The reports coming out of Zimbabwe about the plight of the elderly continue to be both alarming and heartbreaking and we are sharing them with our donors and well-wishers to help you understand that the work of ZANE has never been more important and life-savingly vital.
ZANE Field Report
I assessed a person by the name of Barbara K this week who has never married and has no family, very little money and is not at all well. She has allowed her CIMAS medical aid to lapse as when it was increased recently, she could no longer afford to pay the extra. As she said to me ‘It was a toss-up of paying my levy and buying in a little food or paying for my medical aid’. Barbara once worked as a civil servant and then for an Embassy as a secretary. How sad it is that people find themselves in such dire circumstances at this stage in their lives. She had saved $176,000 (USD) and now is left with $70,000 (ZWL). She told me she cannot sleep at night as she worries about what will happen when this small amount runs out.
With the help of some extra funding from a very generous Australian donor, we have been able to give Barbara some emergency food and medicine.
Two weeks later:
We visited Barbara who is new on our books. She lives in a flat at one of the care homes in Harare. She is a very quiet gentle person, who never married. Barbara worked for the Rhodesian Govt from 1962 – 1981, but sadly has nothing to show for it after her savings de-valued through hyper-inflation. ZANE can now assist Barbara every month and she will also receive an ‘Old Legs’ weekly food parcel.
She was so overcome by the help that she could hardly talk and tears ran down her face.
When we visited this week we were greeted at the door with the words: “Oh, oh, you have no idea what huge happiness this is giving me. Thank you so much”.
It is so satisfying for us to see how the help we can give makes such a huge difference to the lives of these wonderful old people and we would like the donors in Australia to know how much they are helping.