VANA News - June 2021
MESSAGE FROM CEO
As I write this, I’m aware that the world continues to grapple with the effects of the global pandemic called Covid-19. Some nations are making good progress, while many other nations are struggling to deal with it. The nation of Zimbabwe fits into the latter category, not from a lack of effort and sacrifice by the Zimbabwean people, but because of the limited resources of an economically struggling nation. I know I have said it before, and I will say it again: those that suffer the greatest in times like this are the poor, and especially children. That’s why your support of the work of VANA is so valued and critical.
In this VANA Newsletter you will find:
2021 Gala Dinner Update
New computers for children during Covid lockdown
Project Partner Training in Zimbabwe
Feature story about Timothy Chamanga, a long term staff member with one of VANA's Project Partners
Thanks for your continued interest and support.
2021 GALA DINNER UPDATE
Saturday evening the 8th of May saw 100 passionate VANA supporters gather in one room at the Maroochydore Surf Club, eager to see how they could be a part of a life-changing movement…
It was great to see new faces amongst the crowd, and of course long term friends of VANA… there was such a buzz and sense of expectation and the night kicked off with a great welcome from M.C Brad Jen, who has seen first hand through many trips to our Partners on the ground in Zimbabwe, the wonderful work of VANA, as we invest in the lives of children… Zimbabwe’s future.
This year rather than a guest speaker, we had 3 stories relayed via video presentation, of 3 young people who have been with VANA for many years from little children and now young adults… the theme for the Gala Dinner this year was “THRIVE”, and the stories of “Portia”, “Patricia” and “Luckmore” were such inspiring testimonies of the change that has come to their lives through their generous sponsors - there were not many dry eyes as we listened to the transforming power of love and sacrifice.
Of course, during the night there was fun and laughter as each guest enjoyed their meal, the company around the tables, the live band (thank you Soul Fixx) and the opportunity to win prizes, all thanks again to generous supporters of VANA who kindly donated items.
Our sincere thanks to event sponsors Care Strategic and Integrale Homes. Also special thanks to Greenstock Nursey and Burleigh Beach Towers for the donation of magnificent plants and a 3 night getaway to beautiful Burleigh Heads by the beach... these donations raised much-needed funds for VANA.
Of course, throughout the fun of the night, the main objective was to make a difference in the lives of children and we are so thrilled to tell you that 11 children were sponsored on the night, allowing them to start school virtually the next day!! And to date, the night has raised over $40,000 for our ongoing work in Zimbabwe…
The Gala dinner was a wonderful start to our end of financial year appeal and you can still give through the VANA website. Donate here
It was a fabulous night and a huge thank you to all who made the night the success it was.
NEW COMPUTERS FOR PROJECT PARTNER
During the Covid pandemic, children in Zimbabwe just like children all over the world were not able to attend school… In Zimbabwe, this situation takes on a whole new level of the effects of poverty because without needed supplies homeschooling was impossible.
VANA is proud to be able to say that we have been able to provide new computers for our partner Harvest Family Village, allowing the children in their care to continue their studies and help counter the destructive spiral of the lack of education… the opportunity for Education is vital for these children to be able to hope for a sustainable future.
PROJECT PARTNER TRAINING IN ZIMBABWE
VANA takes very seriously the need to be transparent and accountable with all the financial aid that is given to us to steward, and to this end, we now hold regular training days for all our staff across our project partners… Angela and Ruth were able to impart our ever-evolving systems and procedures to help ensure that all aid is dealt with in a proficient and professional manner… we are so pleased with the progress that is being made with all our Project Partners, and to be able to report back to you our valued contributors that we are doing every thing we can to ensure best practice.
FEATURE STORY - TIMOTHY CHAMANGA
Timothy is a long term staff member of one of VANA’s Project Partners in Zimbabwe, the Good Shepherd Centre. We are sure you will enjoy reading some of Timothy's story.
“Timothy Chamanga is my birth name as I grew up my friends started calling me Timon. I was born in Gweru, ZImbabwe on the 10th of April in 1983. I had a Christian mum that made sure we regularly went to church and created a Godly environment in our home. She went to be with Jesus recently - on the 22nd February 2021 after a short illness. She taught us good stewardship, hard work, kindness and generosity. My father came from a long line of hard workers, my late grandfather whom I was named after; a devoted pastor and also my mentor. I am the firstborn child in a family of 5. As we grew up, we always had extended family with us, some that stayed and some that moved on. I remember my mum would cook on the big pots so that everyone will be fed. I have always loved people and taking care of the needy. I remember when I was very young I was asked what I wanted to do in life and I said I want to have orphanages so that there will not be children on the streets.
I went to 3 different primary schools as my father was changing towns with his business. I then moved to Chinhoyi in 2006. In 2008 I was blessed to be able to attend High School, I then went on to do a Bible school, missions training, sports coaching courses, counselling
courses, HIV and Aids courses, Foundations for farming, prison ministry course (chaplaincy) Community Development and humanitarian project management diploma. Such education is so valuable here in Zimbabwe and I feel incredibly blessed to have had these opportunities to learn and study.
I was very much involved with youth work, sports in schools and running camps for churches and leadership training. I was inspired by my mum from home and a number of pastors and missionaries that mentored me in my journey. I was blessed to be surrounded by great men and women of faith that saw potential in me and nurtured it.
My childhood was not easy at all, because we moved a lot it was difficult parting with friends, I also had times where I didn't have everything I needed for school even though my parents worked hard to provide for all of us.
I remember my grandfather one day when we moved to stay with them, took me and my sister to his garden and said if you want pocket money you plant your vegetables here. From that day I always had money with my sister because every day my grandfather sold vegetables to the community and gave us what was ours, today I am teaching the children
we care for at the Good Shepherd Centre (GSC) that same lesson.
What motivated me to serve at the Good Shepherd Centre was God. Initially, I was asked to serve for 2 weeks as a volunteer. The invitation came when we were on a mission trip distributing medical equipment and food in the remote Kariba area. I agreed and soon realized it was God calling me for ministry. I never looked back.
This year, 2021 is my 15th year and I enjoy seeing God turning lives around. Seeing a sickly, fragile child coming to the Good Shepherd Centre and God taking care of each of them until we release them eventually as an adult going to university or work or getting married has been my greatest joy. At the Good Shepherd Centre we see miracles every day and of course, however, the most difficult part of my job is having a child die in my arms from illness.
I thank God for the overwhelming support and prayers of partners like VANA Ministries, otherwise, it would be impossible to do this work alone and of course the men and women on the ground that have dedicated their lives to serve these beautiful children that are fearfully and wonderfully made by God.
The Lord blessed me with Yvonne my wife, a son Jayden (4) and a daughter Kim (2 years).
God bless, Timothy”
VANA Ministries Ltd (ABN 75 576 738 867) is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient. Donations of $2 or more to VANA are tax-deductible ln Australia.
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