Trust Khosa, Assistant News Editor
TWENTY elderly people housed at Melfort Old People’s Home in Bromley were all smiles last Friday after they were pampered with groceries, thanks to the Alfred Dondo Foundation in partnership with Impala Car Rental.
The foundation and its partners have been helping the needy as part of their corporate social responsibility during the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
And last Friday, they ushered the elderly into the weekend in style after handing over a consignment of groceries set to cushion their diet.
In an interview, Melfort Old People’s Home administrator Daniel Francis and the elderly people could not hide their elation as they are were struggling with poor diet.
“Here we look after 20 elderly people and among them there are four women that we are taking care of.
“Some of the elderly people you see here suffer from dementia which comes with old age and there is need for good diet to ensure their welfare is met.
“We are proud of the Impala Car Rental people who have remembered us in such a unique way.
“As you know, it’s not easy to be remembered in such a way and we do appreciate what they have done for us.
“We hope our friendship with them we grow beyond such donations as they have remembered us at a time when most people out there appear to have shunned us,” he said.
Francis said the majority of the elderly are foreigners who used to work in surrounding farms.
“Here we look after foreigners who came as far as Mozambique, Malawi, South Africa to work in farms.
“The people we look after here are brought to us by the Department of Social Welfare after vetting to ensure that they suit our environment.
“If we encounter problems with the people they sent here, we contact the Department of Social Welfare to come back and take them to other centres,” he said.
Like any other home, Francis said they were keeping the elderly busy through a number of activities.
“Here we do carry a number of activities to ensure that we keep these people busy ranging from bee-keeping, gardening, goat rearing, rabbit rearing to fisheries.
“As a centre, we are doing these activities to ensure that we supplement our diet so that we don’t solely rely on donations.
“These activities are done by the elderly people you see here and we realised that old age should not mean inability.
“There are some people here who are hardworking and you will be surprise if you see them working in in various projects we have here,” he said.
Francis said they also conduct exercises to ensure the elderly are fit.
“We normally take them for a walk and leave them five kilometres away from the centre.
“We are doing all this to ensure they are fit so that they don’t fall sick to other illnesses like flu bugs,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, Alfred Dondo Foundation spokesperson Memory Dondo said they were touched by the plight of the elderly.
“As a foundation looking after the elderly and less privileged people, this is the only way that we can chip in and assist the needy members of the society.
“We have learnt about their situation through social media and decided to come and share the little we have with them.
“As a foundation, we keep the records of the people we assist to ensure that we make follow-ups.
“In this case, we are going to tell our leadership about the situation on ground so that we assist them the best way we can,” she said.
“This tour was also an eye-opener to us and we urge individuals and corporates to share the little we have with others.
“There is power in sharing since we are changing people’s loves.
“The little that you give someone can change their lives.”
Besides visiting Melfort Old People’s Home, the foundation has assisted a number of the eldery in recent weeks.
A fortnight ago, they donated a wheel-chair and grocery to 20-year-old Mike Saujeni, a budding dancehall artistes and basketball player in Chitungwiza.
Prior to that donation, they assisted a 16-year-old girl from Mvurwi Sharon Chirata who got injured at the age of five when their mother had going for bingeing.
They pledged to pay for her school fees at her school of choice to ensure that she finished her studies under the Alfred Dondo Foundation which caters for orphaned and less privileged children.
Prior to that, they also assisted struggling musicians namely Progress Chipfumo, Sam Mataure, Patrick Mkwamba, Gift “Shiga-Shiga” Katulika and his wife Susan with groceries and cash.