a new dawn - a vision of hope

Zimbabwe report - September 2011

Our partner, Operation Sunshine, works in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania and following the Trust's successful pilot project, sending Literacy Boxes to Zambia in 2006, the progress of the Trust was given a boost by Bournemouth North Rotary Club.  The Marjorie Gordon Fund, administered by Trustees from the Club, was set up as a bequest to help "educate African children" and in 2007 the Literacy in a Box Trust received £4000 which was the seed corn funding that allowed 400 Zambian children to receive school materials and the Trust to move forward.

Over 3 years later, when a stalwart of the Club, Victor Horsfall-Turner passed away we received the following two e-mails:

To: Literacy in a Box Trust
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2011 2:25 PM
Subject: Operation Sunshine

Dear Literacy in a box, I am a member of Bournemouth North Rotary Club, we would like to donate a number of your educational boxes to Operation Sunshine so they can be sent to Zimbabwe. Could you let me know cost per box and any other info I would need, such as to whom cheques should be sent etc.

Best wishes

Chris Chubb, chair Int committee

To: Ian Parker
Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 12:05 PM

Greetings Ian...

My name is Bryony Pichanick and I was given your email address by Ann Tregarthen of OPERATION SUNSHINE in Tavistock.

OS has been sending us containers for many years for our work here amongst the destitute in Zimbabwe.  Ann mentioned your educational packs sometime ago and we have long wanted to be on your list of recipients.  We operate both in the city of Hirare and its surrounds amongst the most destitute who have shacks for homes and no incomes, as well as in a large part of the rural area of the country.

We reach so many school children on a weekly basis, and these barely afford the low school fees of $10 per term, let alone affording the necessary stationary.  Our children number in the thousands, but we would be most grateful for any assistance you can offer us.  Some families are of necessity on feading lists with us, and so assistance in school materials would be most welcome.  Only the extreme cases would benefit from your assistance.

Please would you consider us for future assistance?  We are DESTITUTE CARE in Harere and NEW HOPE VILLAGES in the rural area.  All materials would come to us in the OS containers.  The school system here is broken down for the most part, and in the rural area they do not have desks and chairs but sit on bricks.

I look forward to hearing from you and finding out more about the kind of assistance you offer.  We will send photos of your goods being distributed should we receive items from you.

Tavistock will be packing a container for us in February, and there is one being packed in Folkestone on 25 January.

Bryony Pichanick(Mrs) Chairperson

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The donation from the Bournemouth club was made in memory of Victor but on condition that the Literacy Boxes were sent to Zimbabwe.  It was for £2,500 and was matched by an additional £2,500 donation to Operation Sunshine towards the cost of sending a container to Zimbabwe.  So, thanks once again to the Marjorie Gordon Fund, a container with all the usual Operation Sunshine goodies plus ten Literacy Boxes was sent to Zimbabwe in April 2011.

We were pleased to entertain Stan Webb, International Services Chairman of Bournemouth North Rotary Club and his wife Dorothy at an evening meeting of Roborough Rotary Club, which gave Stan the opportunity to formally present our Chairman Ian Parker with the cheque.

True to her word Bryony promptly sent us photos of the Literacy Boxes arriving in Harare and the contents being distributed.

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The full pictorial story of the Zimbabwe boxes can be seen in our photo gallery.

When we were given a further £2,500 in August from the Marjorie Gordon fund for use in "Africa" we thought long and hard about how best to use the money.  However, recognizing the importance of establishing some continuity of supply to Zimbabwe we agreed with Bournemouth North Club that the money should be used to send a further ten boxes.  These were loaded on the Operation Sunshine container, which left for Zimbabwe on 24th September.