Harare Lemba Synagogue Emergency Food Program – Can You Help?

Zimbabwe is currently in a state of crisis as drought has struck the nation. Poor harvests, high unemployment, political unrest, and the restructuring of the agricultural sector have left a significant proportion of the country in food poverty. The statistics speak for themselves:

  • Maize production was down 51% on the previous year
  • Rural poverty is approaching 80%
  • 1.5 million Zimbabweans cannot meet their basic food needs
  • Over 70% of the population live on less than $1.25 per day
  • Protein is hard to come by, stunting growth in ⅓ of children                                                                             
Zimbabwe3Here at Kulanu we have a duty to assist our partner communities in times of extreme need such as this. Lifetime Kulanu member Lucy Steinitz reported back after recently spending Shabbat with the Lemba Jewish community in Harare, noting that “Lemba Jews have great leadership now, but the community needs our support. The synagogue has established an emergency committee to distribute basic ingredients to members of the community most in need. Given the immediacy of the food shortage, we are asking our supporters to consider contributing to a fund that will assist this committee in purchasing ingredients for distribution.


We are most grateful to all of you who have already made a donation. We receive regular reports directly from the Lemba community on the success of this program. Its effects are being felt in Harare with 18 beneficiary families, including the Zhou family (above), whose young children Phenomenon and Russell are pictured during a food distribution session. Their father, Russell, is the chairman of the food committee, and reports via Modreck Maeresera that each family has so far received 10kg of mealie meal, 2kg dried fish, 2kg flour, 5 litres cooking oil, 5kg beans,1kg salt and 1kgs powdered milk.
zimbabwechild2However, the situation is not yet improving in Zimbabwe, so we are requesting that anyone who is able donate whatever they can. As you can see, charitable donations via Kulanu really do reach those in need like Kunashe Ariel Hwingwiri, pictured above holding a packet of dried Kapenda fish that will provide him high-protein nutrition in the short-term.
While Kulanu believes in long-term, sustainable development partnerships, in dire situations it is important to hear the voice of the community and provide what they need most – in this case, that is simply food. The community is planning a pilot irrigation project with Kulanu once the immediate needs are met, in order to provide sustainable food production resources. In the meantime, please donate any amount you can.
Photo credits: Modreck Maeresera, 2016.

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