July’s newsletter update and stories from Zimbabwe

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Young people growing up

One really nice thing about supporting the Tariro kids is watching them grow up. Lots of them are kids no longer! Edwin, Byron, Fidelity and Glenda who were there at the start in 2009 are now married with a child each. Tariro (a girl) finished University last year and is now also married. Two brothers, Delight and Divine are now working full time, one in the finance industry and one as a mechanic. Innocent has a job in business and a very nice girlfriend whom he wants to marry; John and Jowett seem on the point of getting work – John as a clerk and Jowett as a sports teacher. Two other young ladies – Thandeka and Rumbidzai are also now about to start work, one as a book keeper and the other as an occupational therapist. All of those went through the TYP (Tariro for Young People) house in Harare.

The rural kids started younger but are also growing up. Talent has left university and needs a job (hard to find in Zim). Her sister has finished her first year of studies for a business diploma and picked up a string of A’s. Funny, inarticulate Anesu is loving his Art and Design course. This year one boy (Tatenda) is about to write Maths, Physics and Chemistry at A level and four boys and two girls are about to write O levels.

For the more practical youngsters like Chengetai the pig project is now well under way with three sows and 21 piglets. Maphosa is doing well with his chickens. With the help of a chicken company in Harare we have funded a chicken project for the young people we support in Shurugwi and they have just started selling the chickens they have raised.

The youngsters we support are normal teenagers; recently they put in a request for more pocket money and nice clothes. How normal is that for teenagers! Even a boy who messed up his exams because he had fallen in love is being quite normal, if exasperating. Yet they are unusual teenagers too. Because of their traumatic backgrounds we have made funds available for them to have group counselling and they have come to appreciate this. They have asked for more. And they have also asked if we will  provide funding so they can get Maths and Science coaching in the holidays. How many English kids spend their holidays willingly at school?

One slightly difficult area is that a number of the kids want to spend their holidays doing interesting and profitable things rather than go home to relations who don’t really want them and don’t (or can’t afford to) look after them properly. Naturally we want them to keep in good relationship with their families but we have to be sensitive where this may not be viable. Fortunately, the new chairman of the rural projects group, TFYP (Tariro for Young People), Stan Runyowa, is a retired headmaster and is proving a godsend in helping to find ways of meeting these needs. It will cost money, of course and TFYP will have to go about it carefully but we will take these requests seriously. We owe these children the best. A few years ago I read an account of a hospital run by the Church in Gaza, Palestine. Despite all the difficulties they were offering really good medical treatment because, as the doctor in charge said repeatedly, “The poor deserve the best.” That could be our motto, too.

The Fun of Fundraising

Many of you who read this news letter have seen me over recent months as I go about the business of fund raising. This actually is a lot of fun for me! I enjoy the hospitality. I love talking about the projects and the children we support and I am really proud of what they achieve. I also love meeting all of you who support us because I really am so grateful to you for this support, without which we could do nothing. I was particularly touched this year by the number of parishes who raised amazing sums of money for Tariro during Lent. Tariro really has touched their hearts.

Please do keep our needs in mind. The Zimbabwe economy is still in crisis. Money is short, food will be short this year after the cyclone. All costs go up with inflation. If you can encourage other people to get involved with Tariro that would be super.

And please do pray for us. God does answer prayers for money when it is for a good cause. At the moment we need to find some larger grants to ensure our future support for the children. Next week I shall be going to the Isle of Man to look for some such money. That would be a good focus of your prayer!

Southwark Reception

Thank you to everyone who came to this, especially the Bishop and the Dean who are very good friends of Zimbabwe. It was great fun and I think very well received. All the wine was drunk and the food was eaten and I don’t think the urban fox that appeared got any of it!

We have recently put together a new resource about Tariro which can be downloaded from the internet and either printed off, or shown as a slide show. We hope that those of you who encourage parishes to support us might find this useful to explain our work and draw in new support. It can be found at this link. Do have a look at it.

I shall be going to Zimbabwe in September to see how these lovely young people are getting on.

With best wishes, prayers and many thanks

Nicolas CR


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