SW Radio Africa (London)

15 June 2012

Zimbabwe: Public Urged to Support Dorothy Duncan Care Centre

A charity fundraiser to help keep the Dorothy Duncan care centre in Harare open is set to get underway on Saturday, with members of the public urged to do what they can to show their support.

The centre in Greendale is facing closure at the end of July, meaning its blind and physically disabled residents are now facing the possibility of being thrown out.

The centre was founded by the late Mrs. Dorothy Duncan in 1950 for the care of the blind, and in the years that followed the Dorothy Duncan organisation grew to include three different sites in Harare. This includes the care centre in Greendale, the Dorothy Duncan Braille library in Fife Avenue and a residential property for rehabilitation in Milton Park. The centre has also expanded its services to the partially sighted, paraplegics and other physically disabled.

The care centre is home to about 40 residents and there is serious concern about where they will end up if it closes in the coming weeks.

SW Radio Africa understands that the centre was given an ultimatum by the National Employment Council to increase its staff wages, backdated by a year. We were unable to secure an interview with anyone from the centre but we have been told that the group has been ordered to pay about US$50,000. As a charity group it does not have the money to comply and now faces closing its door by the end of July.

A classical music concert has now been organised for this Saturday at 6.30pm at St. George's College in the Loyola Hall as an initial fundraising effort to try and keep the money flowing for the charitable group.

The concert will feature tenor vocalist Nigel Hopkins, pianist Renée Mostert and Harmony Rogers on cello.

Entry to the concert will be by donation and as many people as possibly are being urged to show their support.

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