Friends of The Village by AFADU News June 2019
Although many of you keep up to date with our regular news through our The Village by AFADU Facebook Group, we’d like to provide our sponsors and supporters with this detailed update on “what is happening at The Village”.
This edition’s headlines:
- Children’s News from Margret
- Another Great Story!!!
- Dr. Schimper and Dr. Mawana: Chikombedzi Hospital
- Chicken Project
- Lirhanzo Mission School
- Garden Project
- Field Trip – July 2019
- What can you do to help ???
Children News from Margret
“Firstly, I would love to let you know that we are all going very well here in Zimbabwe. Of course, our country is facing a lot of challenges at the moment, but the best thing is that god is looking well after the Lirhanzo family.
We want to believe that when the time is right all will get back to normal”
There have been 4 new children transferred to LCV via children’s services in the past 6 months:
- Josephine Chipo, a new born baby found dumped in Rutenga, is now thriving at LCV and in the safe hands of the Guardian Mothers.
- Brother and sister, Tafadzwa (approx. 13) and Tsitsi (approx. 11) were transferred by social services to ensure their safety from a violent, mentally ill mother.
- Margret reported they have settled in nicely and they have made friends with the other LCV kids.
- Talent, arrived just before Christmas after being found locked in a room where she had lived with her mother. Sadly, the mother disappeared and was never located, however, Talent has settled and very happy to be at LCV with all her little friends.
Margret and Josephine, Tafadzwa, Tsitsi and Talent
It was possible to accept new children at The Village as some of our older children have now completed, or almost completed, their higher education and have been taken off the program.
- Egneta has graduated and has a bachelor of arts in history. She recently moved to South Africa to find work and is living with a relative. We offer our heartiest congratulations and wish her well! She is the first girl to complete a degree with the support of The Village by AFADU.
- Maxwell is in the middle of his first year of his motor mechanic course and will be writing examinations in November this year. Margret said he is doing very well.
- She reported he is even helping at the school by tutoring other students in practical lessons. Maxwell was working at our past LCV student Douglas’ garage, prior to commencing his course. He was very concerned that he would not be able to cope with the course theory, however, he has proved himself wrong.
- Elvin will finish the same course at the end of the year. Both are presently doing their “Pracs” and Elvin is doing his attachment at Douglas’s garage in Chiredzi.
- Unfortunately, Takura found the course too much for him and he has pulled out and now living with an uncle. It was very sad, but his mind could not be changed. He has been taken off the program.
- Ellen has completed her sewing course and is now living in the same mining town as her sister Chipo, who married some years ago. Ellen has her own sewing machine and the resources necessary to set up a small business.
- Nyradzo has joined patience and Sasani at university. Here she is getting her computer from The Village by AFADU for her studies.
Nyradzo with her new computer for her studies
Another Great Story!!!
Margret found the uncle of Christwish.
“I can say with pride that I have found the family of Christwish and they were happy to be reunited with him again.
He will remain at high school and will continue to live with Margret, however, his new found family are happy for him to visit them during holidays.”
His uncle was so proud of his turn around from “runaway” and “very troubled and lost child” to the lovely young, intelligent man he has grown into.
As a result, he now has a birth certificate and an “identity”.
New sponsors, or long-time sponsors who have kindly transferred over to our new children, have been found for Josephine, Talent and Tafadzwa.
We are now looking for a kind soul to support Tsitsi. Welcoming new sponsors is always a joy for us.
It strengthens our Zimbabwean community and moves us closer to sustainability which is always our aim.
Along the way our children grow so beautifully.
Please pass on the details below if you know of anyone with a Big Heart who may want to help.
Donations through rotary are tax deductible using this link: RAWCS.org.au/afadu: Support The Village by AFADU
Our Lirhanzo Children’s Village founder, Ezelle Schimper is now back at Edenvale inspiring us all, but still on crutches after a health scare this year.
Major surgery, done in South Africa, was required to pin and plate her femur.
