Dear Zimbabwe Pensioner Support Fund Supporters and Friends,
Please find in good order an update on what we are up to currently as well as Dave Austens trip report for our April / May 2021 trip. A BIG thank you from all of us Dave for your assistance and time in helping us deliver the food aid to our Golden Oldies. I have also written a few words about Johan and my trip, so please enjoy the read.
A quick update on Hannes, he received his fourth round of Chemo on Wednesday the 19th. Unfortunately, the 3rd round hit him like a ton of bricks and he ended up on drips trying to keep him hydrated, he also went to hospital Monday 10th to get a Port fitted for his future Chemo treatments. He is in good spirits most of the time and still managing to keep positive. We would like to thank everyone for the well wishes and prayers received so far.
Our second trip for 2021 has been completed. Although we have only been back 2 weeks, we already have the stock orders in and the planning is well in motion for our next trip scheduled to take place round middle June. This is our BIG WINTER one and we are hoping to fill the boxes with extra warm foods such as Samp & Beans, Soya Meat, Extra Tinned foods and Soups. This is so that we can try and stick to our 6-week schedule plan this year as much as possible. It means our drivers are not getting much down time between trips and it also increases the financial strain on the fund, but at this stage we have no choice. Our people are going hungry and losing their faith and will to survive.
When you are out and about and someone comes up to you with tears in their eyes and says thank you for everything you do for the Pensioners. They have a friend in one of the homes we support, and the friends rent has gone up and due to Corona circumstances their son who was covering their medical aid costs is now unable to do so. Then to have that Golden Oldie turn to them and say they and everyone else would be better off if they were dead. Can you imagine feeling this way? I was in total shock and we are coming across this more and more, how do we keep our Golden Oldies spirits up?
Johan Schultz and I were up just after 3am and with the bakkie mostly loaded already we were on the road just after 4am. We made good time and were at the border by 11am and through it by 12.59 we were through and on our way to Bulawayo. Now this is where the real adventure started, we started playing spot and while this is normally reserved for goats, donkeys and cattle we got to add potholes and in some cases tar on this trip. To say the roads on certain stretches were horrific would be putting it lightly. A trip that normally takes 4-5 hours took us well over 6.5 hours to complete. On arriving in Bulawayo we headed straight for Caroline and Willems place for some desperately needed rest.
Thursday morning saw us on the road to the warehouse just after 7.30am. Not being sure what time, the truck would make it through the border we had plenty to do and check before it arrived. Once we had made sure all the individual boxes were 100% and ready to be loaded along with the food deliveries to the kitchens as well as the desperately required PPE supplies. These included disposable face masks and gloves, gel sanitizer, hand sanitizer spray, Maxisan a disinfectant for the communal areas and kitchens, replacement spray bottles and various types of multi vitamins and so on. The truck only arrived in Bulawayo late and so the executive decision was made to load it first thing on Friday morning. So Johan once having picked up Dave from the warehouse brought him to Caroline’s for the night.
Friday morning Johan and Dave were up early and on their way to the warehouse to load the truck. Once loaded, Dave was on the road to start the round trip. Leaving us to do the Bulawayo and surround drop offs.
The balance of Friday through to Monday morning was spent as family time. We got to enjoy Chipangali once again and all its beauties and beasts on Saturday. This is truly one of our favourite places to visit when we are in Zimbabwe, as an animal rescue and rehabilitation centre they do amazing work on an almost non-existent budget.
Web Page: www.facebook.com/Chipangali
Sunday was spent chilling as we knew what was expected for the upcoming week.
Another crazy busy day on the road doing the food deliveries to the kitchens as well as dropping off the desperately required PPE supplies. These included linen savers, disposable face masks and gloves, gel sanitiser, Maxisan for the communal areas and kitchens, replacement spray bottles and various types of multi vitamins. Oxygen Concentrators to one care facility where once patients have recovered and they are ready to go home they can’t due to lack of oxygen facilities. So this will also help to reduce some pensioners medical costs. While at one of the homes we had the administrator say Thank you and tell us that we have no idea what these supplies mean to the homes. With the rate of inflation as it currently stands, the back dated adjustments in employee salaries and so the list goes on, there is just no way of making ends meet.
From a somewhat nippy Bulawayo, today we carried on with the deliveries of the individual food parcels for our Golden Oldies in their own homes /outside rooms / servants quarter’s and often almost shack like accommodation. As Hannes Botha has often said these are the ones that are taking the most strain. They are proud and alot more isolated than the Golden Oldies in homes. So normally by the time we do get to hear of someone in this situation who needs assistance the circumstances are often dire. Then you get one of the team arriving to tears, smiles and tons of Thanks. And it makes all the craziness and stress we go through worth it as we do what we say we do and we do it with love.
Jill Battis a well-known teacher from Bulawayo is always a favorite stop. This time when we arrived it was so much easier to just ring the doorbell that has been newly installed at the gate. Jill shared a small bit of her history with us including that her grandparents were part of the 1820 settlers. She also used to travel down south plenty and was explaining to us how she in her green Anglia used to zoom past all the big mercs and so on. It is absolutely amazing how much spunk she still has. Her garden however does need some serious help.
