Earlier this year, we were thrilled to announce the launch of our much-needed feeding programme at the Chinhoyi Primary School from pre-school to Grade 2. Since then however, the food shortage many children were facing has worsened, as Zimbabwe has been hit with the worst drought in a decade.
The World Food Programme (WFP) has said that around 1.5 million Zimbabweans do not have enough food this year after a dramatic fall in maize production. As a result, our Chinhoyi primary school staff have been struggling. The Head Teacher recently appealed for help due to high absentee levels caused by shortages of food, stating “pupils are going two or three days without eating food.”
We have worked very hard to get attendance rates up and give these children the education opportunities they deserve. We cannot accept that all our hard work is diminishing and children are absent due to hunger problems. In response to their appeal, we have successfully sourced funding to extend the feeding programme to more children. We will be offering the children Mahewu – a traditional Zimbabwean porridge-based-drink fermented with sorghum or finger millet malt, and fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, sourced from a local organisation.
We cannot emphasis enough the desperate situation so many families are facing. It is going beyond hunger and bordering starvation. These children need your help, not only to remain in full time education but also to survive the hunger problems they are facing – they have nowhere else to turn! We have been so successful in creating a school community full of hope and aspirations. Next year could see many more wonderful achievements for these children – if only we can get them through this extremely difficult time.
For £30 a year we are keeping each child in school and providing a feeding programme and conservation agriculture training for many families. It will be the best £30 you spend this Christmas.
Thank you and Merry Christmas from all at Zimbabwe’s Children.