Matetsi Victoria Falls supports the Greenline Africa Trust on a monthly basis, and with resources and kind as and when helpful. The organization works with marginalised and vulnerable communities to develop, implement and support sustainable projects concentrating on livelihoods, health, education and biodiversity management.
As a result of the global pandemic and border closures, the tourism industry, which is the beating heart of Victoria Falls town, has come to a near standstill. Many people have lost their jobs and so they have moved out to the rural communities, where they can live much more economically. However, with an estimated 40% deurbanization, there is significantly more pressure on the rural resources including food and medical facilities. Now more than ever Greenline Africa Trust’s work is needed to provide extra support to those in dire need.
Over the last few weeks, some of our team have joined the Greenline Africa Trust team, assisting with their daily tasks and developing a deeper understanding of the work they are doing and the needs of the communities. Each of our days were similar but different, here we share just some of the experiences to give you an overview of the great work being done in the communities by this incredible organization.
We met with a family who have a disabled child and have been displaced and are trying to make a new home for themselves within the rural community here. Currently they are living in a shack but are in the process of trying to build a hut. The village headman (a woman) identified the family as being in dire need of assistance. Greenline is assisting with a monthly grocery pack while they rebuild their life.
We visited an 18-year old boy who had been looking after elderly grandparents by himself. They passed away, and he has now been left by himself. It’s difficult to find work, but he is taking great care of the homestead, has two dogs for company, and is raising chickens. He tries to pick up piece-work here and there, and with the support of Greenline he’s getting by.
One homestead we called on was in mourning at the loss of their Gogo, grandmother, and had also welcomed twins. Greenline Africa Trust assisted with a contribution toward the funeral. The twins were wrapped in swaddling blankets made by the ladies’ sewing group, organized by one of the Greenline Africa Trust team.
At another homestead, the father of the family is partially disabled because of a stroke, and therefore unable to work. The village chief identified the family as being in need. We visited with the chief, and the Greenline Africa Trust team did an assessment. With physical therapy, there is a good chance the father will regain more mobility, and the family will receive support while he is rehabilitating.
We distributed sturdy wooden toys to children all along the way. These have been made by a manufacturer in the US and bring such joy to the children in the communities, some of whom may never have had a toy of their own before.
At Ndlovu and Chisuma clinics, we met with the nurses and village health workers there. Greenline Africa Trust delivered birthing kits (sterilized supplies needed during the birthing process) and newborn kits (which include clothes and toiletries – a starter kit for mothers who may have nothing for their babies), as well as nutritional porridge which is given to families that are identified by the nurses as having children that are underweight. The joy and gratitude of the nurses and community health workers could be seen even with their face masks on.
We also visited an out-growing project, where two Gogos, Nancy and Rosie, are growing the most incredible vegetables. Greenline Africa Trust provides seeds and assists them with distribution. Along the way, we also passed by several borehole sites, some of which have community gardens. It was really wonderful to see in amongst dry ridgelines there is a series of fertile valleys were the communities are farming and self-sustaining.
Our experiences with the Greenline Africa Trust team over these days gave us an insight into the work they do to assist those in the community who are in dire need, and to support others with skills and resources to become self-sufficient. There is a huge amount of need within the communities, but there is also hope. And together we can make a positive difference to the lives of the individuals within our communities.