At one time I believed that money, education and certainly love, could change the world. Now don’t get me wrong, love and money are certainly important, but without hope, even love and money aren’t enough.
Hope convinces you that tomorrow will be better than today.
When you give a child hope, you can change the world.
Orphans in Zimbabwe
My wife, Jocelyn and I traveled to Harare, Zimbabwe in March, 2003 to see the “Village of Hope” – a fledgling response to the HIV/AIDS crisis. The Village was just a few months old – two buildings on a rural parcel of land.
We met the first person being cared for at the Village of Hope. Her name was “Precious” – a mother of two young children – Jeff and Pamela. Her husband had died of AIDS. She too was dying. She passed away within 24 hours of our meeting, leaving her children in the care of the Village.
There are over 1.5 million orphans in Zimbabwe, but places of safety for only 0.5% of this number. The average life expectancy is 34 years. The middle generation of parents has been virtually wiped out – leaving the care of their children in the hands of aging grandparents with little or no means – or with no care at all.
Jeff and Pamela beat the odds. Pamela was the first to graduate from the Village’s High School and is now an ambitious young woman. She is studying Accounting at the National University of Science and Technology. She will be a contributing member of the community when she graduates. Jeff has his own cell phone business in Harare.
Jeff and Pamela showed me the power of hope.
Over the past thirteen years the Village of Hope has grown to include resident homes for children, a medical clinic, a farm for a community feeding program and a school for over 600 students. The Village provides food, shelter, education and love – but it specializes in hope.
Hope comes through people like Munetsi Zowa. In 2003 he became the Pastor of the church at the Village of Hope. Pastor Zowa is now the Director of the Village and is putting his Masters in Leadershjp degree to good work, casting vision, raising funds and growing a network of supporters.
Pastor Zowa says, “Any investment, large or small, in the children of Zimbabwe will build us a better future. Child Care Plus, is how children are sponsored. The work begins in the home, and the whole family is grateful for the support.
An education is vital and is highly valued by these children, as they realize it is their only way to a better future. When you go to ‘the plots’ and see the older kids who have not been sponsored, you see how aimless their life is. There is no future for them.”
Our goal is to see many more hundreds of children, like Pamela and Jeff, find hope.
Why not change the world?