Sunday, July 21, 2024

Meaford Woman Working to Make a Difference in Zimbabwe – And You Can Help

zimbabwe 270Nine years have passed since Ruth Edmonstone travelled as a humanitarian aid worker to the Natatee District of Kimpala, the capital of Uganda. The experience was heart-changing and Africa has been calling to her since.

On May 3, Ruth will return to Africa, this time to Zimbabwe to the Village of Hope in Harare and the Vimbainesu Children’s Home. She will travel with eight team members from Hanover, Chesley, and Goderich. She describes the Village of Hope as “an oasis of hope” set amidst an HIV/AIDS epidemic, 80-90% unemployment, and abject poverty.

Each team member is allowed to transport two suitcases of medical and school supplies, to a maximum of 100 lbs. With less than two months to go, Ruth has already packed away 500 toothbrushes that were donated by a local dentist. With the help of her Meaford United Church community, she will be sewing school bags and handkerchiefs to take with her.

While in Zimbabwe, Ruth and the team will help with a feeding program for the orphanage children and engage them in after-school activities to boost their recreation levels. Some will work as house mothers while others will be assigned tasks wherever they are needed. “Zimbabwe is a country that has no social security program, no pensions, no food banks, no welfare,” she said. “The idea is to not give hand-outs but to give a hands-up,” she said. “I want to do my part.”

Before she leaves, Ruth hopes to raise $3,000-5,000 in donations and from her fundraising efforts for the Mission Zimbabwe Project. Her experience in Uganda tells her that monies raised go directly to much-needed projects. In 2010, she raised $5,000 that purchased water reservoirs that she herself helped to install. “I trust in the value of what we do. I trust that the aid that we bring to the missions will help the children to carry on after we leave,” she said.

Ruth has yet to reach her goal. She invites anyone wanting information on her team’s fundraising events or to donate to Mission Zimbabwe Project in support of the Village of Hope and Vimbainesu Children’s Home to contact her at 226-662-0626 or online at www.missionzimbabwe.org. Tax receipts will be issued.

Photo courtesy of Ruth Edmonstone

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