SOAP BULAWAYO 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.
LOUISE CAMPBELL MAY 2016
In Summary: SOAP Bulawayo is now supplying 100 pensioners with food parcels – down from 130. Each food parcel costs approx US$30 Costing approximately US$3000 per month – US$36 000 per year No longer taking on new people unless really desperate Funds sent by ZAF in 2015 – Feb 8 000 May 8 000 Aug 10 000 Nov 10 000 TOTAL US$ 36 000