The community in Zimbabwe supports 25 children and young adults with learning disabilities, many of whom are orphaned or rejected by their families.
The community provides a home, school and workshop, where activities include candle-making, tie-dying and producing clothes, which generate income. However, there is almost no government support to help meet the living costs of people with learning disabilities in Zimbabwe. Whilst the economy has stabilised, the country is still dealing with the aftermath of rampant inflation. Life is hard and the costs of bare essentials are extremely high.
The community is reliant on external support for its survival and needs £50,000 in order to survive the next year.
Zimbabwe’s 2nd House Nearly Complete
Hilary Wilson, a long term assistant in L’Arche Liverpool has been asked by L’Arche International to accompany the community in Zimbabwe. Here are extracts from Hilary’s first report following her visit in the summer.
On this first visit I felt very at home, very welcomed by everyone in the community. I stayed at Ngoma House where I woke every morning to the sound of washing of people and clothes at 6am, with the smell of wood smoke as porridge cooking got under way (especially if there was no power as on several days). Everyone is busy between 6 and 8am when a great deal of work gets done. After breakfast the folk from the other house round the corner and the minibus carrying the children, who live with their families arrive, and everyone piles into the chapel at 9am for prayer, followed by general greeting – then work in the garden, houses, school and workshop.
Being together comes easily. Evenings are spent with everyone in the lounge after supper, round a wood fire in the cold season. Most seem well, though life is not easy. Living costs, especially of food, are high, as everything is imported, so meals are nearly all of maize meal (sadza) with kale from the garden. Any meat, fish or eggs are a rare treat - and fresh fruit is hardly seen in the house.