The following is an abbreviated version of an ELCA News Release written by Carrie L. Draeger. Find the full article at http://tinyurl.com/nbtkz8.
Money from the ELCA is helping the people of Zimbabwe, said the Rev. Benyam A. Kassahun. “As a result of that support many were able to survive,” he said. Kassahun is the program director for Southern Africa, ELCA Global Mission.
Supply shelves at the hospitals were bare when Kassuhun visited in October 2008. They are now filled with supplies and medications, he said. “Compared to last year and the year before, this was just a luxury,” he said.
The hospitals are able to feed patients and medical staff, a feat that was not possible nine months ago. Money purchased four months of food for the hospitals and patients are paying with maize, goats and chickens.
“They are able to pay, and last year that wasn’t the case,” he said. The maize, goats and chickens that patients pay with are going full circle, adding to the meals at the hospital. “The people are hopeful, but still hanging in the air,” he said. “We have a long way to go.”
Carrie L. Draeger is a senior communication major with a concentration in journalism at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Wash. This summer she is an intern with the ELCA News Service.