Mission: Zimbabwe

ASWWC and Amnesty International team up to make a difference

By: Becky St. Clair

ASWWC and Amnesty International would like to present Mission: Zimbabwe, a project promoted by two of WWU’s largest clubs in an effort to make an impact beyond just the local community.

The goal of Mission: Zimbabwe is to raise $15,000 in support of Murwira Orphanage in Zimbabwe. A once thriving nation, Zimbabwe is now considered to be on the verge of classifying as a third world country.

Zimbabwe has almost the worst performing economy in the world. Its unemployment rate is 80 percent, and it has the world’s highest inflation rate. The nation also faces a mass exodus of an estimated 3.4 million Zimbabweans - at least a quarter of the population - into neighboring countries and abroad, as natives struggle to survive.

With the lowest life expectancy in the world in 2006, Zimbabwe men live for an average of 37 years; women a mere 34 years. According to UNICEF, Zimbabwe also has a higher number of orphans per capita than any other country in the world. Most of the cases are a result of parents dying from AIDS.

ASWWC and the WWU chapter of Amnesty International are taking this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the orphans at Murwira Orphanage. The orphanage’s director is Paula Leen, who was named Woman of the Year for Lifetime Achievement in 2006 by the Association of Adventist Women.

All money raised through Mission: Zimbabwe will go toward feeding 300 children a day, purchasing much-needed medical supplies, giving the orphans an education, and general upkeep of the orphanage.

The funds will also assist in the maintenance of Leen’s orchard, cornfields, and water wells. Leen is the only employer in the area, employing 60 to 80 people. In addition to being paid, Leen's employees are also given one meal a day.

To meet the cash goal of $15,000, ASWWC has planned a series of upcoming events for winter quarter. Events include:

Mission: Zimbabwe Date Auction, January 17, 8 p.m., SAC
What it’s about: A night at the club (be sure to dress accordingly). Come check out this event for the opportunity to go on a date with some of the most eligible singles on campus. All proceeds will go directly towards Mission: Zimbabwe. You’ll also be able to enjoy music performed live by Born August.

Run for Zimbabwe, January 25, 7 a.m., Lawn in front of the Administration Building
What it’s about: Raise awareness and show support for Mission: Zimbabwe by going for an invigorating run. Join many students, staff, and faculty in support of this noble cause. Entrance fee is $5.

Zwim Meet, January 30, 8 p.m., WEC Pool
What it’s about: Start training for a great opportunity to raise money for Murwira Orphanage. By gathering sponsors and participating in this swim meet, you’ll not only get some great exercise and feel accomplished, you’ll help make a difference in a child’s life. Note: You must register for this event. Email rebecca.parshall@wallawalla.edu to register. Be sure to pick up a sponsorship form in any of the dorm lobbies, the career center, or outside of the SAC. There are many events to choose from, so there’s sure to be something for everyone!

“The situation in Zimbabwe is dire,” says ASWWC Public Relations Vice President Grant Hummel. “Someone must help. That ‘someone’ is you.”

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