UPDATE MAY 2016
(Excerpt from an email received from Louise Campbell)
Soap in Bulawayo is not doing very well at the moment and it does not seem likely that the situation will change any time soon. We have closed our lists, and only add those who are really desperate. Our numbers are going down, and it is our aim to keep those who have been relying on us for the longest of time, some for more than 12 years. It is hard to look away, but as things get worse here (and they are) more and more people are trying to get onto our lists. We have also had to discontinue the supply of vegetables and tinned meat, which cost us too much money – the vegies were costing $600.00 a month.
People are really finding life tough and there are many who are trying to raise funds for their various organisations in Bulawayo and we are not receiving donations from the Bulawayo community as we used to. It is also hard to raise funds here and unfortunately we do not have the manpower to take on the task of overseeing the raising of funds. We notice that other organisations hold activities to raise funds, a lot of time and work go into the organisation of the event and they will earn $2 000.00 to $2 500.00 which doesn’t even cover a month’s worth of groceries for us. We have to work by word of mouth and hope that someone will be terribly kind to us every now and again to keep us going for that little white longer.
If we do cut recipients from our list, the first to be excluded will be those at Coronation Cottages as they have a soup kitchen three or four days a week, but not all of our recipients eat there. They also run on donations and have a limit to how many people they can feed. It does quite often cause me sleepless nights!
We do try to supply our people with a good selection of long lasting foods, but lately there seems to have been a shortage of tinned spaghetti and jam. I try to order a little extra every month so that I know that for Christmas there will most definitely be a SOAP parcel to give to our oldies.
As always our old people suffer as living is hard – there is no money for maintenance of their homes and medical is also a problem for many of them. ‘Pay as you go’ meters for electricity have been installed in most houses in Bulawayo, but many, many of our oldies go for half the month or more without electricity because they just cannot afford it. It is a hopeless situation right now. We still distribute clothing and other household goods that are given to us and this is a bonus for our people as some of them become very, very scruffy.
Each food parcel costs approx US$30
Costing approximately US$3 000 per month – US$36 000 per year
They are no longer taking on new people unless really desperate
Zimbabwe Aid Fund Fundraiser
Wishing Gregg Petersen and his team all of the best as they start their EPIC mountain bike race this weekend. Many thanks to Gregg and all of your supporters for the very generous donations made to the Zimbabwe Aid Fund for the pensioners in Zimbabwe. To date we have received $3533. Good Luck and wishing you a safe trip!
Zimbabwe Aid Fund Fundraiser
On March 13th-20th this year, 4 of us will embark on tackling the worlds toughest Mountain Bike Stage race. We will cover over 647KM’s of Africa’s toughest terrain and climb a vertical ascent of 15,000m’s which is almost twice that of Everest in 8 days. For more details on the race see this video:
One of us will be my father who will be riding with me in a team and he is 69 years old. He is proving that age is just a number and speaking of numbers, we will be riding to raise funds for the elderly people of Zimbabwe. As you know, Zimbabwe’s currency is worth ZERO and thousands people invested all their retirement money in the now worthless Zimbabwe Dollar.
To make a donation and more on the Zimbabwe Aid Fund please use this link AND when donating in the Reference (Optional) line please use: Epic SOAP as your reference so we can track the amount raised. This is an AU$ account.
A HUGE thank you to Ratmir and Andrei from Veeam Software for making this possible. Without your help we would not be able to have done this, this year.
We really do appreciate all the support
MEA and SAARC
Skype ID: greggpetersen
We would like to thank-you all for your wonderful support received through this last year and to update you on the situation of the pensioners in Zimbabwe.
- ZAF continues to send all donations through to SOAP in both Harare and Bulawayo who between them support over 350 pensioners. The funds are used to purchase essential food items for the pensioners which are delivered on a monthly basis. Both SOAP's continue to carefully screen all applicants for assistance to ensure only the most deserving are being assisted. The work being done in Zimbabwe is all voluntary and 100% of your donations are being used to feed the elderly.
- Updates from the two SOAPS can be viewed above
- A big thank you to our monthly donors who together donate over $2000 a month to the pensioners. We are also continually amazed by the generosity of the one off donations received through the year. Thank you, the support is very much appreciated and is an enormous help.
- The annual golf day held at Boomerang Golf Club in September 2015 raised over $25 000. Thank you to all who attended and for all the assistance, donations of prizes and raffle items and support that we received. A special thanks to James King and his team at Boomerang Golf Club for all their help and support.
- The Toowoomba Charity Cricket Festival was held on Saturday the 3rd October 2015.This is the second year that it has been held and is now an annual event. Over $5600 was raised this year. We would like to thank Simon and Alex Lamont and all their helpers for organizing this fundraiser, a great day and a great effort.
- Finally thank-you everyone for your support. For anyone who has not received our acknowledgement of thanks and receipts for donations please let us have your email address as we have received donations but either have no contact details or our emails have been returned. Every donation no matter how much makes a big difference and is very much appreciate.
- Should you wish to make a Xmas donation our bank details are as follows:
The Zimbabwe Aid Fund
Updates information and our audited financial accounts are posted on our website. Please like us on Facebook if you wish to join our page and receive regular updates.
Our very best wishes to you all for 2016