All posts by Zimbabwe Gecko Society Team

2020 December newsletter

December 1, 2020 
Hello Friends and Family,Recently, I have read or heard people say, “I guess there’s not going to be a Christmas this year”, or something similar. I was in London Drugs recently when the customer behind me said that. I responded, “There will always be Christmas” and was about to say more when the counter clerk said, “You need to go home and watch the Grinch that Stole Christmas.” Before I could say anything further, the woman replied, “Why of course we have to think like the “Who people in the village. They proved that Christmas was in the heart.” I was able to chip in a bit about Christ being the reason for the season and we should look to find Him. We all left being reminded that Christmas is about Christ Who is in our hearts, minds, and spirit… our Saviour who came to earth just for us.Thank you to all who supported our last little fundraiser coming out to take part and also purchasing the food orders. I have had no reports on food poisoning but quite a few requests for more orders. So all is well. 😊I am pleased to say the piggery is now finished and 5 pregnant sows are in place. We have already started to build another sty. Photos will be available soon, when the piglets are born.The Children’s school and the Early Childhood Development are completed except for skimming the outside walls and painting. Children are now attending the school and loving it. They are immensely proud of their “like-new” desks and chairs, etc. All children receive two meals per day–morning porridge and a lunch of maize meal and vegetablesWe do need to continue to build housing for teachers. We need housing because we are so far from the main road. The more housing we have, the more grades we can accomadate. Up to now we have ECD 1 and 2 and Grades 1 and 2. With additional housing we can expand to Grade 6. We would then need to build more classrooms for grades 7 and 8.The tailor continues to do a wonderful job of making all the school uniforms and masks and selling them to those who can afford it. We are supporting those who can’t. The uniforms are sold in the shop which is also doing well. See picture.Chickens are now providing a good income, and this enables people to plant crops for pig food and to make maize meal. See photo attached. Because there is no rain, the women are watering the plants one at a time and hoping the rains will come soon. All these projects need workers and the people are so happy to have jobs. And there is still some profit for other projects.Other projects: We have just been given 4 hairdressing chairs by CRW. I passed on the news and there is great excitement that a hairdresser will be available.DO YOU HAVE ANY SPARE HAIRDRESSING EQUIPMENT? Dryers? (including ones you sit under?) Steamers? Perhaps they mean tongs that steam for hair straightening. Also, brushes, combs, nail products, etc. SHOEMAKING EQUIPMENT? SOAP MAKING EQUIPMENT?IF YOU CAN HELP, PLEASE CONTACT ME SOONEST AS THE CONTAINER WILL LEAVE EARLY DECEMBERThe gardens are flourishing and making money to buy more seed and prepare more land. We have started a garden program for the school kids called Elva’s garden after a friend who really wanted the children to learn all skills. See Picture. The more the Government witnesses this style of work, the more land the people are being given, and others are coming to learn from us. A farming course was held recently. The community are now watching and wanting to take the course.
 The Church led by Pastor Darlington is growing weekly. It is an exceedingly difficult area to see converts in this area but he is leading by showing love and kindness as well as sitting in groups and studying. The last report I received was that we had grown from a start-up of 7 people to about 70 Adults and 80 teens and children.We have had a generous donor who specifically wanted the people to have a Christmas lunch/party Pastor Darlington and team will manage it. What a glorious day it will be! If you would like to provide a drink and sweets please let me know.We are almost ready to send a container through Community Resource Warehouse – Dell has been dealing with many difficulties due to new regulations but the container should be leaving in early December. Many thanks to a very generous donor who is paying for the shipping, and to the hundreds of volunteers who give daily one way or the other.MEMO led by Dr Jerome Harvey, Karen Parker and Tom Baxter have recently sent another container bringing the containers sent this year by them to 4 plus the four that arrived from 2029 shipping bringing it to 8. Yes… EIGHT! Many items go to the hospitals and clinics and have been a real godsend.Between the two organizations we have equipped many schools, hospitals, clinics, homes, gardens, computer labs, sewing centers, carpentry centers , and given people mobility with wheel chairs, walkers, walking sticks etc.Dried food has been provided to the starving through CRW which was added to the maize you donated for I could take up a full page if I wrote of every help that has been made possible by these hard working and generous folk.The 4 containers due to arrive early January will need $1500 each for clearance, duty, cranes and trucks. I so readily say yes to each container and trust that the charges will be donated.Ostomy bags are included in the container and now many who need them can use a proper clean bag designed for ostomy rather than shopping bags which promote infection. I receive many letters of thanks. Kim my niece has been overseeing this project and many have praised and thanked her for all she has done to set up monthly collections.I am incredibly grateful to those who gave this year and made a huge difference to so many people’s lives. We are working to put a little video together which won’t be done until January as we are waiting to include the piglets in the movie. 😊 This video will show how you changed lives as they share their stories.Thank you so very much for your support. This newsletter provides only a glimpse into the work we do all over Zimbabwe.Thank you for your kindness and prayers for Frank and myself.We wish you a very Merry Christmas and whether we celebrate at home alone or with family we can always retain Christmas in our hearts.God bless you all,Sue and FrankFounders, Zimbabwe Gecko SocietyDONATE TODAY
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2020 Oct 28 Newsletter

