How you can help Pensioners
ZANE supports elderly people in Zimbabwe who have been so badly impacted by the economic turmoil of the last 10 years. Many had sold houses, moved into smaller homes and invested the proceeds expecting to be financially secure for the rest of their days.
However when hyperinflation hit, they lost everything. Many lost their pensions and what they receive today is totally inadequate for their modest needs; many lost their medical aid, and many lost their children who left for greener pastures.
With dollarisation in 2009 the financial situation stabilized, but the downside was that in real terms levies were increased by 400%, utility charges and wages by as much as 700%. In addition, all retirement homes had to increase their fees considerably when, in August 2011, employees in their sector were awarded a 30% wage increase backdated to January 2011.
In 2015 the financial situation of the homes continues to deteriorate as the economy contracts. To illustrate this: one retirement home worked out the cost of providing one meal in 2009 was US$0.75. In 2013 the cost is $5.00.
ZANE’s main focus is on individuals in the Retirement Homes but also helps certain individuals in their private homes.
When informed about an individual requiring help, ZANE will work with the administrators in the homes. Individual means-tests will be carried out and the individual’s relatives will be contacted in order to ensure we are all fully informed about their need for help. If all criteria are satisfied, ZANE will pay the individual’s rent directly to the home. ZANE also assists the homes with some donated food and individuals with emergency medical help.
ZANE also supports a number of pensioners in their private homes. In 2008, A$30 per month was sufficient to pay most of the bills. In 2015, that same pensioner needs A$500 to survive. ZANE has not been able to maintain the level of help required and many pensioners face the future with apprehension.
You Can Make a Difference
The cost of care…
Just A$15 covers the cost of fresh fruit, vegetables and eggs for one pensioner in a residential home for a whole month.
- A$30 pays for a weekly food parcel for an impoverished pensioner.
- A$65 covers the life-saving diabetic medicine for one destitute pensioner.
- A$250 will cure a child of clubfoot.
- A$50 provides the training and seed packs to enable one family to feed themselves for an entire year.
- A$85 covers the monthly life-saving drugs for a pensioner with high blood pressure and heart disease
- A$500 supports a Zimbabwe pensioner at home for one month
- A$3000 supports a Zimbabwe pensioner at home for six months
- A$6000 supports a Zimbabwe pensioner at home for one year
Feedback on EPAP
ZANE spends US$10 000 per year on “EPAP” nutritional supplement used to help boost all vulnerable groups.
Find out more about EPAP: http://epapzimbabwe.blogspot.com/2013/07/welcome-to-epap-zimbabwe.html
Herewith the list regarding the pensioners using EPAP. This is given to the pensioners in private homes who are not able to feed themselves the correct diet. This way they are getting minerals and vitamins that are lacking in their diet.
- Violet (65) Finds E Pap fills her up and she feels she is able to cope with the household chores.
- Allan (82) Feels much better in general physically and mentally, regular bowel movements.
- Wayne (62) Builds him up and feels healthier.
- Theodora (85) Feels stronger and is sleeping better.
- Graham (77) Has more energy, a small amount fills him up and in general feels healthier. He looks after his wife who suffers from dementia and at times this is all she will eat.
- Theresa A has a problem swallowing, Epap slips down and she is feeling healthier.
- Peter suffers from polyps & diverticulitis, he feels epap has made him more mentally alert physically able to cope in the mornings and found his eye sight has improved.
- Owen (70) suffers from schizophrenia has less mood swings, stopped talking to the trees and in general feeling stronger and is able to work in the garden.
- Judy (69) feels stronger and more mentally alert.
- William (Bill) has an artery problem and is suffering with pain. He feels this gives him a slight pick me up.
- Mary J felt that her eyesight improved and, in general, felt better.
- Mildred (67) – Gives her energy and has helped slightly with her gout.
- Late Allen suffered from cancer and towards the end had his epap as he was able to drink it and keep it down.
Who Are You Helping?
