If you visit our church in Lyme Regis or indeed in any of our three-parish churches, you are likely to read or hear something about Lym Zim. Lym Zim was set up in 2003 to raise funds for projects in Zimbabwe. My brother Fr Brian Enright SJ is well known in the parish having spent time with my parents who had been parishioners in Lyme until their deaths in the mid ‘90’s. Brian has been based in Zimbabwe since 1968 and when I visited Brian in 2000, parishioners asked me to identify projects for the parish to send direct support to where they would get immediate and reliable feedback about how funds had been used.
Our first project was to equip a bare physiotherapy room at a Leonard Cheshire Home for Disabled Children shipping out equipment which at the time was unavailable in Zimbabwe. We achieved this within two years and on my next visit I was made aware that the boy’s accommodation house had fallen down so we set about raising funds towards rebuilding it. The economic climate at the time in Zimbabwe was in freefall but with the help of other organisations we not only rebuilt it but were able to build a disability resource centre which is used by children and families throughout Harare and Zimbabwe where clinics are run by medical staff, groups for young people with disabilities meet regularly, a variety of therapies are offered and much more.
I visited again to open the new building and whilst there met others who needed our support namely the Emerald Hill School for the Deaf in Harare where we pay the school fees for two deaf girls who without our support would receive no formal education and The Pedro Arrupe Centre which provides education and a home for several deaf children at the Musami Mission run by the Jesuits. Both Emerald Hill and Musami Mission have excellent web sites of their own for those interested to follow up.
The two projects we now support are always in dire need of funds. The children at Emerald Hill receive a first class education in addition to specialist services for their hearing impairments. The Musami Mission is in a very poor area of Zimbabwe and operates a school, hospital, parish church, clinics as well as the Pedro Arrupe centre which is home to several children. Standards at Pedro were poor when I first visited but with our support they now have a running water supply and electricity and gradually the thatched round houses where the children live are being upgraded with new monkey and fire proof roofs!
The needs at both projects will never end. Any additional funding we are able to send is used to improve facilities for all the children at Emerald Hill and Pedro Arrupe. We now aim to raise around £6000 each year which is less than the £10k we used to raise but fundraising has got harder in recent years, supporters have died and attracting new ones is difficult and sadly I no longer have the energy for so many fundraising events! Our main source of income comes for a weekly draw with members giving £1 weekly with a chance to win £10. We are more than grateful to the very many who immediately donate their winnings back to the Link and to many others who simply send donations when they can.
Further information about the Link and the Draw can be got from Jo Enright 01297 443796.
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