At The Foundations Project, we can’t believe that we are racing towards the end of another year. It has been a rather difficult year for us as the expectations that were built up in Zimbabwe in November last year have not yet been realized and we find that we are, once again, working hard to simply survive. However, we are so grateful for the continued work of our team who have made sure that the children are fed, taught, loved and cared for and that their caregivers are taught how to parent and are given the skills to help them earn an income where possible.
14 wonderful women have been working hard at the skills development centre to sew up 36 beautiful bags with swatches kindly donated by Caroline Dunn. The ladies had such fun choosing their colours and creating their masterpieces! The use of plastic bags is being discouraged in Zimbabwe and so we hope to be able to offer these as an alternative shopping bag, or just as a lovely handbag!
The income made from these bags will assist the women to care for their families as the majority of them are single mums and are survivors of gender based violence. Some of these ladies have children at the school but we have opened the skills development up to the broader community as there is such a need. We hope to offer training in a greater variety of skills once the situation is a bit more stable so that we can widen our reach to more and more people who would like to be involved.
Our new director, Patience Chiyangwa, has been working very hard to ensure that all our programmes on the ground are running smoothly and that we have enough funding to ensure that our work can progress into 2019. We have struggled to raise money this year and sadly had to cancel our Golf Day planned for 2 November due to the economic difficulties our country is facing. However, we are greatly looking forward to our annual Christmas party and graduation at the Caledonia Rose Centre, an event that always brings much joy to those who attend and to us as we see the children laugh and play and celebrate the year that has just been.
Sadly we have not managed to organize our annual shoe drive for Christmas this year as we have struggled to find donors or shoes to be able to do so. This is the first year that we have not done this since TFP started and we are disappointed that we have failed on this front but we look forward to being able to make up for it next year and to hopefully be able to reach out to even more children than those directly involved at the CRC.
When reading back over this post, I realize that much of it is sad and disappointing but what I know for sure is that in this time of difficulty, our work is even more important than ever. The children are more hungry and their caregivers are more desperate. And so we will continue to make sure that we can give them a meal and some fun and joy and hope for a better future.