Posted by Dan DeOreo

This past season, Rev. Fungayi Mutsumbei preached twice at First Parish Church. Rev. Mutsembei came to our church through a connection from my wife’s (Sara) father Bob Masters. Bob met Rev. Mutsembei during a trip to Zimbabwe in 2010. You can see more about this trip to Mt. Selinda where he spent some of his childhood, and the South Down Church which he visited by clicking here. Bob was going back to Zimbabwe to attend a memorial service for his father who was a medical missionary there and passed away from Polio.

Some of our parishioners at the FPC thought it might be a good idea to help the people of Zimbabwe, so we asked Rev. Mutsembei about this and he made a connection for us with the South Down Church. The South Down Church is a UCC church and is located in Chipinge, Zimbabwe where there is also a school and a clinic. Here are some pictures below from Bob’s trip to South Down.

Click on image below to advance slide show.

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With this partnership we are asking the FPC community for help!

In the next two weeks there will be a collection of items that we take for granted every day. Items the people of Zimbabwe do not have regular access to: Clothing, Medicine, Books and even Soccer balls. If you can, please donate items in good condition and/or supplies that you regularly buy at Target. We will start collecting items immediately through May 21st in the Church, SS and Chapel.

On the 24th, the Missions group and some of the Youth will drive these items to Spaulding High School in Rochester, NH to be put on a container and shipped to Zimbabwe and the South Down Church. Here are pictures of this process (click to advance):
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Items in need for South Down

Please refrain from bringing overly bulky items as there is a cost associated for shipping.

Click here for a printable list


  • Gently worn clothing for children and infants
  • Sneakers and shoes in great condition
  • Rain coats, windbreakers, fleece
  • Medium weight jackets
  • Sweaters
  • Socks for males, females, kids
  • New underwear for children and adults
  • Bras, new or gently worn
  • Men’s suits, shirts, ties

School Supplies / Toys

  • Student notebooks
  • Pencils, Pens, Chalk
  • Erasers
  • Sharpeners
  • Rulers
  • Art Supplies
  • Matchbox Cars
  • Dolls


  • Sheets
  • Blankets
  • Baby Blankets
  • Bug Nets

Sporting Equipment

  • Deflated Soccer Balls
  • Deflated Volleyballs
  • Deflated Basketballs
  • Hand Air Pumps

Medical Supplies (New/Unopened)

  • Pain relievers – ibuprofen, aspirin
  • Gauze bandages, antibiotic ointment
  • Anti diarrhea medication
  • Cough/cold medication, Vaporub
  • Vitamins (children and adult)
  • Toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap
  • Sanitary pads, petroleum jelly

Library Books

  • Children’s Books
  • Novels
  • Textbooks Math
  • Textbooks Science
  • Textbooks Reading

Financial contributions are also welcome to offset shipping cost. Please write “Zimbabwe Fund” in the note section of your check.

Your financial support of a poultry project ($459.00) or a building to house a grinding mill ($1,100) or any part of this project will provide a way to empower and change women’s lives in the South Down Church community. Please write “Project Kusimudzira” in the note section of your check.

Hope you can help the South Down Church!