Mashonaland Central Bureau
FIRST Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has, through her Angel of Hope Foundation, donated food for the health and nutrition support of six homes and orphanages in Mashonaland Central during this level four Covid-19 lockdown.
The gesture comes at a time when some of the orphanages are facing food challenges because of depleting donors due to the Covid19 pandemic.
Officials from homes and orphanages that received the food hampers could not hide their happiness and expressed gratitude to the First Lady for her kindness.
Founder of Child Future Africa Mr George Seremwe said the assistance from the First Lady boosted their food supplies.
“We survive on our tourism business, but Covid-19 has immensely affected our business,” he said.
“We are facing challenges and we are struggling to support the orphanage.
“The assistance came at the right time and this is a huge relief to us. We have 15 children at home. We are thankful to the First Lady. She helps us from time-to-time.
“We are sticking to Covid-19 guidelines and regulations at the orphanage. We are allowing a restricted number of visitors in our home. Our children stay inside the fence doing school work without interacting with outsiders and they practice social distance.”
SOS family care coordinator Mrs Tiafora Ngwenya thanked the First Lady for constantly remembering children’s homes in Mashonaland Central.
“This donation will go a long way in assisting orphans and vulnerable children in residential care to realise their basic right to food,” she said.
“This gesture will ensure that we stay at the home and there is no need to travel looking for food.
“We rely on donors and we have minimum resources. The donations are not coming like they used to because of Covid-19.
“Let me assure you that all the children under our care are safe. We are adhering to World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines and national regulations. We are maintaining restricted movement in and outside our homes.
“We are facing shortages of personal protection equipment (PPEs). We feel for our caregivers who are restricted to the home and cannot travel to see their families because the situation doesn’t allow movement.”
Montgomery representative Pastor Daniel Ngwenya said they introduced internal lockdown at their orphanage.
They have 60 children at the centre, with some of them vulnerable and a Covid19 infection at the home could result in a catastrophe.
Speaking on the provincial outlook, provincial social development officer Mr Godwin Bongwe said they were now providing drought relief assistance to 70 080 since January.
“Previously, we were providing assistance to 25 percent of the total number of those vulnerable, but now we have moved up to 100 percent,” he said.
“Our allocation is 3 504 tonnes of grain for all the districts. Mbire, Muzarabani, Rushinga and Mt Darwin face critical food shortages.
“In Mbire, we have 18 000 households and they receive 900 tonnes, Mt Darwin 12 000 households who get 619 tonnes, Rushinga 9 200 and they get 460 tonnes while Muzarabani has 9 400 households and they get 470 tonnes.
“We work together with implementing partners like the World Food Programme in those four districts and through the grain haulage fund we make sure grain gets to the beneficiaries free of charge.”