He is in his late 70’s. After 42 years of government service in the wildlife sector, ending in a senior management position, his monthly government pension is currently worth US$18.00.
He does not own his own home but lives in a tiny 12-foot caravan in a kind person’s backyard. Ralph’s caravan does not have electricity or running water and has more holes than walls and floors. The first time we met Ralph, he was sitting in his caravan with a catapult, ambushing rats intent on stealing his food. To make the food packs provided by one of the charities last the month, Ralph told us he did not eat on weekends.
It is was winter when we visited him and bitterly cold. We offered Ralph blankets. He told us better to give the blankets to people more in need.
Ralph has a macular degeneration in both eyes, suffers an almost continual chest infection that renders him unable to breathe, plus and not surprisingly, dangerously high blood pressure. The Old Legs pays for Ralph’s medications. We have never heard him complain but hear his laugh often.
We would love to be able to do more for Ralph, but can’t, because they are two of many. To find out how you can help the Old Legs Tour help Zimbabwe’s pensioners, please go to www.oldlegstour.co.zw