Thankfully she is making an excellent recovery. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Dr Schimper and Dr Mawana: Chikombedzi Hospital
Our new Doctor Mawana has settled in well and is visiting LCV on a regular basis. Margret reported:
“The new doctor is such a nice, young doctor who is not a doctor by profession, but by heart.
I have seen many nice doctors, but he is unique. He has fallen in love with Chikombedzi and the Lirhanzo Children.
The situation at the hospital would have been excellent if the country had enough medicines but that situation is not good.
The country is in a big dilemma, hospitals have no medication even the big hospitals like Parirenyatwa are facing the high shortages of medication.
In pharmacies when they have the medication, they are charging very high prices which are unaffordable to the community.”
Dr. Lea Schimper and husband Ludwig have just now returned to Zimbabwe after the birth of their son, Matthew, Tendai in Switzerland.
Even whilst on maternity leave Lea has been campaigning for hospital funding and looking for grants and we can report the hospital water situation is much better these days since they now have solar as an extra water supply.
Also, an X-ray room has just been put in place and they are waiting for the new X-ray machine which the Japan Embassy has bought for the hospital.
Very specially sponsored by the president’s wife, Auxilia Mnangagwa, the project is going very well and Margret reported the chickens have almost grown to a point where they are laying eggs.
See the story posted on our The Village by AFADU Facebook Group: The Chicken Run is no Longer a Classroom!
The Village by AFADU Chicken Project
Lirhanzo Mission School
Since the opening of the first classroom block in 2017, time has not stood still.
The international team are moving towards completion of the second building, a replica of the first.
One of the 3 class rooms in the building is already in use and finally all the children are out of the buildings originally designed for animals.
This time, congratulations must be given for the local and South African, Multi Ministries building teams and the donors who are making it possible.
Although very involved in the funding of the first classroom, The Village by AFADU has been able to concentrate on looking after the children, the children’s village and the garden project.
Margret said in her report that the garden was flourishing and looking very green, with tomatoes almost ready to eat, and some still growing.
Onions, tomatoes, different vegetables, okra, carrots and beans are all gat different stages of growth.
Close to $400 worth of cucumbers were sold between the month of April and May and she said it was their lucky day when the butternuts were ready as the price of bread had gone up to $3.
A loaf which was unaffordable to the community.
They resolved instead to replace bread with butternuts.
The market was so good in fact, that next season she said they will plant double the butternuts.
Our Guardian Angel, Mark Edmonds, who connected with Pam after Millionaire Hot Seat, has just returned from Zimbabwe where he was overseeing his initial project and a new commercial garden project south-east of Harare.
He said that people no longer line up for money at the ATM’s because there isn’t any and one day, he saw 160 cars lined up waiting for fuel.
Mark also informed us that on his next visit to Zimbabwe in early November, he wishes to visit Chikombedzi to look again at the solar project, which was put on hold until the countries present challenges settled.
He will also work with the community to help them maximise their efforts and get to a point where they are growing and selling almost as much as they are doing in Harare.
He said that in the first 4 months of his year the Harare orphanage sold US$5,000 worth of vegetables.
Pawpaws, luttuces (under the shade cloth) and butternuts
Margret also said it is very hard to obtain fuel and often she has to drive to Masvingo to buy diesel for the garden.
“These days we are pumping once a day not twice so as to try and stretch the fuel when we get it.
On the other hand, it is so dry that the people are no longer sure if their animals will survive until the next rain season.
In Chikombedzi, most wells and boreholes have dried up”
Field Trip – July 2019!
This year 5 Aussies will be flying to Zimbabwe to meet the kids, follow up on projects and begin new ones.
We believe the children are already excited and are practicing their English skills especially for us 🙂
It will be Leanne Abbot’s second trip.
