The economy in Zimbabwe started to crash in the 80’s. What was once the “bread basket” of Southern Africa, providing the rest of the region with food, now is full of starving and malnourished people. What was once the most educated country in Africa now has a very low literacy rate and very little knowledge concerning common diseases. This great country went from prosperous to dying. When this happened anyone who wasn’t working for the government suffered greatly. Families couldn’t care for themselves anymore and because of this the disabled and the elderly had no one to care for them. People couldn’t take care of themselves therefore having no way to help others. Many families did there best taking in extended family and friends who knew they needed help, but not everyone was so lucky. Many elderly and disabled ended up fending for themselves leaving them no choice but to beg. While Zach was in Zimbabwe he would sometimes see streets lined with people just trying to stay alive. He was in Gweru as he saw this yet he couldn’t find any program set up to help these people. Zach met a blind woman whose husband died leaving her alone with two small children to fend for. There was no one to help her and she sent her children onto the streets. These children ran up, tugging on Zach’s clothes while asking him for food. If someone doesn’t help the innocent like these, they will die. This may sound extreme but people die in Zimbabwe every day of malnutrition. It is a real problem. This is why one of the programs we are trying to start is a soup kitchen as part of a feeding program. It provides a place for these people to get help when there is no other choice. The church we work with in Gweru, Zimbabwe started this program remotely for us. Through local donations, personal support, and some of our fundraising efforts they met all the health code requirements and started the program within a week of getting the funding. It started out slow feeding about 25 people and the next week about 50 people. It fed on average 50 people a week for about a month. Then word of mouth got around and it became over run with people, seeing over 100. The people running the program didn’t know how to handle the crowds and they ran out of supplies within that week. So there is a huge need for this; when Zach explained what we were planning to do and asked Pastor Jeff if there were any needs he told him this, “The hardest thing in starting this project will be turning people away”.
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