ZANE Workers Struggling

Exhausted ZANE Workers Battle Against The Odds For Their Pensioners

The reports coming from the exhausted ZANE workers battling on the ground in Zimbabwe show just how draining life is for them – we salute their courage and determination to keep up the work of looking after the many people who depend on them for survival:

1. Zimbabwe limps on with renewed lockdown measures which have been met with tired resignation. As usual, at ZANE, we cannot allow this to affect us negatively because so many people are relying on us.

S and I have continued to do vegetable deliveries to help the Old Legs fundraising group while they have been riding through Zimbabwe. This Wednesday we won’t be distributing because there was no delivery of vegetables earlier in the week due to the public holidays on Monday and Tuesday.

We gave a large amount to the recipients last Wednesday so hopefully, this will tide them over until next week. As soon as the Old Legs group returns, we will stop doing this but it has been a real ‘eye-opener’ to witness the reactions of most of the people, many of whom I guess are normally always short of provisions and wondering how they will afford to keep buying food.


The W’s were not well when I phoned to advise of the delay with veg. June has been nauseous for days and a doctor visited her at home as she was too ill to go out in a car. Rolf sounded sad and exhausted so I’m glad S and I will be seeing them next week to determine whether we can help in any other way.

John P, who should have had ankle surgery by now, has not done this, because, he said he did not have enough money to leave food for his disabled wife. They live far out of town and he will be treated at the Mission Hospital, so he’d be away from home for a while and was very worried about leaving his wife with insufficient provisions. He said ‘I thought I had enough money but prices have gone up so much now, I’m left with hardly anything’. I’m hearing this over and over again.

Renee L is in a similar position, needing hernia surgery but not able to afford it. I’m certain we will be able to help her with some of these costs but I don’t know how she will afford the rest. I had spoken with BWC and he was also hopeful that his medical fund could help Renee. However, the fund is now in abeyance following B’s death and I am feeling his loss very heavily. I assessed Renee in her rental cottage and can see clearly how she struggles to survive. She was making a living doing caring work in the UK but has not been able to do this since the pandemic started. She is in the process of acquiring pro forma invoices for her surgery and then we’ll decide how far we can help her.

2. At last, we are starting to pack away the blankets after a long cold winter. The African sunny days are becoming longer and warmer which will help our Pensioners and Veterans who have been suffering with this bitter cold.

Two of our recipients have recently died: Joan P who endured a long struggle with cancer – ZANE supported Joan for many years which I know she appreciated greatly and we were able to make her last days significantly more dignified than they would have been. The other person to die was Sandy – she was not yet 70 and her death is very sad.

Shirley S. (85) was in very good form, proudly showing me her vegetable garden and telling me how carefully she manages on her tiny income. She is extremely frugal but still manages to remain healthy, happy, and active, cleverly orchestrating her life in such a way that nothing is wasted.

Dev L. (90) was only able to do her renewal form with great difficulty. Riddled with arthritis and almost totally deaf, it is hard for her to communicate and the effort to do so is exhausting for her. Nevertheless, she wanted to sign the form herself and felt satisfied once she’d done that – what an amazing lady she is and I feel privileged to know her.

I attended an FFT meeting, the first for 6 months since our last meeting because we decided to follow safety measures to avoid the corona virus spread. The difference in what the Trust can now do to help people with medical problems is enormously reduced – for instance, we can no longer pay medical aid subs which have risen staggeringly high.

One thing that keeps coming up is pensioners asking us to thank the generous donors who make it possible for the work of ZANE to continue so I do that now – from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the many anxious old folks I see every day – thank you and God bless you.

Please continue to donate to this worthy cause and give the pensioners some dignity and hope for their future – every donation, no matter how big or small makes a massive difference to our beneficiaries.