Hello to all our supporters,

Thank you for making our fundraiser a fun and successful event!  Our attempt at recreating our annual dinner was appreciated by those attending, with lots of food preorders for part of the meal we would normally eat. We also had two wine boards holding 12 bottles on each board,  beautiful gift baskets for 19 winners,  the Gecko table and the beaded ornaments. In addition there were a few components from the art sale, as well as Apple Sauce and Chutney for sale.  There were hand knitted items as well as African art and crafts. There is some  beautiful artwork still left if you are interested.  I no longer publicize in newsletters  the amount raised from the fundraiser; however please feel free to e-mail me if you wish to know. We also received some donations prior to the event for which we are very thankful.   Thank you to all who gave of their time and energy for the event. 

We very much appreciate all of you who attended the  event as well as those who gave the extra donations.   This year’s dinner fundraiser, even with the necessary cutbacks, has been our solitary fundraiser.    

We have continued in faith with our projects in Zimbabwe, despite everything.  The school is 100% ready with children expected to arrive in November.     Our tailor has been busy making uniforms.  Grass is being planted for the playground (planting delayed until the seasonal rains came)  The gardens are nearly ready to sell Covo, pumpkins and squash.The shop is extending help to those who find it impossible to get to the shops to buy their basic food rations, etc.  The Carpentry Center is using the mill to produce sheets of wood for making items.  Coffins have been in demand of late.  The clinic  now has a Dr. or professional nurse who makes visits for set appointment days.   People trained in first aid are at the ready daily for the numerous accidents that occur. 

The children’s Sunday School is growing by the week.  The adult church is also growing weekly and is building relationships through study and worship together.  The church oversees daily feeding programs  for the vulnerable, children and seniors, and volunteers hand out maize meal on Sundays.   Most of the people are hungry and many are starving. 
The  EFCCM benevolent fund has provided 17 tons of maize with 5 tons recently delivered.  White Rock Baptist Church Life Groups raised enough funds for 25 tons of maize which  has literally kept people alive while the lockdown was in force.       

Our  chicken programs are a great success  with the funds going toward helping others get started, toward food supplies, fun days, wages  etc.     We currently  need a new male goat as births have dropped off. 
Soon  we  will have a  pig sty and pigs.   Does anyone want to give a friend a pig for Christmas? Please let me know.   You will receive a letter of donation and a little pink or black pig  to remind them  of your generosity.  When enough is collected, a pig will be purchased.    A pregnant sow costs $200  and gives birth to 10 piglets  3 months  3 days and 3 hours later.   This building of a pig pen for pig and piglets  costs $700  which also allows for growth. 
should create an interesting reply to, “What did you get for Christmas?”

MEMO, with Dr. Jerome  Harvey overseeing with volunteers,  have just sent a container to Dr Paul Thistle at Karunda Mission Hospital  Paul is now dealing with a good part of the country trying to get to Karunda for medical treatment.  The Memo container also includes 10 crates we have filled for our ministry.  Another  container was sent in early October containing just about everything including the kitchen sink and toilets.   MEMO has a special heart for some boys  known as the WEDZA boy  living in Wedza.    They will soon have a home in two containers,  which will be positioned with a 20′ gap between them and the gap filled in with brick housing.   See picture of the building.   This started with two containers sent for ZGS  earlier in the year.   This will be the boys’ home and school.   Judy Travers from IMIRI is overseeing the project and MEMO will equip it. We have already sent  many blankets, sheets, pots, pans, plates and dishes to get them started.Truly their lives will be changed forever.  

Compassionate Warehouse, overseen by Dell Marie and her team, will be sending a container for us in December.  (We already have all we need and more besides, thank you)    Dell and her team pack the container with  everything from medical supplies to garden tools.    All  of the gifts help us meet our mandate  to provide  clean water,  agriculture, education, church, health clinics.  It is amazing what goes into these containers .  I always liken it to the goods going in as marshmallows…they go in tight and don’t allow for an inch of space and when the container is open and they come out they all puff up again and it is unbelievable that the goods in fact were all in that 40 foot  container.  

It is donors who make all this possible, providing the goods, containers, funds to send the containers and funds to pay duty, taxes and the trucks to deliver it all.    
–          donors who give funds for the projects mentioned above, as well as                             money for the builders, the buildings, the animals, and the food;
–          donors who give Bibles, pots and pans, fabric, their grandmother’s                               beautiful treadle sewing machine.  
       There is sacrificial giving of all kinds !

I am feeling somewhat reflective as I write this today,   I believe it is because I am overwhelmed  by the generosity that has allowed ZGS to continue–because of your donations in a time when I didn’t know how we  could still move forward without our normal fundraising events.  God is surely in control. 

This is not just the ministry of ZGS… rather, it is the ministry of all of you and us together.     THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for partnering with us.

May God  bless each one of you!

Sue and Frank
Founders, Zimbabwe Gecko Society