10 November 2012

Zimbabwe: An Early Christmas Present

The Amusement Park has now moved permanently to Exhibition Park, the home of the Harare Show, so the brief thrill of the August holidays is now there all year round, or at least when exams are over and teenagers are looking for good clean fun. The Zimbabwe Agricultural Society has a programme put in place to give back to the disadvantaged children in the society.

Speaking to Heather Madombwe, the public relations officer of ZAS, a special day every week will be reserved for children coming from Children's Homes to enjoy all the slides and rides for free.

"We as ZAS have seen it fit to involve the orphans and vulnerable children in the fun other kids enjoy, as a way of giving back to the community. Every Thursday, after the day of our official launch will be set aside for children with special needs.

"We are looking at HIV and Aids orphans, disabled children, the underprivileged and all the children in homes. They will spend at most two hours to get a chance to have fun like other children do," she said.

Because of the unfortunate incident last year that saw a toddler disappearing at the show grounds, ZAS has put in place tight security measures. According the public relations officer, CCTVs will be used to monitor the children and activities around the amusement park at different angles.

A palescent fence has also been set up to keep predators out and ensure children do not wonder about and get lost in the process. The show patrol security will also be on high alert every day the amusement park will be running.

"We want the children to have fun in a secure and safe environment so parents and guardians can rest assured that they are in good hands. We urge all stakeholders to be extra vigilant at all times to avoid mishaps."

"Still on the issue of security we have also set aside two days every week, Monday and Tuesday to give the maintenance crew a chance to service the amusement park equipment. This is also a measure to reduce accidents because we do not want any kids to get hurt," she said.

Orphanages or charity organisations that are interested in spending time at the ZAS amusement park will be entertained after they make bookings because the last thing they want is to be overcrowded.

Since they will be dealing with children that have special needs, they would want to give each of them special attention.

Children will not only have fun on the rides but will have a chance to watch and learn about the bird kingdom at the birds sanctuary at the park. The aviary will have different indigenous and exotic birds that the children can learn about.

Through interacting with the birds they can learn to have an appreciation of the wildlife as well as be conservators of the environment as a whole.

Other children will get a piece of the fun as the amusement park will open its doors for them on Fridays until Sundays for a fee.

Reigning Miss Teen Zimbabwe, Soraya Vladmire spoke highly of the initiative to involve the disabled and vulnerable children.

"It is refreshing to see that these children are being given special preference because normally when you get to such a place there is a lot of pushing and shoving. It becomes difficult for people to consider them and award them a chance to have fun too. They are children too and deserve a chance to do things other children do.

"It is also good that the rest of the children and young teens can have a conducive hangout place -- a family hangout that is different, where they can have safe fun and not indulge in mischievous behaviour," she said.

State of the art slides, roller coasters and many more will be at the children's disposal during the amusement extravaganza.

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