First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, through her Angel of Hope Foundation, yesterday donated an assortment of foodstuffs, toiletries and clothes to more than 10 children and old people’s homes in Harare, as she leads from the front in efforts to ease the plight of the vulnerable in the wake of the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.
The First Lady is the country’s Health and Child Care ambassador.
So timely was the intervention as it came when the country is under a tight Level Four lockdown announced by the Government as part of measures to flatten the curve of infections.
During lockdown, movement is restricted which affects organisations’ capacity to generate income.
The situation is worse for children and old people’s homes which rely on donors and Government support.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Covid-19, which is wreaking havoc across the globe, has claimed 1 160 people in Zimbabwe.
Goods that were distributed by the First Lady yesterday included cooking oil, rice, sugar, salt, flour, mealie-meal, laundry soap and clothes.
Chinyaradzo Children’s Home supervisor Mrs Venia Mudhara could not hide her gratitude to the First Lady’s gesture.
“We have been surprised and we are grateful,” she said. “We want to thank the First Lady heartily for what she has done for us. Even our work is eased when we have such things. We will serve our children healthy delicious meals prepared with the groceries she gave us while their clothes will be clean because of the soap she has also given us. She has also given the children some clothes. The mother of the nation came at the right time and gave us the basics we were in need of.”
Mrs Mudhara wished the First Lady long life and to continue with her spirit of giving.
“We thank her for her good deeds and wish her to remain with her good heart,” she said.
Head of Bako Redonhodzo Old People’s Home, Mrs Emilia Mukaratirwa, said it was not the first time that the First Lady has come to the rescue of the home.
She said Amai Mnangagwa started a chicken rearing project for them so that they become self-sustainable as a home.
“We can not express the excitement we have, Amai has given us things that will keep this home afloat,” said Mrs Mukaratirwa. “This came to us as a surprise as we were not expecting it.
“During this time of Covid-19 and lockdown, it has not been easy for us, but Amai who cares for her children has remembered us. She has all her children at heart despite circumstances they are in.
“She gave us groceries and clothes to make sure the elderly are well fed and clothed, for that we are forever grateful. She is not a one-time person who just comes once and disappears, she has always been assisting us with foodstuffs and initiating empowering projects for us like poultry and gardening.
“She continues to remember the vulnerable around the country. May the good Lord keep her so that she continues looking after the needy.”
The First Lady has a passion for the welfare of the elderly, women and children.
Last year, she rolled out feeding programmes across the length and breadth of the country to ensure children realised their potential and did not pull out of school owing to food challenges.
Yesterday, the humanitarian support was extended to homes that included Chinyaradzo Children’s Home, Ishe Anesu Children’s Home, Tose Respite Home, Bako Redonhodzo Home for the Elderly, Shungu Dzevana, Westgate Haven, Philadelphia and Braeside Old People’s Home, among other institutions.
Apart from the food donations, the mother of the nation has also been instrumental in spearheading income generating projects for homes.
Through her Angel of Hope Foundation, Amai Mnangagwa has continued with her philanthropic work that has cushioned thousands of vulnerable families across the country since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.