Long story short: In late January this year, Cyclone Eloise, breaking loose in Mozambique and all over Southern African, stimulated a ripple of storms bringing torrential rains to Mhondoro destroying and damaging crops, structures, and wells on its path, while the Covid-19-variants lock-down left repairs at a standstill.
Being quite paralyzed by the combined onslaught, our Team has just now completed the first round of repairs requiring thousands of dollars. Nhimbe Preschool is returning to business as usual with masks etc. following the government guidelines, opening for school this last week. MMC also kicked off the 2021 year with much joy, just a little later than usual. Under their masks, the teachers and cooks engaged all ages of children with much enthusiasm after the 3-month hiatus. Everyone is so relieved!
These unexpected events have put a large dent in this year’s budget. If you are able, please extend a hand to our residents and the Nhimbe Community Center! CLICK HERE for the webpage donate page…THANK YOU!
The lock-down for the Covid-19 variants was strictly enforced by police, traveling only allowed with special papers. These restrictions made for minimal progress. Also, the storms had done incredible damage to the network, so that phones, emails and texting were severely crippled and are not yet back to “normal”, which in Zimbabwe, is historically under par. The minimum required building restorations were done just in time for the preschool reopening date last week:
- Several Nhimbe Community Center huts cracked from the excessive water and have been repaired successfully.
- One hut was non-repairablewith deep cracks and breaks, and is still needing to be entirely rebuilt, which will run near $500.
- Our library window was broken by the winds and has now been replaced.
Then the Health Inspector "pegged" the new toilet locations. For those of you who remember hearing about Standreck (Tichaona), one of the best dancers I've ever known, he is there looking on in the video (and looking great!)
In this video, check out the interior walls, and then the shot of the roof shows light coming in, meaning water does too. This building gives different ages spaces to learn. Also the precious marimbas are stored here.
The grass had grown so high from the continual rains and warm weather that a special effort was needed to hand-sickle the entire grounds. Check out the before and after pictures.
12 wells collapsed and are being rebuilt. Normally we would wait for donations to build wells each year, but this was an emergency and so took it on without the specially allocated funding - we are hoping for your help:
- Many wells were built for the elderly residents who are living solo, and without the means to rebuild a well, or transport water.
- I recall during our 2018 trip, there were 3 people over 100 years old, who passed away during our stay! If they live close to the land and stay in the rural area, chances are they will live long and healthy lives.
- Bringing comfort, hygiene, and reassurance to these residents is just “so basic”.
More gum pole failures. Most of the play structures have become weakened and unsafe. The parents are pitching in their time to rebuild this play area!
We have realized the new team really needs our well-building supervisor duties to expand, to receive a monthly compensation to cover all building and security. This will support our Co-Directors as they both live offsite, with Muda routinely visiting from Harare, and Febbie teaching Monday to Friday, but not being present otherwise, unless needed, living in Chibikira. The guards can now report to Isaac Maodzeka, as do all building crews. Isaac has been with us since the beginning. He is happy to be reinstated to his original post, which he had prior to the 2008-09 marketing collapse that was coupled with impact of the Zim-dollarization.
We have transferred an unusually large amount of funds for the beginning of the year (a near $9,000 since January) and truly appreciate anything you are able to contribute to the healing of this community. Besides the crops, each family suffered damages to their personal residence. Rather than just more normal requests for new preschool baking pans, garden shovels, and the like, the Cyclone impact to our Community Center has been sizeable, doing more harm than we had seen since my first trip in 2000.
Between the time Cosmas and I made our proverbial “to-do laundry list” in November ’99, and my first trip early March 2000, Cyclone Eline destroyed huts and ravaged many homesteads. We were able to re-establish huts for over 40 residences during that next year or two. These efforts shaped a foundation for this Nhimbe for Progress framework. The last 20 years have seen much in the way of “action”, but nothing with quite this much damage from storms, since that February 2000 cyclone.
Thank you for your continued support over the years for these neighbors of ours on the opposite side of the planet. As a people, they have much endurance and resilience. You teach them about hope and re-imagining their lives. They already are a highly spiritual people, but your continued assistance helps encourage and cement that "trusting of the process"…we all can use reinforcement on that!
You do make the difference! Always feel free to reach out and ask questions or just chime in with your ideas!