By Byron Mutingwende and Patricia Mashiri
In a bid to shun donor dependence and create home grown interventions that build resilience among communities, the Zimbabwe Community Health Intervention Research project (ZiCHIRe) has extended a giving hand to an orphanage in Marondera.
In his address while handing over the donation of an assortment of goods sourced by members of staff to the Musha weVana/Marondera Child Care Society on Thursday 14 December 2017, Walter Chikanya, the ZICHIRe Director underscored the need for civil society organisations (CSOs) to come with homegrown initiatives that positively impact the lives of the disadvantaged.
“As ZICHIRe staff, we realised that it was important to come up with our own initiative to support the less privileged members of the communities in which we run some of our programmes.
“Since we have an office implementing programmes on behavior change and sexual reproductive health and rights under the Sista2Sista project here in Marondera, who found it worthwhile to pool our resources together as ZICHIRe members of staff and donate some goodies to Musha weVana so that young girls and boys under the care of this orphanage will have a happy Christmas. We saw it to do that because we can’t just depend on international donors in supporting our brothers and sisters,” Chikanya said.
The health advocate urged other CSOs to follow suit in pursuit of building the resilience of communities since homegrown solutions will go a long way in promoting the development of communities.
“Children are a blessing from God. They have a right to school, good health and education, Everyone has a responsibility to look after children .The Zichire staff members made this donation as part of our social responsibility.
“We want to learn to give a hand to the needy. As ZICHIRe staff members we started by picking children’s homes helping them financially , giving them food stuffs as well as clothes under the Give-a-hand initiative. It’s Christmas time and we are here at ‘Musha wevana’ making the children happy by giving out food so that they will enjoy and learn to share with others,”Chikanya said.
In his acceptance speech, Elton Majakwara, the Musha weVana Administrator thanked ZICHIRe staffers for their kind gesture and said apart from the donation of the goodies, he was elated that the organisation also offered SRHR and behaviuor change education to the boys and girls.
The Marondera Child Care/Musha weVana was established in 1992 by a certain white lady. It started operating as a feeding point for the needy children in the society. At the moment, the Marondera Child Care Society has two homes – one that caters for children up to the age of 18 years and the other one for the disadvantaged ones above 18 years of age. They have 33 children under 18 years of age and 15 adults (18 years and above).
Meanwhile, Nick Stott, a clergyman based in the United Kingdom donated some funds for the refurbishment of the home. The donation was used to acquire some geysers, tiles and roofing material to uplift the orphanage.
Zichire is an organisation that deals with and helps the girl children in achieving their goals and protecting them from gender based violence.
“We look into all forms of Gender based violence, and problems affecting the girl child and at the end of the day we realise that the girl child needs a decent home and family like anyone else. This was a push factor to come and help.
“Donors are there to help us but at times we need to extend that help on our own.We can mobilise ourselves and help the gender based violence survivors, orphans and school dropouts without the government and donors intervention,” said Christine Gonese, the ZICHIRe behavior change manager.
Chikanya said in as much as he liked domestic funding, he appreciated the invaluable support ZICHRe is getting from development partners and donors such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) which is spearheading the Sista2Sista and behaviour change programmes, the Global Fund, the Health Development Fund (HDF) and partners like the National AIDS Council and the Ministry of Health, among others.
ZICHIRe has plans to start a Brother2Brother programme targeting young boys who will be taught to respect girls and young women as a way of promoting peace in the society and fighting gender-based violence in future.