Zimbabwe Victims’ Support Fund is a relief organisation, founded in 2002, for the support of some of the most vulnerable and desperate among the countless victims of the continuing crisis in Zimbabwe.
Now a British registered charity, the Fund was set up as a partnership between, on the one hand, those directly involved in the relief of hunger and extreme hardship in the Matabeleland region and, on the other, Christian friends in the United Kingdom who shared that concern and wanted to support that effort.Supporters and donors are now drawn from a wide range of churches, groups and individuals of many denominations across the UK and beyond.
All funds raised are applied in Zimbabwe under the direction of a dedicated team within the country, and the relief food distributed across a wide swathe of Matabeleland North and South by a network of trusted volunteers. Relief feeding remains the main work of the Fund and this reflects the continuing deep humanitarian crisis gripping the country in the absence of a just and lasting settlement.
2016 saw a severe drought affecting the region, leading to a near total failure of the harvest in Zimbabwe. Without reserves to fall back on it is estimated that 4.1 million of the population will be food insecure in the peak lean season through January-February 2017. A detailed analysis of the drought and its continuing impact is provided in the most recent Fewsnet Report of October 2016, to which there is a link from our REPORT PAGE. (Fewsnet is short for Famine Early Warning Systems Network, a US Aid- funded project)
Those directly engaged in relief feeding have observed an increase in cases of acute malnutrition in recent months. While no reliable statistics are yet available for the country, our own volunteer network have had to deal with a number of tragic deaths from malnutrition and related diseases of children under 2 years of age.
Responding to this “crisis upon a crisis” situation and to enable our supporters to be better informed, in the next few months we shall be posting more frequent updates on the drought and hunger on our REPORT PAGE, starting with the feature entitled “Zimbabwe in Meltdown” (December 2016). In that report you will observe also the special feeding programme of the nutritional supplement called E’pap which we have introduced for the severely malnourished. This programme runs alongside the regular and ongoing distribution of the staple food, maize meal. As detailed in the report the E’pap feeding has already produced some dramatic results in improving the health of some of those close to death.
Of course there is a crucial spiritual dimension to the struggle to end poverty and degradation in Zimbabwe and, as front line workers of the Kingdom of God, our volunteers are acutely aware of this. Combating physical hunger and emotional trauma on a daily basis as they do in Zimbabwe, they have also encountered a deep spiritual hunger among many of the victims. The team always seeks to respond to this challenge positively, with compassion and sensitivity.
Along with the distribution of relief food therefore are to be observed active evangelism and church planting at many different venues.
As the food is handed over there is always thanksgiving and joyful celebration of the love of God.
To quote the popular Christian writer, Brian McLaren, “There is nothing more radically activist than a truly spiritual life, and there is nothing more truly spiritual than a radically activist life.”
Warmest thanks In the name of our compassionate God who has a special care for the hungry, the destitute and the abused, our warmest thanks for whatever help you can offer in support of this ministry of grace.