Dorcas Mhungu Post Correspondent
Mutasa West MP Ms Chido Madiwa popularly known as “Pamukaka” has joined the community pool of voluntary care workers for Rimai Christian Caring Trust Centre in Rimai village of Honde Valley.
She has also offered to look after a family of vulnerable children that has been identified and placed under her care.
Rimai Christian Caring Trust Centre was packed to capacity by members of the community who sang and danced in appreciation of food that was handed over to the centre recently.
The newly elected Ms Madiwa donated 100kgs of rice while Minister of Environment Climate and Water, Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri who responded to Ms Madiwa’s plea for help also donated 100kgs of mealie-meal and 20 litres of cooking oil. In her constituency, Ms Madiwa is popularly known as “Pamukaka” a nickname she coined during the election campaign to convince the people to vote for her by emphasising the nurturing role of women.
Ms Madiwa said she used the nickname to convince voters to vote for her during the election campaign.
“I will come and do the chores for the family you have allocated to me just like you do to fulfil my promise as Pamukaka,” Ms Madiwa said to an applause from the men and women who attended to handover.
The founder of the centre, Mr Farai Gunhe and regional co-ordinator for the project run in partnership with another Christian organisation called Hands at Work in Africa, said he was motivated to establish the organisation based on personal experience and difficulties he went through as a vulnerable child. According to Mr Gunhe, his bitter past compelled him to establish the centre in order to help orphans and victims of various forms of child abuse.
“When a child loses his or her parents there is a big challenge regarding guardianship. It is s rare commitment from someone who will offer to play the role and provide parental love and care when you lose both parents. In most cases you find old grandparents playing that role and they have to wake up early in the morning to cook for four to five orphans a task that is too demanding for her age. Some members of our community have taken advantage of the plight of vulnerable children and mostly orphans to abuse them.
The centre in Mutasa district was started in 2008 with a vision to reach out to orphans and vulnerable children “to be the father of the fatherless and to be the voice of the voiceless” the centre director explained. His vision, he said is grounded in a biblical mandate in James 1 verse 27 adding that at its inception, the centre had 200 children. In 2010, Mr Gunhe partnered with Hands at Work in Africa a faith based organisation sharing the same vision.
Mr Gunhe is also the regional coordinator for Mozambique and Zimbabwe for Hands at Work in Africa. “We also encourage the caregivers and grannies working together with school authorities and the child protection unit to encourage the grannies not to accept early marriages for the girl child.’’ he said.
The organisation pays school fees for primary and and secondary school beneficiaries, provide school uniforms, stationery and medical treatment when needed.