It seems that there is literally no cash around! I was so glad I had been forewarned and had brought our small denominations of US dollars to use whilst in Zimbabwe. I was travelling out to see the team at the Houtberg Childcare Centre in Chipinge, to see how they were getting on with a large irrigation project, which Global Care had been able to fund through a grant from a major donor.
How on earth were they going to be able to install such a complex project in such a difficult economic and political situation? They had to install electrical poles to bring electricity to the site, fence five hectares and then install the irrigation pump, tanks and piping. The political situation is making things very unsettled. The financial difficulties felt by so many people have also led to real uncertainty. Security is an ongoing issue; it can never be taken for granted in Zimbabwe. But despite all this, the team had managed to install the irrigation scheme. They have done a great job! All is now in place and planting will start later this month.
There was a great deal of rejoicing in the children’s home that they would now have a protected field where they could not only grow more of the staple food they need, but also begin to look at planting banana trees to produce a fruit which they can easily sell to raise cash for the Home.
This large irrigation scheme came out of the project to develop a vegetable garden which we started with the children a few years ago. They have so much enjoyed planting, weeding and caring for their vegetable plots, and then being able to eat what they have grown. The home is now fully self-sufficient in vegetables. Any surplus is given out by the children to some of the elderly folk who live in the community around the home. I think it is very special that the children, through their hard work, are such a blessing to others in the community.
Sadly, I was reminded that the reasons why the children are brought to the home, to live in the safely of this caring environment, are still just as shocking as ever. With two of the girls having to regularly attend court to give evidence against those who have abused them, it is never far from the thoughts of these children nor their carers.
Yet in the midst of a country going through such a difficult time, the home is a beacon of hope for not only the children fleeing terrible situations, but also to the community living nearby. I look forward to visiting them again next year to see (and hopefully eat) the fruits of their labours.
CEO, Global Care