This morning was an early rise and shine for Johan and I as we had tons to do. Our first item for the day was to take the scenic but bumpy ride to Esigodini Kinghaven MOTHS. So with a travel mug of coffee, we hit the road, driving past one of my favorite spots “Chipangali”. Once arriving at Kinghaven Johan offloaded all our Golden Oldies boxes. We were gifted with an awesome looking pumpkin from one of our pensioner couples and once back in SA I made the most delish Masala Roasted Butternut. Thank you!!! From there it was back to Bulawayo, now I have to tell you I have an awesome imagination but having to MASK up every time you see police or come up to a roadblock, heck didn’t people used to get arrested for stuff like that. But it is what it is, I don’t look good in orange and can only eat so many . Once in Bullies it was off to sort out boxes that had not been delivered the previous day. We also had a wheelchair to drop off at one of the homes where residents are currently playing tag to share one. Hopefully this helps out a bit.
It is the small things that make a huge difference in their lives, spending the 5 or 10 mins talking and listening to them, just the fact that you have popped in to say hello and deliver them some basic goodies. Thank you to everyone who helps us continue with this life support work.
Thursday was spent getting everything in order for the return of Dave and the truck as well as collecting as many of the empty Boxes as possible to be stored for the next trip.
Nobody is being spared from the craziness in Zimbabwe at the moment. The cost of everything is going through the roof, with monthly increases that are beyond belief. For those earning an income, its almost impossible to survive as things currently stand, now imagine having little to no income at all, being dependent on the kindness and support of others. It is truly heartbreaking that a generation that worked hard their whole lives, made adequate provision for their old days should have to go through something like this not once but twice. For most of our Golden Oldies we are the only additional support they have, & these boxes are literally lifesaving.
Our elderly pensioners are very proud and are not looking for sympathy, however, they greatly appreciate all assistance we are able to supply them with. They do not have any means of conveying their gratitude to all of you our supporters but convey their thanks to us on the ground (Via letters and words of thanks which are often published for you to see) and are often reduced to tears when given a box of very basic foodstuffs. As we have said before, our trips to Zimbabwe to help our Golden Oldies are always emotional ones.
The total amount of homes / organizations we are currently aiding is about 26 in total, and we cover most of Zimbabwe, concentrating on the homes that are mostly out of the way and thus don’t get much support / aid. We also aid BHN in Bulawayo and helped to set up a system similar to SOAP Gweru, Zvishavane, Masvingo, Red Cliff, Kwe Kwe and Kadoma to cater for pensioners that are not in old age homes as well. We are also supporting the CFU in aiding destitute farming pensioners. We are helping to support between 1000-1100 pensioners in Zimbabwe. We currently take up food parcels every 8 weeks or so, to do this the costs run about 350k. There are quite a few groups that try to help the pensioners although according to our knowledge we are the largest. At this stage we supply food parcels as well as basic meds, walking aids, wheelchairs.
These food hampers serve 2 purposes.
1 They supply much needed food to the pensioner.
2 The pensioner then knows that someone cares about them
For those who would like to support our efforts with our Golden Oldies still in Zimbabwe please find in good order the details for both the SA and UK account as well as the 2 links for our general and USA PayPal accounts, I have had a few emails requesting I attach these details.
Support a Golden Oldie 2021 PayPal donate button (Non-USA) – https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=TKF5JCEFZZQTQ
ZIMBABWE PENSIONER SUPPORTER FUND
FIRST NATIONAL BANK
BRANCH CODE 270952
ACCOUNT NUMBER 62239042906
SWIFT CODE FIRNZAJJ
Please if you make a Donation to this account is you can send a mail to myself firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can send you an acknowledgement of Donation.
UK Account – Our NEW UK banking details:
ZIMBABWE PENSIONER SUPPORT FUND
Barclays Bank, West Swindon
Account No: 23398579
Swift Code is:BUKGB22
IBAN is: GB49 BUKB 20681523398579
Please if you make a Donation to this account is you can send a mail to Beti-Ann at email@example.com so that she may send you an acknowledgement of Donation
ZIMBABWE PENSIONERS SUPPORT FUND – USA
A Registered 501(c)3 organization. TAX-deductible receipts available for USA donors.
Donations via Paypal, use the following link:
USA address to post cheques
3901 Hillwood Way
Bedford TX 76021
To request additional information, or receipts,
email Alice at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Australia Account – Rhodesian Association of Western Australia
Rhodesian Association of WA
P & N Bank
BSB 806 015
Account No. 0181 1882
Please include name and ZPSF in the reference. Acknowledgement will be given in our quarterly newsletter. If a receipt is required, please let Doug know at email@example.com
Thank you so much for helping us support our “Golden Oldies” during these crazy times. Your support is invaluable and we at the ZPSF would never be able to sustain our regular supply of relief parcels if it were not for donations and support such as yours. All of this happens because of people like you, our Donors ensure our wheels keep turning, you are all truly amazing. THANK YOU and God Bless.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us, ask your questions, check the references that we give you and then PLEASE support our old Rhodesian pensioners who have nowhere to go. Our web page is www.zpsf.co.za all updates are also loaded directly onto our site. We welcome anyone who wishes to come and see our warehouse and what we do.
Head office South Africa contact details:
Linda Schultz – firstname.lastname@example.org – (C) 079 6082676 (T) 013 7900934
Johan Schultz – email@example.com – 082 4979328
Hannes Botha – firstname.lastname@example.org – 084 5893221
Section 21 Co Reg. 2007/034036/08; NPO Number 096733; Section 18A PBO No 930031642