Hope in Lent
“Tariro” means “Hope” in Shona, one of the two major languages of Zimbabwe. But hope is an element that is sadly missing from the lives of so many orphans and other children living in rural poverty in Zimbabwe.
As orphans, they may be taken in by other relatives but all too often this places an even greater burden on already stretched resources and the children can suffer abuse, malnutrition and even abandonment. Without access to education and adequate nutrition such children have little hope of escaping from their situation and carving out a future for themselves.
Tariro - the charity
Tariro - Hope for Youth in Zimbabwe is a small grant making charity based in the U.K. founded by Fr. Nicolas Stebbing of the Community of the Resurrection, himself a Zimbabwean. The charity raises money to support such orphans and young people whose single parent cannot look after them anymore. It currently funds between 45 and 50 young people helping them to come to terms with the loss of their parents and other background problems, as well as supporting them through school and then with further education or practical projects until they are able to stand on their own two feet.
Tariro Youth Project
Tariro Youth Project is a house in Harare with 17 young people between 15 and 25 living in it. Some are still at school, some are at university or college, 3 now have good jobs and one has just got married demonstrating that it is indeed possible to break out of the poverty trap, to escape a traumatic past and have a future.
Tariro for Young People
Tariro for Young People operates through three centres in rural Zimbabwe. At Chipinge, Tariro supports the schooling of youngsters who are cared for by the local Anglican church. All have mothers, but no fathers, and their mothers cannot support them. At Shurugwi, Tariro supports 15 boys and girls in primary and secondary school. The children live with relations but Tariro ensures they have all they need for school. At the Anglican Mission of St. Augustine’s, Penhalonga, primary children have grown into secondary children and secondary children have left school to go on to university and other kinds of training. It is hard for these children living at home, as their relations are poor, food is often inadequate and they find it hard to find time to study as they need to help the family with subsistence farming. Tariro supports them with food and clothing as well as school fees and have put the very bright ones into boarding school to give them the best chance to fulfil their potential.
Our Lent Lunches
Over the past few years, it has been our custom at All Saints, on the Fridays of Lent, to follow The Stations of the Cross before partaking of a simple Soup and Cheese lunch in the Meeting Room. Donations made at these lunches have been passed on to Fr. Nicolas for Tariro. This year, Fr. Nicolas has written a Lenten Course, with a mild Tariro theme, and we propose to make use of this for reflection and discussion before our Soup and Cheese Lunch this Lent. Our lunches start on Friday 8 March. Join us at 11.45 am in the Meeting Room. All donations will, again, be going to Tariro.
Michael Aiers, Reader
(This is a shortened version of the article which first appeared in the parish magazine, Saints Alive)