Nancy's notes from the field: Spring 2019

This entry gives you a sense of how we handle a more challenging situation. Prisca and Nancy make tough calls based on decades of experience supporting our caregivers and young people through profound struggles, and seeing what strategies have a lasting positive impact. Days like this are NEVER easy.

Monday: “ Today was our always-hopeful journey to Makovere. This is an aging women’s group working under poor management, a combination that never bodes well for basket production. Indeed, although the baskets were of a somewhat better quality than last visit, the quantity of baskets they produced was woefully inadequate for the number of children they need to support. We purchased what we could and then did a 1/2 price second round to boost the sales as high as we reasonably could.

Our visit to the school was also discouraging, much chaos and confusion. We sorted out the student list and then met with the kids: such cute sweet kids, but obviously living in very poor conditions. The visit to Razi Secondary School to meet with the 18 kids in Form 1-3 was also difficult. Several of kids we used to support are no longer at school due to poor performance or because they made the choice to head off in other directions.

One girl, Precious Maunge, is a special concern for us. She is one of several grandchildren living with Gogo (Grandmother) and Precious has the burden of caring for many of the younger children under Gogo’s care. The school claimed she was a behavior problem, that she was rude to her grandmother etc. But when we met with her, her school uniform was barely intact and she was wearing busted shoes. She passed 5 subjects and wants to be a nurse. We addressed the shoes and school, and offered a special encouragement for her to be safe, strong, and focused on school: a new school uniform from Zienzele if she passes 5 subjects next term. We'll see what happens.

We brought the plans for the Zienzele Community Center to the Councillor; he will bring the plans tomorrow to show the DA in Chivi. Everyone so far has been totally impressed by the printed plans (thank you, Christopher Smith!!). At the end of a long day, we returned to Masvingo and we purchased the prizes for the Poultry Competition: chicken feed, chicken fence, chicken-sized water-troughs, and chicken-medicine!”