Trip to Zimbabwe – August 2010
By Ti, Chabata, chairperson of BOHJ, USA
I travelled to Zimbabwe in August 2010 to visit with the children and the BOHJ (Zimbabwe) volunteers led by the Director, Joyce Muchechetere. I mingled with the orphaned children, their needy grandmothers and community leaders, making this a life-changing trip for me. My heart was touched by how little they have, yet they are so grateful for each little thing. The orphans in the rural areas have the greatest challenge of coping with life on a daily basis. Simple things like pain medication (Tylenol, Advil, and Ibuprofen) are hard to find. Some of the children have bad scabies and open wounds that go untreated for lack of medication. Their needs are great! I was so overwhelmed with the condition of the children. However, the children and their grandmothers sent a word of appreciation to each sponsor for their generosity.
• The Principal of one of the schools with 200-orphaned children, Chiguvare Primary School, expressed her gratitude towards the support given to the school by BOHJ. Help was in the form of library books, school supplies, clothing, food, and tuition fees. BOHJ’s presence in this community has changed lives of many children and their guardians.
• I was taken on a tour of the school to see how the various donations sent in by BOHJ have made a difference in the life of the school and the needy children. The school now has a library stocked with books shipped from USA to Zimbabwe.
• I visited with the orphaned children sponsored by BOHJ in Harare and Marondera. The children displayed various activities they are involved in that include: True Love Waits and Mail Box Clubs. These clubs provide counseling sessions to encourage them to stay abstinent until marriage. Very powerful tools that help break the immoral cycle experienced by their deceased parents. A group of volunteers sacrificially minister to these children and they are due a lot of praise!
• A follow-up of the orphaned children sponsored from the inception of this ministry was done and will be sent out to those first sponsors. It is a joy to see how the donor’s investment has transformed lives of children by giving them hope where they was little hope.
Challenges For 2011
• The organization faced a big challenge in 2010 as economic changes in Zimbabwe affected BOHJ’s ability to effectively sponsor each child as in the past. Zimbabwe dollarized its currency to the US dollar as the official currency for Zimbabwe, and eliminated the inflated Zimbabwe dollar, which drastically lost value through 2009.
• Shipping costs continue to rise each year.
• BOHJ processed data for close to 100 more orphaned children at Chiguvare and placed them on the waiting list. There is a great need for more sponsors to meet this need.
• Limited resources kept BOHJ from sponsoring all the children in the program.
Thank you once again for your help and donations towards the BOHJ work in 2010. We could not have done it without your involvement. Some of you helped by rolling clothes getting them ready for shipment (The Holy Rollers), packing books, soliciting for library books and school supplies, loading the truck, donating clothes and many more activities not mentioned.
We are grateful to the Lord for enabling Joyce Muchechetere to come back to the USA after having been gone for three years to start this work. She brings in the excitement of what she likes to do best: touch the lives of these vulnerable, orphaned children. We hope you get time to visit with her , see pictures and hear more about the work before she returns to Zimbabwe on January 26, 2011.
Happy New Year to you all! We look forward to a more successful and exciting 2011 as by FAITH we continue to bring hope to the vulnerable, orphaned children of Zimbabwe.
In His Service
Beacon of Hope & Joy (USA)
UNPACKING THE 2ND CONTAINER of books , school supplies, and clothing.
The container arrived and they are busy unpacking and organizing the boxes of books, school supplies and clothing at the BOHJ office to be transported to the Chiguvare and Sesami Primary Schools.
Money is being collected to finance the transportation costs, as the Beacon of Hope and Joy Zimbabwean volunteers provide the man power for the deliveries to the schools.
Stationery is being sold from original photographs of flowers by Ginny Hatt. As well as, donations being collected, to purchase materials for library shelving.
RECYCLE SCHOOL SUPPLIES !!!
Students and faculty from Mansfield area schools and Riddell Elementary in Frisco are collecting their gently used school supplies to be sent to African students. Pencils, pens, notebook paper, crayons, rulers which might go in the wastebasket will be going to school children in Liberia and Zimbabwe who have rarely used a pencil or paper in their whole school experience.
Willie Brown, Pantego Christian , Kenneth Davis Elementary schools, Aso Low Intermediate, and Legacy High students and faculty are proudly choosing to share their last year’s paper and pencils, etc. with students who have none of their own.
In the fall representatives, who will be traveling there this summer, will share reports on the African schools and pictures of the children using the supplies and books.
This is a unique program that we hope will spread in its outreach in the coming year. Want to help with this project by promoting it in your school next year? Let us know at www.beaconofhopeandjoy.org.