Save forgotten lives in Zimbabwe: your gift of food and hygiene products will help Christians in Zimbabwe survive lockdown

15 May 2020
A Zimbabwean Christian girl from the rural areas

“So how shall most of us going to survive?” These desperate words came from a pastor in Zimbabwe, writing in the midst of Covid lockdown.

His country was already in a dire situation – before coronavirus came to make things even worse. Zimbabwe has had normal rainfall in only two of the last five growing seasons. Last year saw the worst drought in decades, with temperatures reaching 50C in some areas. By the end of 2019, Zimbabwe was experiencing one of its worst acute food insecurity situations, with at least 3.6 million rural people classified as in food “crisis” or worse. Many children were suffering from malnutrition and stunted growth.

Christian woman from Zimbabwe

Families were forced to eat less, skip meals, take their children out of school, sell their precious livestock – and still could not help falling into a vicious cycle of debt.

In January 2020, the overdue rains came at last, but many subsistence farmers had to plant late. Dry weather followed, leading to badly damaged crops.

And then came coronavirus. 

The poorest rural people, without radio or mobile phones, without church meetings, without visits from their pastors or even from their neighbours, have no idea what they should do about the virus.

“Whichever way you are going to die, either by corona or by hunger”

While Zimbabwe’s many subsistence farmers struggle against the erratic weather to grow their own food, life in the cities – where people work or trade for their living – is just as bad.

Orphan Simba (aged 8) is cared for by his older brother. Simba’s ambition is to learn to read “really well”. He is one of the children benefiting from a daily well-balanced nutritious me

There was already hyperinflation, shortage of currency, lack of fuel and long power outages. But then on 30 March, lockdown began in Zimbabwe, bringing an immediate end to most opportunities to earn. Lockdown is not due to be lifted until the end of this month, at the earliest.

 “Most of our people live from hand to mouth. So you work in the morning, you buy food in the evening,” wrote a Zimbabwean evangelist to Barnabas Fund, explaining how things were before lockdown. “Everything locked up now … Security forces have closed down almost everything. Sometimes, when you are told to stay indoors, you are forced by hunger. Whichever way, you are going to die, either by corona or by hunger.”

Save forgotten lives – today

Please help Barnabas Fund save forgotten lives in Zimbabwe – before it is too late. 

Your gift can provide basic foodstuffs and hygiene materials for poor families in lockdown. We are also supporting a programme that provides nutritious cooked meals for children of very impoverished families. With protein and vegetables as well as carbohydrate, for many children it is the only meal they have each day. “Without it,” say our project partners, “the children would simply starve.”

Just $6 could provide hand sanitiser and disinfectants to help a family for a month.

Just $20 could provide a child with daily hot meals for a month.

Just $35 could provide a family food basket of maize meal (the staple food), beans, cooking oil, salt and sugar to last a month. 

Please give now. 

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