Nearly Halloween here in the US. One wonders just how much is spent on Halloween, and how much that might help the “really poor” in the world? Difficult question, but after the past eight years among the poor of Zimbabwe, it is also difficult to not think those sort of questions.
The “Government of National Unity” (GNU) in Zimbabwe is in another crisis. First, “GNU” is an oxymoron if ever there was one. I guess it is a government of sort; it is “national”, but there is certainly NO unity. ZANU-PF seems to think that whatever little they do meets “all the requirements” on their part, and if only the MDC would get the world to stop the sanctions, then everything would be just fine. No mention of the on-going arrests of MDC members, of ridiculous charges against Roy Bennet, of the ZANU-youth terrorizing people, of continuing takeovers of what few white farms are left, of an agriculture policy that still will not feed the nation (let alone export products as was true just ten years ago), of now being “one of the worst” countries in the world as far as governance goes. Anyone wanting to read topical articles about Zimbabwe (MORE than you want to read, but just skim), go to: www.zimbabwesituation.com
But, in spite of all the above, I remain optimistic about St. Theresa Hospital, and the work they are doing. They continue to do all of the work we were involved in, and are moving forward. The AIDS treatment is going very well. There now are 435 clients alive and well 2 years after beginning treatment, and 849 alive and well after one year of treatment. One hundred and twenty two of these are children under the age of 14. ALL of those people would be dead by now if treatment had not been available, and there would be many more orphans. It does show a very bright glimmer of hope for the people. We are hopeful that the program can expand to the point where all of the people who should be on treatment will receive it.
I am busy writing our annual Newsletter. I am hoping to have it ready and sent just before Thanksgiving –means I really have to get busy! I will post a copy of it here when I am ready to mail them. Also, I hope to post an entry which will show just what the finances of the hospital are at this time.
Dick and Loretta