Visit report – September 2022
Posted in Stories from Zimbabwe
18 October 2022
REPORT ON VISIT TO ZIMBABWE – SEPTEMBER 2022
As always, I had a wonderful trip to Zimbabwe. It is a pleasure to share the highlights with you:
- I went straight from the airport to TYP house and met loads of youngsters, many with wives and kids. One young man, Innocent, arrived in a silver Mercedes from S Africa! When he came to Tariro 8 years ago he was thin, anxious and burdened by the hardships he had suffered all his life. Now he is happy with a nice wife and a good job. When you see the finished product of Tariro you realise how worthwhile it has been.
- In Mutare I met Tadiwanashe whose mother died 2 years ago. He has been quite difficult since his mother died, not surprisingly, but I linked him up with Fr Waziwei who found a nephew in the same class. The boy is transformed, smiling and working hard. We took them all to lunch at Nandos and then took both boys up to Honde Valley to see the pig project.
- The project is lovely. There are 54 pigs and will soon start selling a load of porkers who seem very happy at the prospect! All the watering is done off solar energy. It is also beautiful. Chenge is doing well as pig manager. Nyasha is working there happily till he goes to university next year.
- I saw Ruvarashe Chasimba at Bonda and the Deputy Head says she will get good O levels this year.
- At Daramombe school, Willard (whose father is drunken and violent) is doing brilliantly, top of his class with 8 A’s and 3 B’s; and he’s such a nice boy.
- At St Francis, the six young people are doing well. Panashe was top of his class and Joram was second. They would like to go as boarders at Daramombe but they are not going to, partly because of cost, but also because they are doing well at woodwork and Agriculture. Everyone agrees these are a better path to jobs. A friend in Harare, hearing this gave me all his carpentry tools so we can encourage the boys to get started.
- At St Patrick’s Gweru I met Ebenezer, doing Sixth Form, who is one of the most delightful, sensible, pleasantly talkative youngsters I have ever met.
- We have money from FSJ ring fenced for a get together so we will spend some of this next April bringing together about 15 young people for maths coaching from a former student of ours who will come out from England. We will gather at the monastery of the Holy Spirit run by Fr Joshua.
- At Gweru university we met Memory from St Francis who is now doing Industrial chemistry and Munyaradzi from Chipinge now doing Social Work. Munyaradzi came out of a slum ten years ago and it is amazing to see where he now is.
- Also at Gweru I met Takudzwa, a nice quiet young man who has done 3 years engineering and needed to find an attachment. He was getting nowhere with this so I introduced him to Fr Joshua and within 3 days Fr Joshua had found him an attachment in Harare in a very good company. This cost quite a bit to set him up but I asked a wonderful donor in Surrey and he has already sent the money to cover these initial expenses.
- We had a nice lunch with Rejoice in Bindura who is very happy starting her degree in accountancy. She also came from a slum in Chipinge.
- They have gone ahead with installing solar energy at TYP house. This is being done by Byron Mashore, one of our TYP graduates, who has his own solar business. It looks expensive but pays for itself. Everyone I know in Zim who has gone solar is thrilled with the results. Not only are there no power cuts but it saves money. They estimate TYP’s will take 5 years to recoup all the cost of installation. After that it is free electricity for years to come.
- Thank you to everyone who has contributed recently. That boosted our August bank balance. Now we have to find money for the months to come. At the moment, we need an extra £10,000 a month. That is roughly double our present income. I have been very carefully through the finances with Edwin and Phillip in Zimbabwe. We have cut things as far as we can and cannot cut them further without hurting youngsters. We just have to find the money.
- We have to provide funding for 3 lap tops this year for our university students and one next year. Much of their teaching is on line, post pandemic, so we have no option about that.
- I won’t nag! I know many of you are doing all you can to support us. Our most pressing need is Standing Orders: these give us a regular income, and the more we have the better the income. The other thing is legacies. Please put Tariro in your wills. We all have to die sometime and it is nice to know we shall leave behind a sizable donation to help a young person in need. And finally, support Fr John’s run, and ask others to do so.
Honestly, it was a wonderful visit to Zim and the youngsters are super. So are Phillip, Edwin and the Sisters who work with them. We can’t let them down!!Read all News