Zimbabwe Aid Fund - SOAP  


SOAP Harare

The latest newsletter from SOAP Harare has been published (Uploaded to site April 2012). Please download a copy here

SOAP operates in Bulawayo and Harare.

Soap was started in Bulawayo nearly ten years ago by Lyn Abbot. Lyn was given money from an auction house who had sold a small pedal bin for a pensioner. The person who bought the bin donated it to the auction house for 'something' that would benefit a pensioner and so Soap began.

We deliver to approximately 150 pensioners in the Bulawayo area, a monthly parcel of groceries. We have four delivery areas and four ladies who deliver for us.

We supply each person with rice, sugar, tea, jelly, custard, baked beans, tinned spaghetti, tinned veg, tinned fruit, jam, pilchards, ham, meatballs or viennas, tinned tomatoes, cereal, salt, powder milk, packet soup, soya mince, stock cubes, cooking oil, margarine, flour, yeast, two minute noodles, cooldrink, dishwasher, bar soap, bath soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper, disprin, candles, matches. They also get Handy Andy one month, Vim the next and Domestos the next. They are also supplied with a fresh vegetable pack.

At present most of our foodstuffs are purchased in South Africa. Our wholesalers still do not stock high quantities of goods and we normally purchase for three or four months at a time. We do have to purchase rice and flour, and of course, our fresh veg here. We are only allowed to bring a limited amount of rice and flour through the border and is not adequate for our purposes.

We have only recently added the Handy Andy, Vim, Domestos, tinned tomatoes and two minute noodles to their parcels. We noticed that their houses were not as clean as they used to be, and we have had so many messages of appreciation for the inclusion of these items.

Our recipients are 'checked' before a parcel is delivered. We do try to ascertain that they are indeed in need of assistance. Anyone can refer a name to us and we will visit the home and interview the proposed recipient. We have three different sized parcels. A couple will get a double parcel, a single person a single and someone not as needy will get what we call a small parcel. Our parcels are packed and ready for delivery from the second Wednesday of the month. Because many of our old people do not have their own transport we deliver to each residence.

We hoped that the need for these parcels would slowly decrease when our currency was changed, but sadly this has not been the case. The pensions paid out no where near cover what one would need to sustain themselves for a month. Some pensions are as little as US$25.00 per month. We find that the basic items such as bread and milk are on a par price wise as South Africa, but cleaning items can be up to three times the price in SA. Whilst we are relieved that we can now at least buy anything that one might need, our oldies still cannot afford to support themselves wholly.

We are most grateful to our donors, without whom of course, the running of Soap would be impossible. Our recipients rely heavily on these parcels. One month our delivery lady had to drop relatives off at the airport before delivery. The oldies know she always arrives at about the same time every month, and when she was late this particular month, the phone never stopped - panic, in case they were not getting their groceries.

We would like to thank Sean Kelly (ZAF UK) and also Mike Mino (ZAF Australia) and the committee for all your help with Soap. You have been our greatest donor - thank you!!!