August 23, 2018

25 Aug

Journal 18
August 23, 2018

Greetings from Zimbabwe,

The weather has made a drastic change.  We now have summer for sure.  The nights are still cool but the days are warm and sometimes really hot.  This is August and so we have wind and sometimes big dust-devils.  I don’t have to worry about being so cold all of the time, that is for sure.

Albert was finally able to locate a power driven compactor for the clinic site.  Unfortunately, it was necessary to travel to Harare to obtain it.  That may not sound like a problem but it is a minimum of two and a half hours of driving one way to get to Harare.  Dealing with the traffic in Harare is an issue.  Another issue is the cost of fuel.  It requires a minimum of $60.00 US for the diesel for the trip.

There are two workers taking turns running the machine.  They should finish the entire building site today.  The machine seems to be doing a good job.  Yesterday they had wet the dirt down so that it would settle.  Tomorrow the ground should be ready for the builder to mix and pour the cement.  I am anxious to see the building begin to rise above the ground level.

We have about 30 full-time employees as well as many people who work days at different times.  This woman and two of her children are hauling the manure from a poultry run to the compost building.  The manure is combined with green chipped material as well as other waste for the worm compost.  It is amazing how quickly the worms can break down the material.  The juice from the compost is funneled into a catch-basin. It is necessary to dilute it one to four before putting it on the garden or the Moringa.

While I was in South Africa, my friends took me shopping for yarn.  The knitting women had begged me to look for yarn. They said that it cost too much here.  I found that I could save about 60% by buying for an NGO.

I ended up buying two cheap bags to pack the yarn in to be able to bring it on the airline.  I bought 30 l kg. cones of yarn plus bags of small balls of yarn and the small cones you see in the picture.  The two bags weighed the maximum that one can check on a ticket.  Thank goodness I had taken only a carry-on when I went down.

These four children are of the same family.  Their father is deceased.  Stewart has said that he believes that the mother is either severely depressed or mentally disturbed.  He feels she is unable to care for the children.  They are really in the same category of a child-headed household.  Situations like this really tug at your heart-strings.  There are so many needs and so little resources.

We are in desperate need of a Social Worker and there just aren’t the resources to hire another fulltime employee.  Is there anyone out there who could commit $350.00 to $400.00 a month/or a portion thereof to hire a degreed full-time Social Worker.  Part of the job would be dealing with situations like this and other vulnerable children.  Our Mission has grown and it is no longer possible for Beauty to handle everything.

Aaron is an orphan.  He is 17 years old and lives alone.  He has no family.  An uncle lives nearby and has him herding his cattle but does not pay him.   He misses school the weeks that it is his turn to herd the cattle.  The uncle recently passed away.  Aaron says the cattle are still under his care but he is uncertain whether they will be his or if his uncle’s immediate relatives will come and take them as is the custom in this culture.

This picture was taken when Aaron came to HCOC to collect some  supplies.  The things available were very limited.  Stewart is the one who made me aware of this orphan’s situation.  He told me that Aaron had no cooking equipment or plates. So when I was in Harare yesterday, I purchased one cooking pot, a spoon and a couple of plates.   It isn’t much but things here are extremely expensive.

As I close this week’s journal, please pray with me for these children and others like them that depend on HCOC for their well-being.  I can’t begin to express to you how hopeless things must be for the many children who have to exist like this.  We do what we can but our funds are very limited.   The children in Ward 1 are better off than most children in rural Zimbabwe.  There are few, if any organization like ours in rural areas.

Not only are most children better off but the community at large benefits. The workers here would have no job if they were not employed by HCOC.  Many others benefit by having occasional employment.

In His Service,
Roberta

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