Brothers Ian and Alan retired after full working lives both owning a home and “a little nest egg”. Both continued to work after retirement. All their assets and pensions were written off by hyperinflation. When Alan’s wife died they moved into one house but cost increases forced them to sell. They moved into rented accommodation where ZANE found them starving. ZANE moved them into a retirement home and has supported them for eight years. Alan says “but for ZANE we would be underground”.
After a long career working for the municipality in Harare, Bert had a comfortable life. He saved hard which allowed him to indulge in his passion for classic cars – a passion he hoped to devote more time to in his retirement. His hopes, along with his savings and pension, were wiped out when the hyperinflation hit.
Bert now lives in a tiny one-room cottage in Harare and survives on just $150 dollars a month. Such a small amount makes it hard to purchase the healthy food required to keep his chronic diabetes under control. When his health permits, Bert is a keen gardener and the pleasure this and the visiting birds to his garden gives him is a joy to observe. ZANE provide Bert with so much more than financial support.
Our staff in Zimbabwe have become his friends. With no family in the country and coping with the everyday reality of his situation, Bert gets very lonely and frustrated. A regular visit from one of our team, armed with a couple of books and a savoury treat, is a lifeline to Bert and his gratitude is truly humbling.
Orbert and Enoch became good friends when they were in hospital together many years ago after receiving serious injuries by handling anti-personnel mines. There are thousands of unexploded mines all around the borders of Zimbabwe – a sad leftover from the Chimurenga War of the 1970’s and even today school children are often injured by stepping on, or picking up, these mines while walking to and from school (with heavy rains these mines can migrate hundreds of metres from where they were originally placed).
“I can go out with Enoch,” says Orbert, “because he understands what I am feeling and he has his arm to get out money for the bus fare or help me drink some water. And my wife… well I am lucky she helps with all the things I cannot do since my (prosthetic) hands broke.”
After meeting ZANE workers these two friends are receiving monthly food packs. We are working in partnership with the HALO Trust to enable Orbert to have new prosthetic hands fitted so that he can manage to eat and drink without relying on friends and family.
Thank You Letters
“Thank you for the goody parcel and the blanket. God Bless you” Margaret
“Thank you very much for the wonderful surprise we received today. We do appreciate your kindness. God Bless.” Willie and Ingrid
The following are a samples of thank you letters received from elderly people in Zimbabwe:
Please note that names have been changed to preserve anonymity.
Dear Mr Benyon
No words can describe our thanks to you and to the ZANE donors for all your financial assistance that you have us with our mother Mrs Helen Briggs who up to the moment of her death on Saturday night was staying at No 4 Beit Wing at the Edith Duly Hospital nursing home in Bulawayo.
God is Good in giving us such wonderfully caring people as you and your carers and donors whose concern for others is so praiseworthy and unbelievably kind.
My wife and I will be eternally grateful to you for all your assistance as it was a constant concern to us as to how we were going to continue to look after Mum, ourselves being pensioners and we didn’t have the facilities in our small house in Gwanda, 145 miles from Bulawayo, where there are no functioning medical facilities of hospital and she was so very comfortable in her own room at Edith Duly, so thanks to your help she spent the last years of her life in comfort and free from worries about finances.
Thank you once again from the bottom of our hearts for all you help. We pray that the Lord will continue to to bless you. I know there are many people who are grateful for all you kindness and concern.
Our fondest regards
George and Mary Briggs
These two were from elderly people themselves:
“I want to thank you very much for offering to pay for my rent and medication. It is nice to know that there is someone who cares about the welfare of other people and yet is so far away. I prayed and Jesus heard me from above and you are the answer to my prayer. Indeed you are clothed in compassion and kindness”
“I wish to give you my most sincere thanks for the wonderful work you are involved with in England and consequently the help being given to me through ZANE. I am unfortunately a widow aged 87 years and with the ever increasing cost of living rising in such huge amounts, it is all very worrying. With your wonderful assistance, I am so relieved to be able now to spend my declining time here free of financial worries.”