To say that Zimbabwe’s economy has collapsed is an understatement.
Most minority-world residents cannot even begin to fathom the numbers that became commonplace to Zimbabweans. In the middle of the last decade, Zimbabwe’s economy accelerated its downward slide with annual inflation rates crossing 100% in 2001 and 500% in 2005. But by 2007, annual inflation was at more than 66,000%, and by the end of 2009, annual inflation was estimated at 6.5 quindecillion novemdecillion percent (that is 65 followed by 107 zeros!).
The last Zimbabwean Dollars printed in January 2009 were 100 trillion-dollar bills, and that is after the government had already eliminated 10 zeros from the currency the year before.
Along with this collapse, jobs disappeared, and the formal unemployment rate is still around 85-90% in Zimbabwe. For a long period in 2008-2009, there was no food available on store shelves. Electricity supplies are erratic. Municipal water supplies are in shambles, with some communities going weeks and months without water.
And in the midst of this, the church in Zimbabwe is alive!
H.E.L.P. is humbled by the great sacrifices of the people of Family Praise Fellowship in Marondera, who, through the worst of economic times, have remained faithful to their calling to care for the children of their community.
More than 10 years ago, a community-wide effort led to the creation of Musha weVana (literally “home for children”) in Marondera, and Family Praise became responsible for the education and spiritual care of the children. Despite the hardships the church faced, the children always attended school during the week and church on the weekends, with the church collecting enough money to pay school fees and purchase uniforms.
In an effort to reduce the strain on the church and to honor their sacrifice for those many years, H.E.L.P. child sponsorships through the Help One Now initiative now provide for all the children’s educational needs.
Musha weVana was designed for 28 children. After several years, an additional home in the neighborhood was purchased as an extension. Now, with the economic tragedy unfolding, babies and young children are being brought to the home by the government nearly every week, and number of children at Musha weVana has grown to 102!
We are in desperate need of more space, more mothers to look after children, and more funding for daily essentials. Further, we have identified a great need for the children to receive academic tutoring to succeed in school, basic life skills as one would learn in a family environment, and job skills to become sustainable when leaving the home. To this end, we are close to launching a new educational program through the church with full-time staff to carry out these goals.
Your sponsorship through Help One Now for $35 per month will send a child to school with books, pencils, and a new uniform, and will help support our life skills and job training program. By hosting a Garage Sale 4 Orphans fundraising event in your neighborhood, you can help us provide extra space for the children to live or hire additional mothers to care for the children.