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The Stories

A family together - Melusi’s story

A family together - Melusi’s story

Small, hardly describes Melusi’s home. It’s tiny. He shares one bedroom with his elder brother and mother. Another family shares the other room in the house. There is absolutely no privacy. A constant stream of children pass through the house and the noise of traffic from the streets is deafening. Joy, Melusi’s mother, tries to sleep. She has just arrived home exhausted after a long days work selling tomatoes in the Bulawayo market in Zimbabwe.

Struck down by TB

‘Life used to be better’, Melusi says. But in 2005 his father, a pastor, died from tuberculosis and left the family struggling to survive. In the densely crowded and unhygienic slums of Bulawayo the disease travels fast and kills slowly. Melusi can remember his father’s last months as he wasted away, becoming skin and bones, his body racked by a deathly cough. Now his father is gone.

Keeping families together

Joy could so easily have been overwhelmed by her husband’s death and her family could have fallen apart because of extreme poverty. Many mother’s in similar circumstances in Zimbabwe abandon their children to orphanages in the hope of a better future for them. But Tearfund’s local church partner ZOE stepped in.

ZOE is providing practical support, as well as spiritual guidance, to hundreds of vulnerable families by providing business training and school fee support. Joy wraps her arm around Melusi and smiles, ‘Because of their support the future is looking less fragile. Our family can stay together.’

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