Report - End of Year 2010

During 2010 donations received totalled £79,200. This is down £33,975 on the previous year, but the 2009 figure did include £27,000 raised in a one off District Appeal.

What has been the effect of the reduction in income ?

  • Only a very small quantity of protein has been distributed.
  • It has not been possible to fund the purchase of seed or fertilizer.
  • The number of people receiving aid has had to be reduced.

We are extremely thankful to all our supporters who have shown their concern for the Zimbabwe people, both by their prayers and practical financial support, also to Church Treasurers and others who have progressed the endeavour. In recent weeks the Fund has benefited greatly from a series of concerts held in Cumbria.

During 2010, 180 tons of maize meal has been purchased and distributed.

The major part has gone to displaced people at various locations.

  • At Lupane 8 schools, with 3,600 students, continue to receive a daily meal on school days.
  • At Siabuwa help goes to 320 elderly villagers and 100 children under five
  • In Bulawayo approximately 260 people receive food aid at churches, a hospice and a children

Bruce Caddick, who has been the Zimbabwean Treasurer since 2002, is now living in the UK and this has resulted in the need to make changes in the way funds are transferred. The Zimbabwe Trustees now have their own bank account in the name of the Fund and also a slightly enlarged group of Trustees who meet regularly.

In the UK there are also changes. During January the Treasurer's work will be taken over by By Christine and all donations should, in future, be sent to her

Miss Christine Jones
73 Robin Hood Crescent
Knaphill, Woking GU21 2NB.

Christine, a daughter of the manse in Zimbabwe, has a real heart for the people.

I will continue with the Secretary's role and assist with exploring the implications of seeking charitable status, which was generally favoured in the Consultation Questionnaire.

John Lark
48 Ellerton Road
Surbiton, Surrey KT6 7TX

Reciepts And Payments Accounts For The Year Ending 31st December 2010

12 Months to 31st Dec 2010 £ 12 Months to 31st Dec 2009 £
Interest (31st March) 5.84 30.32
Donations 79,199.51 113,175.49
79,199.51 113,175.49
Balance in Account at start of year 2,634.21 2,538.40
81,839.56 115,744.21
Zim Trustees ZVSF Designated Transfers 76,733.42 113,110.00
Medical Assistance 500
Self help food production for displaced children 700
77,933.42 113,110.00
Balance in Yorkshire Building Society at end of year 3,906.14 2,534.21
The above accounts were examined by KW Nurthen, Surbiton

Zimbabwe in brief

In October I made a 10 day working visit to Zimbabwe to assess the situation at first hand and to meet with our Zimbabwean Trustees and the newly-appointed Treasurer in Bulawayo. I am happy to report that they are an energetic team, highly competent and passionate about their work for some of Zimbabwe's most vunerable people.

But the short visit also brought home to me a truth which has somehow become obscured to many in this country namely that Zimbabwe is still very much a country in deep crisis. The conversion of the currency to US dollars has certainly brought a measure of stability and supermarket shelves are again full of (imported) foods, but the economic fundamentals have not changed. For the 90 per cent unemployed and the more than 90 per cent below the poverty datum line the expensive foods available do not reduce their suffering one iota. And politically, despite the accord which brought some opposition MDC leaders into government, Robert Mugabe and his military chiefs still hold the levers of power and are able to block all moves towards freedom and any return to the rule of law.

Children With Pans

In short the extreme poverty of most Zimbabweans continues and, with it, their sense of hopelessness under an unrelenting tyranny. To make matters worse, those responsible for turning the election of 2008 into what has been called an example of "smart genocide" are now planning another election in 2011. The perpetrators of that terrible violence are already mobilizing again, and consequently a pall of fear hangs over the whole country. Zimbabwe is like a country under a tsunami alert, its people unable to do anything to avert the danger unless and until the international community comes to the rescue.

In the short time I was there I saw extreme hunger and degrading poverty both in and around Bulawayo and deep into the rural areas. I felt the rising level of fear and sensed the resigned hopelessness of so many. In fact only one thing saved me from leaving the country in a state of despair myself and that was the steady, persevering hard-slogging efforts of those few working against all the odds to relieve the suffering of the poorest and most vulnerable. Their heroic efforts and, behind them, the fervent prayers of those praying night and day for the dawn of Gods new day in that troubled land.

They have not failed a people in desperate need, and we must not fail them.


Consultation with Donors

We are so very grateful to those of our supporters, 70 in number, who took the time and trouble to respond to the questions raised in the consultation document that was issued along with our six-monthly report in June.

To summarize very briefly:

  1. The most common reasons cited for the decline in our income were the recession in this country and lack of media coverage of the continuing crisis in Zimbabwe
  2. More of you are of the view that we should apply for charitable status than those against, though some are still to be persuaded of the overall advantage against the costs in time and energy.
  3. None suggested that our work is no longer needed or that we should now disengage. Rather the overwhelming consensus was that we should press on, using whatever resources we are given for the task.
  4. Again nearly all are agreed that the Methodist Church should be challenged to be more open about the plight of Zimbabweans, and that we in ZVSF should do more to inform the membership of the desperate humanitarian need.

Your careful responses have provided many helpful insights and practical suggestions which must be considered further. And once again you, our faithful supporters, have demonstrated your will to engage with us in meeting the challenges ahead, for which we are deeply grateful.