Crikey’s editorial yesterday stirred hearts. We reproduced an email circulating among Harare residents begging for supplies to help treat seriously injured babies and children at local hospitals.
In turn, Crikey received emails from subscribers (all female, interestingly..) asking what they could do. As noted yesterday, international aid is not being requested in this instance — the mail system is so broken down that delivery of goods is near impossible.
So what to do? Crikey did a little research.
Leader Robert Mugabe ousted charities from Zimbabwe a few weeks ago, concerned that they’d try to influence the election outcome. Now that the result is finalised, a number of charities are trying to get an audience with the dictator to convince him they’re not a threat.
World Vision is just one of the many charities grappling with this situation — it has temporarily suspended its child sponsorship program. It’s “on tenterhooks at the moment”, an employee told Crikey this morning. Current sponsors have been sent a letter updating them on the situation — their money will be processed as usual, in the hope that they’ll be able to get into the country soon. No new sponsors can sign up to help Zimbabwean children.
World Vision encouraged readers to keep checking on their global updates page for information about its work in Zimbabwe — and to let them know when the child sponsorship program is taking up new donors again.
For Zimbabwe donations more generally, CARE Australia also suggested to Crikey that readers could call 1800 020 046 to speak with someone who can talk through donation possibilities.