Pelandaba Orphans Update 2020

What a surreal year this has been for us all. Apologies for so little news this year, not even a news letter last year. We moved to Connel just before Christmas, so no time to catch up with everyone. My good intentions of having many more events this year have been scuppered by covid and lockdown. We live in a very low infection area and so have been lucky as we've been able to explore lovely countryside, but like everyone else h ave had to keep socialising to a minimum. Pelandaba Orphans have suffered along with everyone else because of the pandemic, but also because of the worsening political situation in Zimbabwe... I never imagined for a second that it could get any worse! Teachers are not being paid and so when the pupils can be in school there is nobody to teach them. Mike and I took the decision to at least keep up the food donations and the orphans have been given money to ensure they can still be fed. Fortunately the huge support I receive from regular donors and the cushion of funds I have built up over the years have enabled this to continue. Mike, Judy and Sandra are doing stirling work and Thembie updates the situation on the ground with the orphans. There is a feeling of frustration amongst the older pupils who should be sitting exams this year, but through no fault of their own have been unable to complete the course work. ZANE continues to support by giving Mike access to the money raised for the orphans. This year we have only used monies already at ZANE as we still had Brian's Bike Ride Funds as well as money I paid to ZANE to cover fees out of the event proceeds. Other monies paid directly to ZANE for the orphans included an incredibly generous donation from Richard and Tessa Carss from their ZOE Carss Education Trust are being used by Mike first. The Pelandaba Account held in Scotland has continued to grow from the regular monthly donations and so we are able to continue to feed and pay for school fees for at least another year and maybe two, depending on the situation here. As soon as it is possible I will start the event calendar again to swell these funds further. I can't thank all of you enough for your continuing generosity as it means I don't have to let down these very underprivileged young, in spite of covid. Christmas this year, hopefully will not be too bad for the orphans. As there is so little in the shops in Zimbabwe and it's difficult to make up gift boxes, it has been decided that each child will get money to buy food to ensure being well fed over the festive period. Mike and Sandra are ensuring that this happens. I really hope this finds you all well and not struggling during these difficult times. There is little we can do, but obey the rules and try not to worsen the situation by spreading the virus. There is a glimmer of light with the promise of a vaccine. So hopefully by this time next year we'll all be in a better place. I hope you have a peaceful and happy, although restricted Christmas and all best wishes for a better 2021. Many thanks once again for your help and support, it is so appreciated. Lucinda Macdonald, Corven, Connel, PA37 1PJ, Argyll