This year in June Suku, along with Janet Elliott and Cathy Ryan, from the United Kingdom visited Zimbabwe. Janet’s family sponsor several children and she was challenged to help with re writing organisational policy and procedures for the charity and also to visit children out in the homesteads. Janet, had organised donations of pens/pencils, games, knitted hats and jumpers for grade 0; needles; thread; buttons and elastic for Phathisanani Sewing Project at Vumangwe Primary School. The project makes uniforms for the schools. Through support from the local communities in Suffolk and work colleagues, Suku has managed to take old Singer sewing machines whenever she visits Zimbabwe to supports this community initiative and income generating project. The project also teaches young girls how to sew. Janet found visiting the schools, a ‘very emotional experience, as soon many children need support, and it’s so difficult to choose which ones we can help’
Suku and Cathy’s challenge this year was to raise funds and so on June 29th- they declared it Africa Challenge Day. Suku had promised to do the Bunjee Swing at Victoria Falls Bridge to raise money for the orphans. “ I am delighted that I was brave enough to take a leap of faith , swinging just meters above the raging rapids of the Zambezi River with the mighty waterfalls rumbling by the side … “What a thrill – which lasted about 5 minutes. I am delighted that I managed to do it”!
Cathy Ryan – who first visited Zimbabwe in 2013 and who is the Community Matron at Southwold Surgery and the secretary for Phumuza, had a double challenge.. Cathy combined her fundraising for both Phumuza and the Southwold Sole Bay Care Fund. ‘ I also try and undertake a challenge each year for my Southwold Charity, so it was an opportunity to combine the two’
In the morning before Suku ‘bunjeed’, Cathy ran the Victoria Falls Half Marathon. The course took runners over the Victoria Falls Bridge and then around the edge of The Falls park. “ It was a tough race, as it was quite hot and humid and lots of long hills, and we also had to avoid, baboons and warthogs as well as keep an eye out for crossing elephants!”. Cathy completed the run in 2hrs 40mins, ‘not my best time, but I just wanted to finish’.
Photo: Cathy & Suku at Victoria Falls
One of our sponsors gave a special donation, which has enabled us to set up a ‘prize-giving’ for the student that shows the most dedication and motivation in their studies. This year we presented a bicycle to Ibrahim, a student who has to walk 7 kilometres to school every day, and despite his long walk, he never misses school and he continues to achieve good grades”.
The important feature of this charity is that funds are mostly raised here in the UK and school fees are paid in person by us direct to the school account, so we can track every payment for each child. We also meet with the children and their guardians to ensure they are progressing with their studies.
This year Suku, along with Janet Elliott, fom Pakefield and Cathy Ryan, from Southwold returned to Zimbabwe , they had an extra special mission to achieve.
The team raised over £1000. Suku , Cathy, and Janet would like to thank friends and family, work colleagues; the local communities; the Salvation Army in Beccles, the Rotary Club of Southwold and District, and District and the National Women’s Register (NWR) in Beccles.
You can make donations via Paypal or you can contact Suku Bailey on 07796105425.