zimbabwe gecko society

In this newsletter:

 - Photographs from Zimbabwe

 - Letter from Susan in Zimbabwe

 - Annual Garage Sale - Saturday, May 20th

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Liz sharing her love for the Zimbabwe people.

Liz is now back in Canada. She has left a piece of her heart with the people in Zimbabwe.

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One of the many times we were stuck in the mud for more than 2 hrs. It has become routine and we carry bricks to build roads under the wheels.   Each person seen here helping stood knee deep in mud and before we were finished, they were totally covered in mud from the wheels spinning as they pushed. We were eventually hauled out using a car that had to be pushed to  start and some fence wire that had to be stripped off a fence. When I said to the lady that she shouldn’t risk her car in any way, she replied, “You have risked so much for us with putting in the Wellness Center that we will do anything for you.”  Liz witnessed it all.  

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Letter from Susan in Zimbabwe - March 3rd, 2017

Dear Family and Friends  of Zimbabwe Gecko Society ,

As always, thank you for your support, love, and prayers.  Below is a brief report on what we have been accomplishing thanks to your donations and encouragement. 

Frank, Liz, Ross and Harry are now settled back in Canada. 

I can't say I feel settled during  this trip in Zimbabwe. The Police are everywhere: intimidating figures on the road, fining people for often invented reasons.  This is a shame when there are multiple opportunities to fine people for real infractions, such as running red lights, which endanger others, etc.  I have heard that seniors are afraid to go on the roads for fear of getting fined and leaving them with no funds for food and other necessities. Money  is in extremely short supply, with people lining up for blocks to withdraw  small amounts. There is very little money for wages, so people work in the hope of earning just a few dollars. However one can see their patience is running thin. No one feels safe when there is no one to turn to.  

Nevertheless, let me not take away from the truth that God is with us no matter where we are.  When I left Canada, I was given a bookmark quoting Joshua 1:9...Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. I read it daily and know God is with me.  

 The containers are almost finished and the concrete between the two has been laid. (No mud in that section)! The toilet facilities we needed to put in are almost dug but the water level remains too high to complete this project at this point. I have purchased containers in which to store all the drills, bits, screws, nails, and a thousand other things. This will help with accountability and stock taking, as well as keeping things free of dust and dirt while working. 

This week we will establish the ground for farming and will fence it in. The baboons and monkeys are a huge threat to farming here.

A second ladies’ sewing group has been established, and leadership found; a man was also hired to run the carpentry shop. Those who have been chosen are ecstatically happy, but the facilities are also big enough to allow many groups to get started and to support themselves.

Rain continues which, at this point, is not good for anyone.  Fields are flooding and the basic cabbage and spinach types of crops are rotting in the fields.  Corn or maize is o.k. so far, but will start to rot on the stalks soon if the rains don’t stop. One good thing is that the rivers are now full to overflowing after years of drought.    

Cathy Buckle is a Zimbabwean writer and blogger.  Cathy boldly writes about the current situation in Zimbabwe. I knew Cathy when Frank and I lived in Zimbabwe. When you read the following  excerpts from her recdent blog, you will get an idea of how much ZGS’s contributions of medical supplies have been desperately needed and appreciated, especially this year.  Thank  you all for your support of ZGS:

"2017 has started with a serious crisis unfolding in the country’s health sector.  Essential drugs for chronic and non-communicable illnesses are in short supply. This is because these drugs are imported and hospitals are unable to access US dollars to import them.

Government Doctors have just gone on strike asking for better working conditions and better pay. Imagine being the doctor on call and you only get paid US$1.20 per hour. Doctors who embarked on the strike were then told by the Minister of Health that if they didn’t return to work they would be fired. To put the doctors’ request in context: an electrician or IT specialist in Zimbabwe charges between $20 and $30 an hour.

     The health sector crisis is not only about drugs and doctors. It’s about the ordinary people. If you don’t have money or medical insurance, which most Zimbabweans don’t, it’s literally a matter of life and death if you get sick. You have to pay $100 deposit to be admitted to hospital and then you have to buy and/or pay for everything that is needed to save your life: needles, syringes, cannulas, scans, tests, X rays, drugs and blood. Blood is the biggest horror of all: $130 a pint; that’s a death sentence in a country where 90% of people are unemployed. Then you’ve got the consultants fees, the anesthetist’s fees, the daily hospital bed fees, the oxygen fees and so it goes on and on.

      While the economy and country unravels, unbelievably last night there was an advert calling for donations for President Mugabe’s 93rd birthday party. Organisers are looking for US$2.5 million! That’s enough to buy over 19,230 pints of blood. "

Finally, here is an abridged article on the effect the medical situation is having on a typical poor family in Harare.

"This past week, a young mother died in Harare due to pregnancy complications.  She was 23 and left behind a three-year-old son and a grieving husband. With no hearse and funeral company managing the funeral, one could tell that the deceased was one of the millions of Zimbabweans who cannot afford basic medical insurance or a modest life assurance policy.

As at 2015, Zimbabwe’s maternal mortality rate stood at 614 deaths per 100 000 live births. The country’s public health delivery system went into limbo last week when junior doctors went on strike over poor salaries and working conditions. Since then many lives have been in peril.

“We are shocked that the minister of Health (David Parirenyatwa) is not even talking to us despite reports of avoidable deaths at our central hospitals.

Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) said the country’s major referral hospitals in Harare and Bulawayo have literally closed their Outpatients Departments and stopped attending to emergencies, a situation that could prolong suffering and lead to avoidable deaths."

Thank you always for your prayers and support, both for Frank at home and for me in Zimbabwe.

Blessings,

Susan Janetti
Founder, Zimbabwe Gecko Society

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2017 Annual Garage Sale

Helping Widows and Orphans in Need

Saturday May 20, 2017

8 am - 2 pm

White Rock Baptist Church
1657 140th Street, Surrey, BC

We are already planning our annual garage sale, which gets bigger and better every year! Please help us out, if you can, by donating items or by volunteering. 100% of the money raised will  go towards our awesome programs that help those in need in Zimbabwe!

How You Can Help:

• Save your new or gently used items that you no longer need (no electronics or large furniture please).

• Deliver them to the White Rock Baptist Church on Friday May 19th, between 3 pm and 8 pm.

• Help us by volunteering on  May 19th and 20st (contact Susan or Marie - see info below).

• Pass the word on to your friends!

And be sure to come shopping

or just visit and enjoy some lunch on

Saturday May 20!

For further information please contact:                                           

Susan Janetti (Sue is in Zimbabwe until the end of March) at zimbabwegecko@gmail.com   (604) 531-3654

or

Marie Smith at  gmariebeaudette@gmail.com  (604) 535-0602

Thank-you!!

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Thank-You for your support!

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