EXTRACT FROM AN EMAIL RECEIVED FROM LOUISE CAMPBELL
We would like to thank the Zimbabwe Aid Fund for the wonderful donation of US$3 000.00 that we have been receiving from you on a monthly basis. Your kindness to SOAP over the years has been phenomenal and we are most grateful to you for your continual support.
We still live in unbelievable times and the woes and stress that we live under increases daily, some of us are in a position to handle it better than others, and unfortunately our old people are forced to live lives that they never ever imagined and they have no way out.
I was given seven rings belonging to one of our ladies for sale. They have no children and no way of supporting themselves. One of the rings is Lorna’s grandmothers engagement ring and the other diamond ring she gave me is her engagement ring. She was very emotional about having to part with them, but she says they have commitments and no means of fulfilling them. They still run a motor vehicle which needs new tyres and insurance and licencing are coming up soon.
I was comparing our grocery order from November last year to November this year and the hike in prices are frightening. The rate for the US dollar has increased quite considerably but the increase in the cost of living in US dollars has also increased so our oldies never find themselves in a winning situation.
Our old Mr Heath worked for the Railways for 35 years and earns a pension of ZW$3 000.00. Thankfully he owns his own house so he has no rentals to pay but he would have to pay for his rates and lights and water.
Our parcels are worth ZW$26 660.00 at present and we are looking at increasing the contents on a regular basis to help alleviate the struggle in trying to feed themselves. As Christmas in coming up next month we will be buying them Christmas cake, coffee, custard and body lotion and shampoo. Although we do supply body lotion and shampoo during the year we do not do so regularly. At present they receive 1kg of chicken pieces and we hope to also supply them with some minced meat in December.
Almost everything on our lists has more than doubled throughout the year with some items increasing to more than FIVE times the price of what they used to be.
No one thinks there will be any change in this country in the foreseeable future, which is very sad for our pensioners.
We have recently decided to increase their parcels as much as we can and they have been receiving margarine and fresh milk as well as their cremora. I was contemplating stopping the milk after the first couple of months because they are so messy and it is seldom that you find every packet of milk intact, and all the parcels bottoms end up wet, but we had such good feedback after starting the milk that I just didn’t have the heart to stop, so we continue on!! We now deliver with cooler boxes and extra packaging to avoid the parcels getting ruined.
Our lists do not fluctuate much in numbers, although we are always adding a few here and there, we try to keep the policy of adding one if we lose one which is quite harsh because of the terrible economic situation but we would be would be overwhelmed if we did not use some sort of limit.
Thank you to all your Donors for all your very valuable help.
Very best regards
Louise and all the SOAP recipients.