To date we have expended just on $215,750 in giving assistance to the people in Riimenze. We have sufficient funds remaining for humanitarian aid for the present. Eventually, we shall bring this all to account in line by line detail but currently it is still a fluid situation.
Our aim is to phase out humanitarian aid as soon as feasible and utilize project funding to provide opportunity for the people to earn wages rather than be the recipients of enduring hand-outs.
All Solidarity personnel in Riimenze have been involved in assisting the people. In the pre-school led by Sr Josephine numbers swelled from the pre-crisis numbers of 150 to over 400. The numbers have now settled around 360 in their four classrooms. All the children in the nursery school are fed and receive health assistance.
Sr Rosa and Fr Jose are focused on organizing and developing the Sustainable Farm project but have also often put that work aside to assist the people in their immediate needs. They provide much food from the farm including large quantities of papaya, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, bananas and many crop foods such as cassava roots and leaves, ground nuts and maize.
Br Christian and Sr Raquel work as ‘social workers’ among the people ensuring the old and sick are well cared for. They have organized provision of two meals each week of rice and beans and four meals of ‘porridge’. Officially it is for the children and the elderly but many mothers and even some young men can be spotted in the queues. While we state we are feeding about 1,000 each day, we think in reality it may be nearer to 1,500 or even 2,000.We have employed cooks to prepare a meal six days each week for the most vulnerable in the community: the the elderly, the sick and the children.