FALLS FAMINE APPEAL
Victoria Falls is on the brink of widespread starvation.
Please help us prevent it.
VICTORIA FALLS IS...
Victoria Falls is a small isolated town in Zimbabwe with a population of around 35,000 in the middle of a National Park. Its tourism-dependent economy has now entirely collapsed. Regrettably, we don’t have the luxury of first world safety nets and bailouts.
Whilst it seems by some miracle that we have been spared the worst of COVID-19 seen on other continents, the collapse of the economy has brought on an equally great threat -
THE VICTORIA FALLS COMMUNITY NEEDS YOU
UPDATE: OCTOBER 2020
We have once again extended our appeal, as we are feeding more children than ever - over 6500 daily - and hundreds of adults through Food for Work. Although our international border is open at Victoria Falls Airport, travellers are few and far between with the sad surge of COVID-19 cases in Europe and continuing cases in the USA. We do not expect to see any kind of viable tourism until June next year, so we are really in the trenches now.
World Vision is on the ground and after an extensive assessment process is distributing USD12 per person a month to identified families. However, they are only able to work in three areas of town and only have funds to assist 4700 people in our population of over 35 000, due to the massive need across the country. We are working together to try to cover as many families as possible with aid in various forms.
Thanks to Malcolm Ainscough, Graham Springer and Jafuta Foundation, we have had a life-giving injection of USD 60 000, raised in Memorium to Mr Philip James of The Victoria Falls Hotel, that will allow us to serve meals until the end of December. We are now working to assist schools to take over the feeding of their pupils, whilst we will feed the little ones and any child not in school.
World Vision is here until at least April and has warned us that we will need to continue until at least then, so once again we are appealing to your amazing kindness and generosity to help us keep our town fed. Please spread the word where you can - we know so many people have donor fatigue and are facing another lockdown but we cannot give up. Thank you for being our lifeline.
UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 2020
We started this appeal 5 months ago, not sure of what lay ahead of us as the ripple effect of the COVID-19 pandemic closed down our entire tourism-based town of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe literally overnight. All we knew was that what was to come would not be easy and that we needed to work as one giant family to care for each other to get through to the other side.
Currently, we are right in the middle of the maelstrom and we are devastated.
We have had over 90% layoffs and those still with jobs are on greatly reduced salaries.
Zimbabwe has been identified as one of 27 countries in the world that is most likely to experience famine
as a result of COVID-19 related economic issues. We rank between number 2 and number 5
on the Famine Early Warning System Network as countries in most need and for the first time,
Victoria Falls and the Hwange District have been listed as Critical.
Critical is described as one stage before outright emergency and famine and it is thought that this stage
is only just being maintained by humanitarian assistance.
It is estimated that 8.5 million people need food assistance in Zimbabwe.
ORIGINAL APPEAL: APRIL 2020
From the end of April, almost the entire workforce, who would typically support a family of 4, are without
means to support themselves and their families. The domino effect of serious hunger is potentially
catastrophic on both the human and wildlife population of our destination.
A donation of any size will help a community in crisis.
This appeal has the support and involvement of all the major operators in Victoria Falls.
WHY WE NEED YOU...
None of the international food agencies have any identifiable infrastructure in this location, so potential aid is taking time to reach us. We need to bridge the gap.
What we do have at our disposal is infrastructure, warehouses, commercial kitchens, fleets of vehicles and a large team of volunteers working to fight famine.
As a community of stakeholders, businesses & individuals, we have launched
The Falls Famine Appeal.
We have opened Children's Feeding Schemes at 7 locations, serving a hot nutritious meal to any child under 18, Monday to Friday. We started with 400 kids and are now serving over 6500 as of 16 October - an estimated 65% of the school-going population of the town.
We have an adult's "Food for Work" scheme, whereby volunteers work for several hours on town regeneration projects, preparing for the return of tourism. In return, they receive a snack meal and drink and a 10kg bag of mealie meal (maize staple food).
We have an Emergency food distribution network run by our social outreach Pastor's Network who identify vulnerable households such as those that are child-headed or have ill or disabled family heads.
US$60 can keep a family of 4 fed for a month on the most basic of rations.
US$8 purchases a 10kg bag of staple foodstuff that will last 5 days.
25 cents is all it costs to feed a child daily, thanks to our community gardens and incredible volunteers.
100% of all money raised is being utilised for the procurement and distribution of ration packs to households in need and the operation of community feeding stations in Victoria Falls.
To see your generosity at work, please follow us on:
We had hoped that the duration of this program would be either the resumption of the economy following the lifting of travel restrictions, or the arrival of governmental or international food distribution agencies to take on the task. However, due to the immense need across the country, international food distribution is very limited and with the surge in COVID-19 cases, opening borders has made no noticeable difference, so we are on our own and we kindly ask those who have ever been touched by Victoria Falls and its people to support us in this vital community support.
"So arm in arms, with alms, we'll fight this little struggle,
'Cause that's the only way we can overcome our little trouble."