Desperate struggle for survival

With the Old Legs Skeleton Coast Tour over we first want to say congratulations to Eric and his marvellous team and to thank all the ZANE friends across the world for their enthusiastic support of this spectacular undertaking.

Absolutely fantastic effort all participants and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing resilience and determination you showed and for the kindness and compassion it took to undertake the mission in the first place.

Turning our attention once again to the beneficiaries, we see reports coming from our Zim teams showing the desperate struggle for survival going on with the old folk there;

Mary and Doug

I interviewed and assessed Mary and Doug at our office as they are enquiring about possible assistance from ZANE. They have both worked hard all their lives and, as seems to happen with so many people here now, their savings have not lasted and they’re having difficulty surviving.

Doug worked in the sales departments of different companies, and Mary has always done secretarial work, so they have never earned much money.

Mary did most of the talking in this interview, while Doug sat quietly with his head down, looking very sad. When he left the interview for a few moments, Mary told me he was embarrassed and humiliated by having to ask a stranger for money.

We later talked about this and he repeated that he has always been self -sufficient and does not understand how this could have happened to him and Mary – so sad and I needed to spend a lot of time talking this through with him in the way we’ve had to with so many people over the years.

I will discuss this at our next team meeting but with restrictions on our budget due to fundraising fatigue, I am not sure whether we will be able to take them onto our books.


I also spoke to two long term ZANE beneficiaries, Jim and Lea. Lea is very depressed and now on strong medication for this. Her physical health has also been affected as a result and she is having to see doctors for at least three serious ailments with her lungs, heart and stomach.

I know my role here is to have a session with her every couple of weeks to simply spend time with her and help her to calm down and find some wort of way to cope.


Jim, on the other hand, is always more optimistic about his own life and I think enjoys himself in his small world at the retirement complex where he lives. He has very little money but makes the best of what he has, is friendly with other neighbours and watches rugby with others there known to ZANE.

Jim can be ‘prickly’ but it seems he is learning to be more tolerant of other people. He has been more open with me recently and spoke briefly about his daughter, with whom he has very little contact.

* Names and images may have been changed for privacy reasons

If you are already a ZANE donor, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. If you are not a donor but would like to be, please follow the link below and know that every donation, however big or small, goes directly to where it is most needed. If you would like to help but can’t donate, please join the ZANE family and ‘like’ or ‘share’ our posts or write us a Google review – every positive step helps spread the word about the life changing work ZANE does.

Thank you – Nicky Passaportis ZANE Australia

Please donate to support pensioners struggling to survive in Zimbabwe

Any assistance is greatly appreciated and goes a long way to giving our pensioners a better quality of life and lift the pressure of money worries which is very debilitating emotionally.

(Donations made to ZANE in Australia, are tax-deductible)