In 2015 Leanne, a retired sewing teacher, taught the older girls at the Chikombedzi high school how to make washable menstruation pads, when she discovered that so many students could not afford the US$3 per year to take regular sewing lessons, she returned to Australia and with the help of her large network of sewing guild members, set up a sewing scholarship program for both boys and girls which is now in its 4th year.
Deputy headmaster and husband of our LCV manager, Margret wrote yesterday:
“I would like to bring to your attention that currently, we have 146 learners who are benefitting from the scholarship programme. Of these, 107 are girls and 39 are boys.
We should be having a total of 160 learners in the programme but, unfortunately, 14 dropped out of school owing to various reasons.
There are another 65 girls who are not in the programme.
This translates into the fact we have 211 learners who are taking textile technology and design as a learning area, that is, 39 boys and 172 girls.
The teachers and the learners are greeting you and all those that put their hand in to help them”.
The Form Four girls in their finished beautiful skirts and boys on the machines
Everyone cannot wait for the arrival of the new electric sewing machines.
This time Leanne is taking over solar sewing machines and will be setting up and training the sewing teachers and students to use them.
Our second team member is talented, Zimbabwean born photographer, Mel Deacon, from Airlie Beach who has been supporting The Village by AFADU for some years.
She jumped at the chance to come and be part of the team.
She will be taking all the update photographs of the children (and possibly a video) then when our time is up at The Village, she will move further north to help people close to her birth town, Mutare, affected so horrifically by the cyclone in March.
Industrial chemist, accountant and long- time sponsor, Wendy Davidson is also coming.
She has been to Zimbabwe many times also and is presently consulting with Ezelle on where her many skills will best sit.
Even science experiments with the children are being tossed around!
It will be Pam Harrison’s 8th trip and, although involved closely for over 15 years, it will be The Village by AFADU’s chairman, Ian Routledge’s first trip.
We will be looking at future projects, reporting on projects in place, looking at budgets and, as you can’t replace person-to-person, face-to-face, get to tell stories and listen to each other for a better experience for everyone.
N.B. All AFADU board members and field-trippers go at their own expense.
What can I do to help???
Some of you may be asking this question or are thinking of how you can help in a small way by getting something to your sponsored child.
The team now ensure there are gifts from Australia for all the children.
Margret is instructed to locally buy socks and underwear and a small gift for each child.
In the past sponsors sent over special gifts for their special child, however, we are now discouraging this so that fairness prevails.
We can shop locally and our luggage is not taken up with extra items.
We are costing each gift at $10 each and we support 54 children at this time
Mark Edmonds is sourcing a donation us $220 (approx. AU$350) is required to buy extra shade cloth to put over the top of the shade houses already in place.
Until the solar pumping project is completed this will help reduce the pumping costs from the river help reduce heat in the shade houses in summer and ensure every drop of water pumped to the shade houses is efficiently used.
He is also sourcing a Bayer representative to visit the garden and advise on the herbicides that may be necessary to combat pests and increase production.
Although organic practices are used as much as possible at LCV, sometimes these are a are necessary.
Let me know if you are interested in either of these projects and I will put you directly onto mark for further info.
Leanne abbot has been donated 2x solar sewing machines for her high school sewing project but would like to take another for the children’s village.
She has been donated 2 machines by Tony Castley (OAM), the CEO of Hobbysew Australia and he is able to source another one for $299.
She also is looking for a few extra donations to pay for the solar panels and inverters required which we are pricing in Zimbabwe.
We are very conscious of how much our regular sponsors help, however, if you know of anyone who has a BIG HEART (and that needs some tax relief prior to the end of the financial year) and wants to help the most incredible kids, please ask them to click on through to our RAWCS (Rotary Australia World Community Service) link below
To ensure your funds are directed to your prefered project, please ensure to add one of the following in the ‘REQUESTS’ field, under ‘DONATION’:
or “Project 3”
Myself (Pam) and Ian will be VERY HAPPY to deliver letters and photographs to the kids.
Donations through Rotary are tax deductible using this link: RAWCS.org.au/afadu: Support The Village by AFADU
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