ZIMBABWE – Newsletter posted January 2014
Silindeni Gumbo is 28 years old and moved to Matabeleland South from Mashonaland in the north of Zimbabwe. It took her a while to get used to the lack of rain in Matabeleland South and the new language was challenging for her to understand. She also described how it was hard being away from her parents.
Unlike many of her peers who have left Zimbabwe to find work, Silindeni believes that she’s made the right decision by working at the Asenzeni garden and health club set up by the Dabane Trust in Matabeleland South. She works hard for her family and wants her 10 year old daughter, Talent, to also make the right decisions when she’s older.
Silindeni started work in the community garden when it opened in 2009. She lives 2km from the garden and it takes her 30 minutes to get there each day. She grows onions, butternuts (squash) and maize during the rainy season and likes working in the garden because she is growing her own crops and getting her own food.
The garden has changed her life because with the money from selling left over vegetables she has been able to buy clothes for her family, send Talent to school, and buy chickens to raise and sell.
The introduction by Christian Care of the local processing centre has been particularly life changing. Silindeni says:
“I used to grow vegetables and compete with other members of the community to sell vegetables in other villages. I didn’t have time for anything else. Now one member takes all vegetables from the garden to the processing centre (12km away). Now that we are no longer competing, life is much easier”