Zimbabwe: First Lady to Transform Street Children's Lives

Hundreds of children living on the streets are set to be transformed and afforded basic needs such as shelter, food and skills training, among others, courtesy of First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa's Angel of Hope Foundation.

Following their interaction with Amai Mnangagwa in Harare recently, homeless children pleaded with her to help them access basic needs, especially shelter.

The First Lady has pledged to assist them saying the vulnerable group could be helped through equipping them with necessary skills, provision of food and decent housing.

She has now identified Chambuta Children's home in Chiredzi as one of the places to move the children into.

The orphanage has the capacity to take care of 200 children, but the infrastructure is dilapidated, which allows it to accommodate only 22 children.

There is also a vocational skills training centre around the area.

Angel of Hope Foundation, whose vision is to uplift lives of disadvantaged children and other vulnerable members of society, will partner with companies, organisations, Government departments and individuals in Chiredzi to refurbish the institution and give it a new lease of life.

Yesterday, Amai Mnangagwa toured the home to assess the areas that need attention and its potential to be established as a rehabilitation centre.

"Ndauya panzvimbo ino kuti ndione kuti vana vedu vakachengetedzeka sei uye nekuona kuti pavagere pakakodzera here kuti pave panogara vana," she said. "Ndinokumbira kana zvichibvira macompany akatitenderedza kuti vamire nesu tibatsirane kuti musha watirikuda kuisa vana uve musha wakanaka.

"Ndinoshuvira kuti vana vedu vagare munzvimbo dzakanaka uye vachidzidziswa mabasa emaoko akasiyana-siyana."

The First Lady, who is the Health and Child Care ambassador, was also briefed about a clinic in the area which is reportedly not operational.

This has seen residents of Chambuta complaining of walking long distances to get to the nearest clinic.

Said the First Lady; "Ndaona clinic iripedyo nemi iyi isingashande zvino ndichanokumbirisa kuna Minister veHealth and Child Care nereport ichabva kuna Provincial Medical Director so that the clinic becomes functional."

She added that her wish was to see every woman giving birth at a health institution, saying home deliveries increased chances of pregnancy complications.

"Saka clinic iyi ikashanda zvinoita, kuti madzimai munobatsirwa pedo morega kubatsirwa mudzimba nekuti mudzimba munogona kuita kuti mwana abatire zvirwere zvakasiyana-siyana," she said.

She also urged men and women to undergo cancer screening to promote the creation of a healthy nation.

Amai Mnangagwa promised to take her outreach mobile clinic to Chambuta so that they get screened for free.

The First Lady, who is at the forefront of fighting diseases like cholera and typhoid, also urged Chambuta residents to always ensure a culture of cleanliness and treat every day as National Environment Cleaning day.

She also urged women to start income generating projects through irrigation schemes.

The home's administrator, Ms Joyce Khumalo from the Department of Social Welfare, welcomed the First Lady's initiative of giving Chambuta Children's Home a new look.

"Some of the houses no longer have roofs, windows and even doors, hence, the move by Amai is commendable. The walls also need plastering and painting. Also, electricity is not connected to the houses and we do not have running water which is a major problem hindering our gardening project. We are grateful to the First Lady for remembering the home and uplifting lives of the vulnerable children."

Chambuta Children's home is a beneficiary of the First Lady's goat rearing project, which was launched in Masvingo province.

The project, which benefited several orphanages, is aimed at economically empowering children's homes.

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