The role of field worker for ZANE in Zimbabwe is hugely challenging but also very rewarding. Every day is different; one cannot predict what the week will bring. I might start Monday full of hope and end it in tears of frustration. Equally, I might have the worst start to the day with a traumatic assessment of a pensioner in dire need, and end it drinking tea and laughing with a veteran whose health has been transformed thanks to effective diabetic medicine.
What follows is a snapshot of one week in September 2019 and all it entailed.
I visit Alice and Raymond*. He is clearly seriously ill but, too proud to ask for help and without the funds to pay for treatment, Alice has been looking after him by herself. I spend several hours comforting Alice and reassuring her that we will get some help.
I return to the office with a heavy heart. It’s devastating that Raymond, who worked for the city council for years, should be facing his final days in poverty and pain. His pension and savings were decimated in the economic crash and the couple are entirely dependent on their adult son, who sends them what he can afford from South Africa.
We immediately organise for a carer to go in and help care for Raymond. Alice is so grateful as she is no longer strong enough to lift her husband.
Sadly, just three weeks later, I received an early morning call to say that Raymond had died. ZANE assisted with the funeral costs and I continue to give Alice moral support.
*Names have been changed
Please find it in your heart to donate whatever you can to ZANE so that the important work of helping the most vulnerable Zimbabweans can be sustained.