In Zimbabwe 2.8 million people are currently affected by the current drought and in February the Government declared a state of disaster. Currently The Salvation Army is providing relief food for several months to 700 families and considerations about the next steps have started.
Amongst many people affected is another grandmother, Chikambure, who is raising her 4 grandchildren (a very common situation in southern Africa where many young people have died of HIV/ Aids). One of the girls is handicapped and unable to walk or speak. Apart from a few chickens, Chikambure has no other means of feeding herself and the kids other than the maize or sorghum she grows. But this year’s drought meant no harvest at all for her.
In another compound I met a little boy who was sitting on the ground eating something. Whilst talking to his parents he realised that no one else had anything to eat and he stretched out his hand with some food to give it to us. The situation made me swallow. This little boy who was probably eating his only meal of the day was willing to share it with me and my colleague (who had had a nice breakfast at our local colleagues’ place) and then there is us who live in places where we most likely have more than we need but are sometimes so reluctant to give up a bit of what we believe is rightfully ours. This little boy definitely taught me a lesson.