We love sending people on amazing trips around the world. But what jazzes us the most, is when clients literally feel a culture and are moved by the people they experience on their journey. Many on our team have experienced that impact and power – when your travels teach you about how others are living, what makes them happy and what needs they might have. Because of that, we constantly seek ways to help those in need across the globe.
With the help of our friend Blessing Munyenyiwa (and his company Love for Africa) we have partnered with MATTER to outfit a hospital in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Pregnant women rely on this hospital as they prepare for and ultimately give birth. Prior to our joint initiative, the facility (Lukosi Hospital) had few beds and little medical equipment to safely and effectively help during labor. The death toll was alarming – for mothers and babies. Today, there are ultrasound machines, numerous beds, staff has been trained to use and maintain the equipment, and much more. We’re proud to have been part of the transformation that is saving lives each day!
Here’s a recent note Blessing wrote about the experience:
"Two and a half years ago two special people I call my Minnesota Family, Jim and Linda Bendt owners of Pique Travel Design, introduced me to one of the most amazing non-profit organizations in the world – MATTER. I had been thinking about my social responsibility plan for Love For Africa. I believed that together we would not only make a difference, but do something that would be different and impactful. We both shared the philosophy that good health was No. 1 followed closely by food security and then education.
From my first meeting with Laura and Quenton at Matter I knew we were going to make a difference for the people of Zimbabwe. The Matter Family came together with Chris and Mike coming out to assess the site and situation (to ensure its long-term sustainability) and then Katie and Jeremy supporting what would become a reality.
We identified a hospital outside of Hwange National Park that catered mostly to women, women births and children as well gave free medical checks and procedures to the rural community. Very fitting for our first project together.
Matter was able to assess the needs of the entire hospital and secure land nearby from the Catholic church to start a garden that would supply healthy fruits and vegetables to the hospital and children.
Thanks to all the donors of Matter, we were able to send a 40-foot container to Zimbabwe full of medical equipment, beds for the entire Lukosi Hospital and farming equipment for the garden worth – valued at more than $150,000. A project of this magnitude needs takes a lot of support: amazing donors, the government of Zimbabwe who allowed all to come in swiftly and waived all duties and taxes, and many more.
So many groups and individuals cared enough to make this happen, including the Rotary, The Keepers, Pentair, Caritas, Pique Travel Design, just to name a few. I am grateful from the bottom of my heart for helping my people of Zimbabwe. I have learned and will continue to live my life by what Winston Churchill once said "You make a living by what you make but you make a LIFE by what you give."
Additional information on the project can be found here in an post written by MATTER.