Borehole for disabled young people
As mentioned above, Fatima Mission is a very large mission (900 sq kms in size) based in rural Zimbabwe. The majority of those living within its boundaries are poor subsistence farmers.
The most isolated group living within Fatima Mission were those young people who had a disability. By and large they were regarded as a burden, with a very bleak future ahead of them. The Priest in Charge of the mission, Fr Jeya, felt that an education, even a basic one, would improve their life chances.
In order for this to happen a number of problems had to be overcome. In addition to the problem of accommodation and school fees, a new toilet block was needed. The first thing that had to be done in order for this to happen was to replace the old toilet (a hole in the ground) with flushing toilets. African Mission funded this work in February 2010.
Accommodation was found in the pastoral centre, a basic building without hot water, heating or beds. Thanks to our supporters African Mission raised sufficient funds to have hot water for showers and heating installed in the pastoral centre. We also raised enough to buy bunk beds for the young people.
The project has grown from supporting 6 disabled young people in 2011 to 21 this year. They live at the project during term time and attend a nearby school. The school is the only school in the province offering a specific education for blind and mute young people. In addition to their academic education they also learn skills to help them live and prosper with their disabilities. Thanks to the educating they are receiving and the fact that they are living in community with others, their confidence and ability to relate with others is growing.
Of the 21 young people, 10 are deaf & unable to speak, 7 are totally blind, 3 are partially sighted and 1 is physically handicapped. Many of the young people were being looked after by a single parent or a relative, many of whom who are in poor health and living in poverty.
At the moment the young people’s water supply is from a tap in the yard (see photo). This water is used for cooking and cleaning. The tap is fed from a shared borehole 800 meters away. To date the tap has not run dry but as Zimbabwe is facing long dry spells that have caused other boreholes to dry up we think that now is an appropriate time to provide the young people with their own independent water supply for their use exclusively. In order to do this we need to build a borehole. The cost of the borehole is £11,644.
Any help that you can give to cover the cost of the borehole would be very much appreciated. Thank you.
Paddy BoyleAfrican Mission Administrator