Well, Brooke Parker's husband, Kevin, is originally from Zimbabwe, where his family still lives. Over the years, Brooke has had the chance to visit the country many times and has fallen in love with both the country and the people.
It was during a chance conversation between Brooke and Steve (who is, of course, also from Zimbabwe) that the idea was hatched to try and do something to support Zimkids. And so it was decided to run the 13km Pub to Pub from Dee Why to Newport.
As it happens, Steve is planning on taking his partner, Susan, and their 5 month old son, Matthew, to Zimbabwe in September where he will present a cheque to Zimkids for the funds raised. Having his first child has really reinforced to Steve how fortunate we are to live in Australia. The vast majority of children in Zimbabwe will not have access to any of the basic amenities that we all enjoy on a daily basis.
In addition to raising funds, Zimkids are also desperate for clothing. With a number of ‘Mum’s in the team, Mukiwa is also hoping to put together a bag of kids clothing for Steve to take and handover.
How can you help? Well, the honest truth is that a cash donation is what is needed most. Below is a list of how your donation, no matter how small, can make a difference to the lives of these families.
Our aim is to raise $2,000.
ZimKids began in 2006 with one little boy needing life-saving HIV treatment, he was just five years old, had no family, no clothes and no way to get food. Through getting to know this little boy and providing for his most basic needs it became evident that there was a massive problem of poverty throughout Zimbabwe.
ZimKids works with the whole family and fosters self-sufficiency, making it a priority to teach families skills so that they can work their way out of poverty.
ZimKids currently supports around 50 families, including around 120 children. Their work continues to focus on three townships around Harare and the rural area of Mutoko. A few of their key focus areas include education, support and training.
Sadly, schooling in Zimbabwe is impossible for most, due to a combination of the high costs and the pressure to send children to work.
ZimKids ensures the children they support are able to access education by helping with school fees, in addition to running extra schooling.
Some ways in which ZimKids helps to do this includes:
- Providing basic literacy and numeracy on the ground in each of the communities they work in.
- Assisting with payment of school fees - ZimKids does not pay the full amount of school fees instead they partner with the family and encourage the family to pay what they can and ZimKids attempts to cover the shortfall. Over time, as the family becomes more self-sufficient ZimKids gradually reduces the amount of fees they pay.
- All children that are supported by ZimKids are regularly visited in their homes, and encouraged in life skills, hygiene and HIV/AIDS education.
- In addition to school fees some of the children receive school uniforms, textbooks and stationary as needed.
- Pop-up classrooms in the townships have been built which enables the township teachers to teach every afternoon under shelter. This extra teaching helps to supplement the children’s learning in mainstream schooling.
Although Zimbabwe is one of the first countries to experience a decline in new AIDS infections and HIV related deaths in the past it is still seized by a severe AIDS epidemic with an unacceptably high HIV prevalence and incidence. HIV/AIDS remains the leading cause of death in Zimbabwe.
ZimKids helps to support families who are affected by HIV/AIDS by providing these families with the practical, emotional and social support to help them through. This also includes counselling and providing education.
ZimKids helps to support families with food, clothing, healthcare and accommodation in times when emergency intervention is needed. They have helped to put roofs on ZimKids’ families’ homes and helped to re-home a family.
In Zimbabwe, the unemployment rate is around 95% which is sadly one of the highest in the world. ZimKids helps to support families through various training methods to help them with employment and income.
- Providing training for teachers in the townships which they work in. These teachers then teach the children ZimKids supports to read and write.
- Expose the families to sustainable farming methods so they can grow their own food.
- Implementation of the ZimBees Project which provides training in honey harvesting and honey purification. Through this project ZimKids has not only trained beekeepers but also raised money through the production of the honey which provides cash donations to further whichever projects are needed.
- Implementation of ZimGrow which helps to provide seed packs for families who have space to grow maize (which is the staple food of Zimbabwe). Between March 2014 and February 2015 ZimKids provided seed packs worth $75 to seven families and in the process of receiving these the families have also learnt some invaluable simple farming methods.
ZimKids recently celebrated the success of Boldwin (a member of one of the ZimKids families) as he reported that he had harvested 1 Tonne of Maize and various beans and vegetables after completing ZimKids self-sufficiency training!!
Below is a list of ways your donation could help:
A$16 - feeds a child and their carer for a week.
A$82 - buys a year's school uniform for one child.
A$82 - per term for school fees
A$123 - buys a family a maize growing starter pack.
A$247 - trains a Beekeeper.
A$170 - puts a roof on a family's homestead.
A$410 - trains and resources for a Township Teacher.
Read more about ZimKids and their successes at www.zimkids.org
And please don't hesitate to spread the word by either 'liking' this on Facebook, or sharing the article directly with your friends, family and colleagues.
Thank you so much - from everyone here at Mukiwa Financial Services.
- Belinda Pestana
- Eileen Anderson
- Eileen McCulloch
- Stephen Moir
- Margaret De Almeida
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