Support for African Outreach 2019


Colleen Smith really needed no introduction to many of our members, as her African Outreach project in Zimbabwe has long been a recipient of the club's international service support. 

Meg Godwin, widow of Past President Ken Godwin, introduced RC Karrinyup to African Outreach many years ago and it was lovely to have Meg along to hear the update.

Colleen told us that African Outreach had targeted schools in rural areas. They also supported clinics and orphanages and had organised a bore to assist in providing clean water to around 25,000 people a refugee camp near the border with Mozambique, where conditions are the worst imaginable. As electricity supplies are unpredictable, they organised an outdoor kitchen with an open fire, as a reliable place to prepare meals for an aged care facility. 

While the people of Zimbabwe had rejoiced in the recent change of government, Colleen told us that the conditions had not really improved a great deal and the situation was quite unstable. 

Colleen has been travelling to Africa to work with orphans and the elderly in Zimbabwe for over 20 years and admits that sleeping on the ground and walking many kilometres to visit different villages is not as easy as it used to be. She is currently training some younger people to assist. 

International Committee Assistant Director Ken Foggo presented Colleen with a cheque for this year's donation to the project, which targets aid for orphans, refugees and the elderly.   

Colleen expressed her heartfelt thanks to the club on behalf of those so very much in need. Many members took the time to view a book of photographs of Colleen's work.

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