Widows Farm Project
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United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, Zimbabwe Synod
The Zimbabwe Synod is one of five synods comprising the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa. It is based in Bulawayo with congregations and schools throughout Matabeleland. The church's greatest constraint is the economic and political situation prevailing throughout the country. As a result of this situation, ordinary Zimbabweans suffer greatly. The migration of the youth and other members of the work force is taking its toll on the church and communities where the churches are located.
The Widow Project was started in 2007 in the Bulawayo Region, when a cry was heard from some of the vulnerable widows. The group currently has 35 members of varying ages. The youngest widows are less than 40 years of age and the oldest among them are over 80. When the Widow Project started, they each contributed what they knew of basketry, embroidery, and crocheting. The church gave the group enough land for the garden and gave access to a water supply. Farming training was done by a volunteer widower. Other projects include candle-making and baking.
Once fully established, the project will be a very good source of income. People need food sources in Zimbabwe and the widows will make a profit through selling vegetables. Markets and bakeries are eager to sell the vegetables and bread. Food projects will also improve the nutritional status especially of the elderly, the sick, and the young. Candles are in demand because of the constant electricity shortages.
The project will help individuals to pay for:
- Hospital or medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Rent and utilities
- Food and other household needs
- School fees, books, and school uniforms for their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren
Working together on various projects also serves as a sort of therapy for the widows. The UCCSA in Zimbabwe says that there will be large numbers of widows as long as HIV/AIDS exists.
The budget for the Widow Project includes resources for seeds and baking ingredients, candle-making supplies, and shipping costs. The initial amount needed to cover all these expenses is estimated at $2,000. This should sustain the Widow Program of the UCCSA Zimbabwe for the first several years.
Your gifts can help support the Widow Project in the following ways:
- $2.00 can purchase seeds for a vegetable garden
- $5.00 could buy flour to bake bread
- $15.00 might be used to purchase candle making supplies
- $25.00 may help purchase farming tools