Zimbabwe: Us, Canadian Investors Rally Behind First Lady

21 November 2019

KANYEMBA's road to economic and social development is getting more pronounced by the day, amid indications at least seven investors from Canada and the United States are keen to invest in the area.

The seven investors, who came to Zimbabwe at the invitation of First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa through her charity foundation, yesterday toured Kanyemba with Amai Mnangagwa, whose Angel of Hope Foundation has rolled out massive projects for the benefit of the previously marginalised community.

During the tour, the investors were assessing how best they can assist.

The First Lady met the investors when she travelled to the United Nations General Assembly in September and briefed them on what her foundation was doing to ease the plight of the people.

Addressing villagers at Mariga Community health post, the First Lady informed the gathering about the visitors and the purpose of their visit.

She said the investors wanted to get a first-hand assessment of the people's needs.

"Our visitors here were interested and decided to come and see what we are doing here. They have come to see what we are doing as Angel of Hope Foundation on the ground," she said.

"They left their families and decided to come to be with you. They arrived this afternoon from America and Canada. Straight from the airport, we proceeded to Kanyemba.

"I am happy they have come to see the reality on the ground and what the foundation is doing for the people. I love you people of Kanyemba, you are hard workers and you have given us a warm welcome."

In an interview on the sidelines of the tour, Amai Mnangagwa said the team's visit was testimony to the fact that she indeed highlighted the needs of the people to the investors who were touched by her organisation's works.

"The visitors I brought, have come to see what Angel of Hope is doing on the ground. When we attend the United Nations General Assembly, we articulate what Angel of Hope is doing in assisting communities. When these visitors heard and saw our philanthropic work, they were touched. Today (yesterday) they are here to see for themselves what we presented to them.

"From the first time I started coming here to today, there has been a lot of change in the Kanyemba community. They are now farmers and they are doing gardening at their homes and this was after I started community gardening for them and they learnt a lot."

Prior to the First Lady's assistance, the people of Kanyemba led semi-nomadic lifestyles as hunter gatherers. They did not have access to medical facilities like clinics and schools for their children.

They also did not have permanent homes and built their homes in trees for fear of being attacked by wild animals.

But thanks to Angel of Hope Foundation, the challenges are now largely in the past.

One of the Canadian investors, Mrs Jeannie Burns Buckner, was touched by the First Lady's philanthropic works and promised to give a helping hand.

"We met in New York and we want to partner Angel of Hope Foundation. We want the First Lady to identify areas which she feels are the most important. We will be looking at maternal and paediatric clinics and looking at equipment and all what is needed there and add what is needed in other clinics. We will leave it up to her to point us at the best place. Also looking at building clinics, we want to give to provinces what is needed for the care of mothers and their babies."

Her colleague, Mr Quenton Marty from America, equally expressed eagerness to give a helping hand.

"I run an organisation in the United States, an NGO which is called Matter. We work all around the world mainly focusing in the health sector helping to provide medical equipment and supplies.

"Today we are here with the Angel of Hope Foundation to learn about the health situation and see how we can partner Angel of Hope Foundation. We are learning from the initiatives of the First Lady and we are going to sit down with her and see how and where we can come in to help," he said.

The First Lady and the investors also toured the health post which she opened in the area in July last year and they were all happy to see a baby girl who was born 30 minutes before their arrival.

Prior to the building of the health post, expecting mothers used to travel more than 10km to the nearest clinic but Mrs Tapfidza Rangwani walked for only for 500 metres from her homestead to the health post.

The investors were mesmerised by the sewing and knitting projects which were introduced to the women by the First Lady and were keen to source markets for them in their country.

One of the villagers, Mrs Onesai Mission -- who is a village health worker and is assisting at the health post -- thanked the First Lady for bringing development in Kanyemba. She said she got married when she was 14 years old but decided to go back to school following the First Lady's motivation. She trained as a nurse aid with the Red Cross Society.

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