafts for sale at a variety of booths.  All of this wonder is set in the ambiance of the woods, where this most interesting source for seeds, herbs and other fine plants finds its home.

Join us with your dancing shoes!