What an exciting bit of news we have to share with you all. We at the Sandra Jones Centre want to introduce you to our newest and eagerly awaited member of the family (especially to Mr Yu)! One of our volunteers last year, Jackie Scott, entered into a travel competition in New Zealand and Australia which gave her to opportunity to share about her time here in Zimbabwe with the Sandra Jones Centre. Through the overwhelming number of votes, she was able to raise $5000 NZ ($3609 US) and through the generous donations and support from her friends and church congregation back home, she was able to raise the figure to a total of $20,459.00 NZ ($14,763.17 US).
These funds raised will go directly to buying our new family member….. a new truck! Our red truck has been with us for many years now but it is literally running on it’s last legs and we are just waiting for the day we have to say a final goodbye to our faithful friend. Many people may be asking “but why do you need a new truck when you have so many other more pressing needs?” Allow me to put your mind at ease. The need is great for this truck as it is our life line and one of the hardest working staff members of the Centre. Our truck is used for transporting our children to and from school every week day on time; carrying our shopping items on shopping day (a lot of food for 60 children) and one of the most important jobs is travelling to the rural areas for our home visits.
Let me take you on a journey we as Zimbabweans live every day. As you turn off the grey tarred main road, your car shakes, rattles while you get thrown around inside (as the seat belts don’t work or…. aren’t even there). The road ahead has bits of tar here and there but majority of it has been worn down or washed away over the years. Eventually, the tar completely disappears and all that is left is a red dust which starts swirl around within the car. Blowing in your eyes, hair, mouth and even up your nose. After a few sneezes you realize now is the time to wind the windows up or put up with turning into the dust monster, which is bound to scare anyone you will be meet at the end of your wild ride. As you go to roll your window up, you come to the realization that…… THERE IS NO HANDLE! Not only that but your door is rattling and your not able to close it properly so the dust is blowing up through there too. Holding tightly to your door, so you don’t fall out, you bounce around hitting your head on the roof and the side of the car several times, wondering when this journey will ever end. Then all of a sudden the car comes to a grinding halt as it’s halfway up a hill. Mr Yu says, “Everybody out, we need to push!”. You all pile out and start to push with all your might. Finally you reach the top of the hill and jump back in the car as it starts rolling back down. The truck jerks into motion and your off again, clinging to your door.
Finally you arrive at your destination and climb out the car. Shaking your self off, you notice three small mud huts in front of you surrounded by a stick fence held together by wire alone. A little old lady comes out to greet you with a huge smile on her face because you have come all that way to visit her and bring her the granddaughter she thought she would never see again. Reuniting a family truly makes the journey worth every terrifying bump, sneeze and pant.
For this reason, the money raised for the new truck is such a blessing. With it, we will be able to tackle every dusty road and every pothole infested road with no break downs to add to the fun. All to reunite a family and bring a smile to a young girls heart who came to us with a broken one. Giving the gift of education to a child who may never have received it alongside being able to carry them safely to and from their school helps build a brighter, stronger future for each child.
To all who contributed, we can’t Thank you enough for your help and support. To Jackie Scott, Thank You for all your hard work in raising this money for the truck and for all your support as well as all your hard work during your time with us at the Centre. Watch this space for the new truck’s arrival! (We just have to wait for the perfect one to come our way. Please Lord, bring us the right one, with the right price!)