(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!