Posted: 28th February 2017
Meet Erika and Douglas and their 4 children. They live in a 1-room shack, which Erika’s brother also shares, on the site of Joshua Dhube school, where Mission Direct have been building for the last 5 years.
When we first met them, they were faced with eviction from the site and, although a 1 room metal shack doesn’t seem much to leave behind, it is their home and the only shelter they have. Together with the Baptist church locally, Mission Direct worked to ensure they would not be removed from the land.
Erika and Douglas both need to earn money to ensure they are able to feed and provide for their children and so send their 2 older offspring to grandparents whilst the youngest, Simba and Gracious remain with them – or are left to play on the site of the shack until they return, unable to go to school because of a lack of funds and no clothing.
In 2015, Hugo Jennings – then age 14 – came with his Grandad on a Mission Direct trip, helping to build another classroom at the school. For 2 weeks, Hugo spent time with Simba and Gracious whilst on the building site with Mission Direct. He was so moved by them and their situation, that he used his own money to pay for Simba’s first year of education at Joshua Dhube as well as giving Erika enough money to buy some clothes and uniform.
The impact of this has not only been the obvious on Simba – this one act will change his future forever – but also impacted other volunteers on their trip as well as volunteers year-on-year, whose generosity has kept Simba and Gracious in school ever since. If you come to Zimbabwe, you’ll meet this incredible family as they now also help us to build new classrooms every year!