Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Yesterday we were up early and at 6:30 we headed over to the container to load up some clothes, hygiene kits, and soap to take to Masvingo, to the Ngomahuru Mental Health Hospital. We sent the blankets with Danny a couple of days before and he left them at the church for us. The Taylors went with us because this is their week to go down to that Branch. We met the Branch president of the Masvingo Branch, President Dube, and he rode to the hospital with us, too. We arranged to meet the people from Zimbabwe National Association for Mental Health (from Harare) in Masvingo. They followed us to the church where we loaded the blankets into their vehicle and followed them to the hospital, which was about 40 km. out of town, then 10 km on a dust road in the middle of nowhere. The hospital was originally a leprosy hospital, then a TB hospital and now a mental health hospital. The buildings were built in the early 1920’s.

I don’t think they were expecting us. The Harare people were supposed to have set it all up, but since the phone doesn’t work, at the hospital, I don’t think they got the message through, and they don’t have a computer. We were given a tour of one section while they gathered the administrator, and his assistant. We then were taken to the board room where we talked for a little while. We explained who we were; they talked about their needs, and expressed gratitude for what we were doing for them.

16 year old boy was dumped off at mental hospital a month ago - he is hoping they will come back for him soon

They are in dire need of help. They haven’t had electricity since the first of May. Consequently, their water pump cannot work. It is suppose to bring water from the river, which is about 3 km away. They take the patients to the river, which is crocodile infested, to bathe. They must haul their water from a borehole 2.5 km to use for cooking/drinking/cleaning, etc. They have two boreholes on the property, but one is capped off, and the other is dry. Due to lack of water their garden is not getting waterd, so they are not able to grow much. They get some food donations, from ‘well-wishers’, but there is not enough. They are feeding the patients sadza and beans, with only a few vegetables, for every meal.

Nice kitchen but no electricity for 2 months and appliances need repair

Cooking sadza (corn maize) over fire - feeds 40 people (not enough)

kitchen for 76+ patients

Their appliances are old, and they need repair. They must be sent to Bulawayo for repair. They don’t have money to do that. There is no electricity, so they must cook the food outside on a fire. They were cooking a pot of sadza when we were there and it had to feed 40 people. The cook said that they just give them a little because that is all they have.

There were several patients lying in the dust, sleeping. We were told that it is too cold at night; they don’t have proper blankets and mattresses, so it is hard to sleep. They sleep out under the sun during the day, where it is warm. We did take them 80 good blankets so hopefully that will help. Because they have no water, the sinks, and toilets, do not work. They have a generator, but they need a new battery, and gas, to run it. The place is in a sad state of affairs. In each hygiene kit there are 4 tooth brushes; the director said this would be the 1st time in 2 years they would be able to do oral care. We want to see what we can do to help them.

It's too cold to sleep at night so they lay in the sun and sleep in the day

Laying in sun trying to get warm

Patients @ Ngomahuru Mental Rehab Hospital

So sad

They need food and clothes

Needy patients

giving Nhomahuru Hospital some blankets, clothes, hygiene kits and blue bar soap

Patients at Nhomahuru Hospital (ZIMNAMH)

Tendai Mayuni saying a sincere thank you to Elder Bullock

We were told the by the people from Harare that they brought out a psychiatrist in May; it is the first time a doctor has been there for 5 years. The patients have pretty much been taking the same medication for 5 years. They are supposed to be re-assessed every month. They have no doctors at the hospital, only nurses.

We are considering asking for some vegetable donations from the “Honey Dew” market near us. They grow produce and did donate 100 cabbages to some people before. Perhaps Rob Spencer will donate something as well (He is a member with a grocery store). Taylors want to prepay a wholesale store in Masvingo so that we can pick up some corn maize, oil, and sugar down there to take out to the hospital. If this all comes together, we will go back down on Wednesday and take what we can to them. When we go to Johannesburg next week, for our humanitarian couples training, we will talk to them and see what we can possibly do to help. It is really almost an emergency situation.

The people from Harare were asking if we could also help another facility they have near Mutare where there are 29 patients with the same needs. If we are allowed to do an initiative for these people we will try and do both locations. We are planning to go to Mutare later in July to take some clothes to an orphanage and can check out the mental health place while we are there. President Bester also wants us to check out a refugee camp that is about 200 km from Mutare; supposedly, we have some members there. In August we plan to go to Bulawayo and take some newborn kits to a maternity hospital and present them after the branch there does a service project. August 22nd all the church wards, and branches, in the country are doing service projects in their areas.

Now for some nicer pictures for you to look at.

Strange cactus

Tree entangled with vines

Sunrise at The Inn on the Great Zimbabwe

Love, Elder & Sister Bullock

P.S. Pres. Bester says to go ahead and get our food donations and take them down to the hospital so we will work on that today and likely go down on Wednesday, stay over night and come back on Thursday.


  1. I totally agree with Pam! This is the saddest case yet. I will keep these people in my prayers. Thank goodness you were able to go and see their plight. And hopefully get them the help they need.

  2. Once lived there. We are hoping to visit there early 2013.