As a young business in the 21st Century going through this pandemic for the past 2 years, we have kept our priority of helping the children of Peniel Centre. Here are highlights of our ministry opportunities with Peniel Orphanage in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe for 2021. Covid and all the variants have affected the ways we minister at home and abroad. Our goal was to continue sending support financially despite business adversity due to the pandemic. With your purchases of Zazzy Bandz, we have made a difference…. Read…Believe… Capture the heart of our business and ministry at home and in Zimbabwe and know that we are committed to helping even more as our business grows.
Even with the country’s shutdown, the staffers at Peniel Centre loved their kids every day. As disease reared its head over Bulawayo, the children of Peniel were protected as much as possible. Our children of Peniel have high hopes of finishing school and being a positive influence in rebuilding the once beautiful country of Zimbabwe.
Here are a few highlights from 2021EDUCATION
- Seth and Sphamandla advanced to high school. Six children finished writing their “O” level exams and hope to proceed to the Advanced level of school.
- In Gideon’s update, he shared with such pride that one of our children, Zibusiso, was elected to be a senior prefect at his school. “Zibusiso came to Peniel Centre when he was very young after his mother left him soon after his father died.” Gideon saw this young man as an example of hope fulfilled for him. Peniel Centre offered him a home and a place to lay his head. Most importantly, Peniel offered him hope.
(Pictured above: Zibusiso)
MORE CHILDREN ARRIVE AT PENIEL
- The majority of the children arrive at Peniel abused and/or neglected. Gideon affirms his vision that God did not only bring these children to the Peniel Centre for accommodations and education, but He also sent them for transformation physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Zazzy Bandz is honored to be a part of the molding of these children into citizens with hope, dreams, and skills.
- We received notification from Gideon about a young lady who came to the Peniel Centre, abandoned by her family. Due to the heart and passion of our teachers and staff, this young lady, who had no hope, now has progressed to not only hoping but believing that she will become a lawyer. She has been recognized as a Prefect at her school.
(Pictured above: Anesu becoming prefect)
- Gideon was so upset that people had stolen electricity cables from the orphanage. Without electricity, they were in a holding pattern of no lights, no food prep was minimal, no lights for the children to study, and no heat for the cold nights that would soon be there. Gideon also shared that COVID wreaked HAVOC on the investigation delaying restoration of services.
- Zazzy Bandz provided additional financial support to equip the Centre with solar panels. Solar panels are the most cost-effective means to provide consistent electricity and water (via electric water pump) for the children. Once it was in place, the children were able to study at night, eat a hot meal and take a hot shower. They now have sufficient power and water, enabling their students to prepare for exams after the sun goes down. Gideon was so thrilled with the success of the solar panels. “Thank you again for the solar power to pump water for daily use. Your generous support of our students has aided our students to score good points even with the pandemic.”
ONCE THE SCHOOL OPENED
- In mid-September, the schools reopened. As we all know, when not allowed to be together, students miss the relationships with peers, teachers, and coaches. The lockdown also affected sports as none were allowed to take place in Zimbabwe. Once the restrictions were lifted several of the students were able to play sports outside. Several of our students were then able to participate in team soccer.
- By Fall ‘21, the students were back in school and extracurricular activities were in full force. Four of the older students are writing their exit exams. These exams directed their next educational step.
- Once the school day is over, they come home to life skills training, such as agriculture, animal husbandry, baking and meal preparation, and construction, home repairs. They produce ingredients to make petroleum jelly and dishwashing liquid. Career and technical skills that are taught after school offer life skills necessary to survive and make tomorrow a better day.
(Pictured above: Students making dish soap)
- Peniel Centre staff went through the process of attempting to open a preschool. Once again, COVID reared its head and many projects were put on hold. “We hope to see it begin and flourish next year.”
- A serene campsite, known as Shalom, is set deep in the Matobo National Park in Zimbabwe. Surrounded by the mystical hills and boulders of Matobo, the camp's enticement is enhanced with great staff and hot water. A weekend at this Christian camp is an unbelievable experience for anyone, especially our children. Team Zazzy Bandz made this possible through your purchases by arranging such a weekend for our Peniel students. “Shalom is a place to reflect, to be restored after working. While at Shalom, there were healing activities offered for our children.” Gideon identified 25 students whom he felt could most benefit from the once-in-a-lifetime experience. With covid restrictions lifted, the leaders of Shalom were ready. The owners of Shalom, Di and Peter Cunningham graciously donated the weekend and Zazzy Bandz covered the costs of food. We desired to make this a time of respite after the prolonged Covid lockdown. Shalom became the answer for refreshment, reflection, and healing. When they returned, the students were geared up to tackle their world. Gideon again thanked the Cunningham family, the Shalom staff, and the Zazzy Bandz family for this opportunity for restoration.
Our fearless headmaster, Gideon, has had some health issues in early 2022. With his permission and guidance, we will share Gideon's story with you in our next blog!
(Pictured above: Gideon)
The Peniel Centre Orphanage in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe provides a home to children, we now call “our children”. “To whom much is given, much is required”- the vision in this verse is a call to serve and give hope where there is none. Thank you for being a part of this bigger vision to provide a safe haven. Thanks to each of you for purchasing Zazzy Bandz. You are a part of something bigger than a headband.
More to come,
Zazzy Bandz ... More Than A Headband 💗
1 Zazzy Bandz Sold = 1 Day of Education to a Child at Peniel Centre Orphanage