Tom and Jane Benyon’s Walk
Jane and I, along with Moses the dog, will once again be walking across England from Hay-on-Wye to Ipswich. We have decided to walk again because without your generous sponsorship many thousands of people could not survive in a country – now one of the poorest in the world – ravaged by corruption, famine and extreme poverty.
So we are walking to stop vulnerable people from weeping.
The situation in Zimbabwe deteriorates daily. Drought, famine and now severe cash shortages have left the beleaguered people of Zimbabwe trapped in fear and uncertainty. The cash shortage has arisen because people are fearful that the Mugabe government will re-impose the old debauched Zimbabwe currency in place of the US dollar: so US dollars have drained from the country. Today Zimbabwe is the most expensive place to live in Africa. Rising costs are having a crippling effect on the already shattered economy. The impact on the most vulnerable, particularly the lonely elderly, is devastating.
We are witnessing increasingly harrowing referrals – people too poor to pay for basic medical provision resulting in chronic illness (see the case of Frank below).
Please try and imagine the fear and despair that engulfs the lives of many thousands of people stranded in Zimbabwe. There but by the grace of God goes anyone of us. To see one’s beloved country destroyed by greed and corruption; to be robbed of one’s savings, pension and livelihood; to awake each morning in chronic pain with no access to relief and with no hope; to be kept awake at night through hunger and lack of medicines: no one should live like this, least of all pensioners who have undertaken a lifetime of honest and hard work only to witness it all wiped out in a heartbeat.
This is why we are walking. To draw the attention of a disinterested world to the fact that many of the destitute people of Zimbabwe have no one to turn to other than ZANE.
So we walk for the forgotten pensioners, for the children afflicted with clubfoot, for victims of landmine explosions and countless others enmeshed in a pitiless and often terrifying regime.
With your help we can turn fear and distress into hope and comfort.
Tom Benyon OBE
PS – Please remember that ZANE has never lost money to corruption; what you give, goes exactly where it is meant to go.
Struggling to Survive
Referred to ZANE by concerned neighbours, our staff in Zimbabwe found Frank and Julie*, both in their late 70’s, living in extreme poverty.
Having worked hard all their lives, they were devastated when they lost Frank’s pension and their entire savings when the hyper-inflation hit and the economy crashed. For many years, they managed to live on Julie’s small book-keeping wage. However, when Julie’s employers could no longer afford to keep her on, she struggled to find alternative work in a country with unemployment rates exceeding 90%. Frank and Julie found themselves struggling to survive, faced with a choice between food and fuel. Unsure of where to turn, the situation for Frank and Julie was rapidly deteriorating.
Thankfully a kindly neighbour alerted ZANE to their plight. Our staff found them malnourished and, alarmingly, Frank’s feet were a worrying shade of purple-black – a result of untreated diabetes. They had no means to pay for Frank’s essential and lifesaving medication and he was extremely ill. We rapidly sought medical intervention.
Four months on, Frank’s diabetes is under control and his feet have recovered.
Thanks to your generosity, we are able to help Julie and Frank with their medical bills and provide food and household essentials. Both are regaining strength and taking great comfort in the kindness of strangers.
“ZANE has saved my life. Without you I would have had amputations or death. I can’t thank you enough.”
*Names have been changed on grounds of security