We trust this first newsletter will find you in good health and good spirit.
We are now in April and I wanted to give you an update on what is happening in Zimbabwe, and what progress we have made in our ministry, thanks to you and your ongoing support.
I hope you can also view the pictures which we have included in the text below -- you may need to downloaded them depending what you are using to view this newsletter.
As some of you may have seen on our web site, we still have a rolling banner on top making a reference to a situation where an outbreak of cholera has created a whole new situation with the local authorities as far as water supply and sanitation on the Beulah school sites.
We were facing closing the school or address the issue of running water, and build a proper toilet block. This happened just about at the same time as we launched our web site.
Thank you for your generous response, we have started to tackle the projects a bite at a time -- this is indeed the way an elephant is eaten in Zimbabwe as well -- and we decided to start with the running water project FIRST, to show the authorities (department of health and school board of education) that we were taking their warning at heart.
The first part of the project needed to dig deeper into an existing well which we've had for some time on the property, and that took a fair amount of work, thanks to the contribution from the corp of engineers of the Zimbabwean army who volunteered their time to help, as they have in the past in the construction of the school block, which some of you may remember and supported.
As this project was proceeding, one of the workers had an accident and was rushed to the hospital, but he is now recovering with an injured leg, but the rest of the team pulled together and kept going frantically.
And the digging went on and on until we reached the right depth for ongoing flow of clean water....
Once this was completed, we also built a structure over the well, and installed the proper water pump, pipes and installed a large water drum which is now providing our clean water supply as intended to the entire site.
Are we done?
Well not quite -- we now have the toilet block to tackle, and what has happened here so far is the baking of bricks in oder to build the required structure. We have raised enough funds to buy a portion of what we need, but we still have a ways to go.
As of last week, another challenge came our way: the army approached us to let us know that they have other projects where they could dedicate their corp of engineers, and that unless we have sufficient material to keep them busy, we will lose our free manpower until we can have enough supplies to keep them busy.
So we are caught between a toilet-to-be, the department of health / education and the army, and we are looking for as much help and support as we can get to bring this project to completion within the next few months.
The fact that we showed progress has helped and we have bought ourselves some time, but we still get weekly visits from the department of health to see how things are moving along on the site.
As things progress we will keep you informed on what is happening with this whole situation and how your help and support can make a huge impact in the lives of these children.
God Blessings to all of you, and thank you again for your help and support.
Janet and Claude
In His Service