April 2018 Zimpeto Child Reintegration Program Update
Thank you for your continued generous support of this important part of our ministry. We continue to value family, and in so doing appreciate your financial assistance in enabling us to strengthen the family, improve living conditions, and place children back with close family members.
In the last 6 months we have been able to reintegrate over forty children. Within this group were two different families who each had four siblings. Over time the family’s situations had changed and with some assistance from the ministry all four children in each family were reunited with their parents and community.
We often highlight the reintegration of our younger children. These reintegrations are happy occasions! When we see children reunited, it reminds us that God created family and He has not uncreated it. We are often asked what happens to the older youth who cannot be placed back with families. This year we have a number of older youth (18 years) who are waiting to be old enough to move to our youth project. Although this is not the optimum for them, their families have significant social issues that do not allow them to return back to their homes. We anticipate that a number of these youth will make the move later this year.
The youth project was set up for young men who had/have no contactable family or no family who would accept them. Up until 2017 we had no option for our girls in similar situations, and often times they were placed with pastors or friends of the ministry until they were old enough to be on their own. This regularly proved to be problematic and less than successful. Late in 2017 we built a small house in the same suburb as the boys (but in a different location specifically for the girls). This project is overseen by Pastor Tomas, a very special pastor who has served Iris since his days as a refugee in the refugee camp not far from where he lives now. We look forward to seeing the development of this project that enables young girls to move from the centre, and become an integral part of their community.
[Some of our older boys.]
On a sadder note, one of our dear young girls, Percina, who lived with Steve and Ros Lazar until she was 8 years old and was a wonderful reintegration back with her father and step mother, died recently from complications of a chronic infection. Hers was a positive reintegration. She had been with her family for close to 10 years, but maintained contact with us. Unfortunately she was unable to beat the infection and died peacefully, to be with Jesus. We had the honor of caring for her at the centre until her death.
[Percina, when she left the centre at 8 years of age.]
Thank you again for your generosity in supporting the foundation of the children’s centre we are happy to be called a revolving door, taking children and families out of the dust, giving them a helping hand, and enabling them to be reintegrated back into their community.